In college, she began acting, studying underneath acting coach Ivana Chubbuck. This led to her desire to appear in feature films. Though taking many smaller roles in movies, she was little known until playing the girlfriend of Denzel Washington 's character in Training Day Since then, she has been featured in a wider range of roles, from comedic to dramatic. Stuck on You
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Mendes was raised a Roman Catholic and at one time even considered becoming a Catholic nun. Mendes was disappointed in her performance and soon hired an acting coach. While her sole film release in was the crime comedy All About the Benjamins , in which she played the girlfriend of a con artist, Mendes had roles on four studio feature films released throughout The film was a moderate commercial success,  and Roger Ebert , in his review for the film, described Mendes' role as a "curiously forgiving character, who feels little rancor for the straying [husband] and apparently still likes him; maybe there would have been more suspense if she were furious with him".
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