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Eva Mendes Gets In "The Spirit"

From Denzel Washington and Johnny Depp to Will Smith and Nicholas Cage, actress Eva Mendes has worked with some of the Hollywood's hottest leading men.

Mendes is now co-starring in the "The Spirit," a film based on a 1940s comic book series. She plays Sand Saref, a woman who has a special relationship with The Spirit.

"They are childhood sweethearts, explains Mendes. "This film is visually stunning. It comes from the creative, genius mind of Frank Miller. What's really unbelievable with my character is I get to play not only a jewel thief, but a woman who's been married 14 times and killed every last one of her husbands. I mean, ladies, is that not just -- it's a sick fantasy, but, still a fantasy. Somewhat of a fantasy."

"Now she is quite a dame," adds Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen. "[She's] got the lashes."

"She's a dame. She's a broad," says Mendes. "We paid homage to the women back then, in the 1940s -- the Rita Hayworths and Bette Davis' of the world, the Ava Gardners. I had a lot of fun paying homage to those women."

A lot of the movie was shot on green screen.

"All of the movie was shot on green screen. This is going to show my ignorant side, but I actually didn't really know it was going to be green," Mendes said.

"That's because you've never done the weather in a small market," quipped Chen, of the wall commonly used for weather forecast broadcasts, where the meteorologist appears to be standing in front of a large map, but in the studio it is actually a large blue or green background.

"I've never done the weather, exactly," says Mendes. "Everything is green. The studio is green all day -- all green, all the time. So it took me a minute to get used to it, but then I actually got into it and, you know, what Frank created is a visual dream."

Mendes admits there were some challenges.

"You kind of don't [know what you're doing]. You have to trust your director yelling at you going, 'Eva they're shooting at you to the right. Your other right! Now scream!' So working with amazing actors, it helps because you're on the scene with them so when they're there, you have them to work off of," she said.

Mendes has been busy promoting the film in Europse and has become a red-carpet favorite.

"You've become like a fashionista," said Chen, who showed photos of Mendes in different dresses looks.

"I love the yellow number, Bill Blass," says Mendes. "The yellow was really fun." Of another dress, she said, "Polka dots in Paris. You always wear that in Paris. My rule."

The actress describes her personal style as "very feminine."

"A lot of people think of me as maybe a tomboy or a tomboy growing up, but I'm the girliest girl around," she says. "I know I look tought at times, but I'm extremely girly. I use that on the red carpet and what I feel comfortable in. I love wearing dresses and I love, you know, taking advantage of being a girl."

When she's not so busy on the red carpet or acting, Mendes is
busy designing home furnishings.

"My passion is interior designing and architecture," she said. "I've always joked around [that] if I was a little smarter, I would have been an architect. But that's actually a passion of mine."

Her new line, called "Vida," is available at Macys.

"The Spirit" opens in theatres on Christmas Day.

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