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Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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How will Eva Mendes ever stay sober?

July 8, 2008 |  2:11 pm

Mendez2 No, I'm not suggesting Eva Mendes can't conquer her substance abuse problems. What really worries me is how she will ever possibly stay sober having to deal with the some of the most clueless people on the planet: the pack of celebrity journalists who seem to be an inescapable part of the recover program for troubled starlets. First you go to rehab, where they teach you how to love yourself. Then you're forced to endure idiotic interviews, which surely must teach you to hate yourself all over again for consenting to answer all their moronic questions.

Mendes has plunged into the rehab recovery deep end, having now survived a cringe-inducing chat with Interview magazine's David Colman that is featured in the magazine's upcoming August issue. (The magazine doesn't arrive on newsstands until next week, though you can read excerpts here, since the actual interview isn't online yet.) Mendes is a better actress than most people give her credit for, having kept her footing, going toe-to-toe with Denzel Washington in "Out of Time" and Joaquin Phoenix in "We Own the Night," while totally stealing the show in minor fare like "2 Fast 2 Furious." But all the acting chops in the world couldn't stop her from showing her annoyance at the hapless queries and bad jokes Colman lobbed her way in Interview.

To see the trainwreck, keep reading:

David Colman: Now let's talk about substance abuse. My favorite topic.

Eva Mendes: Great.

DC: First of all, what is it with actors and substance abuse?

EM: I don't know. I'm not a spokesperson for any kind of substance-abuse organization.

DC: They're going to have to change the name of it to "Alcoholics Unanimous."

EM: [silence]

DC: I'm sorry, that's a bad joke.

EM: I'm not making jokes, because people die from this stuff. So, honestly, I think it's a bit tacky that you made a joke. I've got to be honest.

DC: You're angry. Listen . . .

EM: I'm not angry. People have died, and I've lost friends too--even recently. So I can be a little
sensitive on the subject.

DC: Look, I haven't had a drink in 11 years. I'm just trying to be light-hearted about it, because it's an awkward topic.

EM: I'm not angry. But because celebrities' lives are so visible, I think it makes it look lighter than it is. I have a really good sense of humor, I'm just very sensitive. The other day I was reading an article. I don't even remember who the actress was, but she's been around for a long time. She said something like, "I'm proud that I've had a whole career without making it to rehab." I thought, That's such a negative twist on it. I'm proud of people who have the determination and the fearlessness to actually go and face their demons and get better. This is a life or death situation. Again, I'm not a spokesperson for this, but it's just that I want to support people for their decisions when they do go in and get help.

DC: You might think it's a new problem, but it's probably only because people are quicker to say, "Okay, I'm going to rehab. Let's get it over with."

EM: It's because everybody is so highly visible now. We see everything. We see what celebrities buy at the supermarket. It's ridiculous. It's that visibility. I'm confused by this whole celebrity-obsessed culture. It's really weird.

DC: Again, I wasn't trying to be . . . Well, I was trying to be flip, but not trying to be dismissive. I do take it very seriously myself. You could just say, "I don't want to talk about that." Which is fine.

EM: I've given you a more interesting answer, I hope, than to just say, "I don't want to talk about it." [laughs] There are so many lies out there regarding my recent trip to Cirque Lodge. But I don't care what people think. I just don't care. So I will neither confirm nor deny. I think now we just know way too much about our celebrities. It's not that interesting when you know that much about people. I have no ego about me. It's just better for you not to know, because it really does make me a better actor at the end of the day. You're not going into the movie with all these specifics about me.

DC: I don't know what I would do if all my business was out there . . .

EM: You know what? You wouldn't feel that bad, because so much of it is not true. Actually, the
media has been pretty nice to me. They've really trashed some people, so I'm actually thankful that it didn't get too crazy. But for all the stuff that came out a few months ago about substance abuse, there were so many wrong stories. I was so happy about that, because it's when they get the real scoop that would make me really nervous. It's a relief, in a way. You want it to be a lie, because when it's true, that's when I'd be like, "Oh, my God!" It's time to rethink who's in your circle, because stuff got out.

Pretty awful stuff, huh? To see an even dumber interview, just watch this!

Photo of Eva Mendes by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

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