How Ryan Gosling Fits Into Eva Mendes' Sprawling Family

Eva Mendes' actor brother Carlo Mendez, star of the twisty new thriller Demise, shared with E! News what it's really like to have Ryan Gosling as a member of the family.

By Natalie Finn Apr 11, 2024 10:00 AMTags
Watch: Eva Mendes Reveals Why She Stepped Away From Acting

Eva Mendes may not go with Ryan Gosling to award shows as a rule, but she will find him a date if need be.

Hence her younger brother Carlo Mendez sitting at the Barbie table at the 2024 SAG Awards in February.

"It was awesome," Carlo told E! News' Francesca Amiker in an exclusive interview. He recalled his sister asking, "'Hey, do you want to go to the SAG Awards with Ryan?' I'm like, 'Hold on, let me think about that...Uh, yeah, I'll go.'"

Feeling "like a kid in a candy store" and admittedly starstruck by the likes of Robert Downey Jr. sitting nearby, let alone Margot Robbie two chairs away, the star of the noirish new thriller Demise had to remind himself that he was also a card-carrying member of the Screen Actors Guild.

"Inside I'm like [deep breath], relax, you're an actor, too," Carlo said. "You belong here with them."

But while it was his first time attending the SAG Awards, hanging out with the man his sister has referred to as her husband was just another family outing.

40 Fun Facts About Ryan Gosling

"Ryan is an awesome, funny, down-to-earth guy," Carlo shared. "I cannot say enough about him, and I'm really learning a lot from him. Just an amazing guy."

So...he approves of the match?

Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty Images

After Ryan forever-connected with Eva while making The Place Beyond the Pines in 2011 and met her family, "he immediately fit in," Carlos said. "He loves the whole Latin lifestyle, the salsa, the Spanish, the Cuban—he loves all that stuff. So, he fit in like a glove."

Carlo and Eva have another sister, Janet Levy, while their eldest sibling, Juan Carlos Méndez Jr., died in 2016 at the age of 53 after battling throat cancer. Carlo wears a little vial of his big brother's ashes around his neck to keep him close.

Robert Kamau/GC Images

So Ryan getting along with everyone, including Eva's dad Juan Carlos Méndez and mom Eva Perez Suarez, was no small thing for the family-centric actress, who pressed pause on her movie career to focus on raising their daughters, Esmeralda, 9, and Amada, 7.

While fatherhood isn't something Carlo is planning on at the moment—"If it happens, it happens"—the 46-year-old is content being the fun uncle to Eva's kids, as well as his 17 other nieces and nephews.

Uncle Carlo may even be too fun, he acknowledged, but "I just love joking around! It lifts your spirits to make people laugh, smile and just be uplifting and help people believe in themselves."

Stars' Sexy Siblings

Staying upbeat also can't hurt when you're living that working actor life—which Carlo has been doing for almost 20 years, racking up dozens of TV and film credits along the way.

Carlo Mendez, Christiana Leucas (Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)

And for Demise, in which he plays a married man whose wife embarks on life-ruining revenge after he gets another woman pregnant, he racked up "lots of push-ups" to prepare for multiple shirtless scenes. "I'm actually very shy and self-conscious about my body," he noted. "I never really get comfortable, seeing yourself somewhat naked on screen."

In fact, he said, he and his girlfriend were watching the movie and, when he flashed his butt in one scene, he nervously gripped her hand, "Like, 'Oh my god, it's really me!'"

So, though the erotic thriller is available to stream on Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, etc., it may not be one for the whole family to see just yet. But count his sister among his biggest supporters.

Eva excitedly shouted out Carlo and director Yara Estrada Lowe back in February, writing on Instagram, "Oye !! He's not just my gorgeous & goofy hermano, @cmendez78 is a hard working actor who has his first lead in the film @demisethefilm !!! Not only is this a chance to support a Latin male lead (we need more of them please!) but the writer/director is a talented Mexican-American woman (wooo hooo!)."

Carlo Mendez/Instagram

But while it's no secret who Carlo's sister is—and no matter what he does, "People will be, 'Oh yeah, Eva Mendes' brother'"—he has made a point of trading on his talent, not his familial connections.

"Anytime I've ever auditioned or booked something, it's never been because of her," Carlo said. "And she's like, 'Whatever you need, let me know,' but I want to be great. Because if I'm not good, and she gives me the opportunity and I blow it...

Which is why, he added, "I study hard, I work hard, I know that I can do it. Then eventually, the push will come when the time is ready. You can't force anything."

Not that he'd turn down an opportunity to act with his sister, should a project need, say, someone to play her younger brother.

They talked in the past about teaming up, Carlo said, but "the timing has to be right, when she's ready to get back into acting."

Meanwhile, both Ryan and Eva have said that they would love to work together again one day, Eva calling the experience of making the 2015 drama Lost River—which Ryan wrote and directed"so creatively satisfying" and Ryan recently saying that costarring with her in The Place Beyond the Pines was his "greatest experience" on a film set.

And they already know who can play the role of Brother.

But even if they never share a big screen again, keep reading to enjoy photos of Eva and Ryan's love story in real life:


Ryan Gosling visited Eva Mendes in Paris while she was filming her movie Holly Motors in 2011.

PDA in Paris

The couple spent some alone time together at the Pere Lachaise Cemetery.


Hollywood Sights

The pair were seen together behind-the-scenes of their film The Place Beyond the Pines in 2011.

Red Carpet Ready

The two lovebirds hit the red carpet for the premiere of their movie in 2012.

Fall'n In Love

The adventurous pair fit in some quality time up north at the Niagara Falls Amusement Park in 2014.

Chic Coffee Runs

Nothing gets between this couple, not even coffee! The two are inseparable holding hands as they grab coffee in NYC.

Disney Date

Ryan and Eva walked hand in hand and enjoyed a evening full of rides, food carts and PDA at Disneyland.

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