Eva Mendes: Why We Named Our Daughter Esmeralda Amada

11/25/2014 at 04:00 PM ET

Eva Mendes believed motherhood meant saying goodbye to the night life.

However, the new mom has quickly discovered she couldn’t have been more wrong.

“I thought my wild nights were over, but these are some of the wildest nights I’ve ever had,” the actress tells Violet Grey‘s digital magazine, The Violet Files, as part of her first photo shoot since delivering her daughter.

But she’s not going at it alone: It didn’t take long for the first-time mom to find a strong support system to get her through those all-nighters.

“I go to BabyCenter.com and read the comment section from other mothers because I find so much solace in that,” she says of her favorite online forum.

“Just knowing that I’m not alone out there and that other moms have gone through the same thing can at least get me through the night. I’m doing it without a nanny for now but I’m open to the idea of having a nanny in the future. For me that part of being a mother at this early stage is the struggle of not being able to sleep and not knowing what I’m doing and really going through it with her and battling out those nights.”

Eva Mendes Violet Grey
Emma Summerton

Mendes, 40, and actor Ryan Gosling welcomed daughter Esmeralda Amada in September and their baby girl is a constant reminder of their fairytale come true.

“Ryan and I both love the Esmeralda character from the Victor Hugo novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and we just think it’s a beautiful name,” Mendes explains of their decision.

“Amada was my grandmother’s name. It means ‘beloved’ in Spanish.”

Now 10 weeks into the late nights and diaper duty, the proud new parents are still basking in their baby bliss. According to Mendes, it’s actually their daughter who’s been dealt a difficult hand.

“Everything is a struggle for her,” Mendes jokes. “For instance, I haven’t thrown up since the 90s and she’s thrown up twice since we started this interview.”

She adds, “Motherhood is cake compared to what it’s like to be a baby.”

Eva Mendes Violet Grey
Emma Summerton

But Mendes and Gosling are making sure Esmeralda has all the time — and space — she needs to grow up. The couple are determined to keep their personal lives shielded from the public, an effort that began before the birth.

“Whether we like it or not, privacy is going to be very difficult for Esmeralda. I think it’s unfair, but that’s our reality,” Mendes explains.

“Ryan and I decided early on to give her as much privacy as we could. And my pregnancy was the first opportunity to give her that … I find the media’s ‘bump watch’ obsession to be both intrusive and stressful. So I made a decision to eject myself from it completely. I was like, ‘Annnnd I’m out.'”

Next up for Mendes: the launch of her holiday collection with New York & Company. “I wanted to bring affordable elegance to the collection for my favorite time of year,” she says. “Practically, I wanted to make dresses that made women feel beautiful.”

RELATED GALLERY: Star Moms Who Bounced Right Back

— Anya Leon

Want more stories like this?

Sign up for our newsletter and other special offers:

sign me up

Thank you for signing up!

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 51 comments

Anonymous on

Love them. Take note Kartrashian clan!

Mrs.DarylDixon on

Why talk about the baby then, if you want so much privacy?

arijana birston on


Angelica on

Eva is pretty.

Dixie on

I love this name, I think it is very feminine.
Agree on the Kartrashian post.


They can’t NOT talk about the baby… she is their lives now. They don’t have to allow the enture world into their private lives 100% of the time, they can say she is beautiful and love her without plastering her face on every magazine cover in the world. Much like Dax & Kristen, and I think its wonderful that they can do that

BeeHappy on

The name keeps making me think of Emerald, hehe. Very beautiful name, I really like these two! 🙂

Beth on

I’llbet the baby is Beautiful! Kudos on your privacy!! More people should follow suit!

JL on

Parents (especially first time parents) will gush about their kids. She’s allowed to talk about her daughter.

lily on

If u want your kid to have privacy quit showbiz buy a farm and live there. I hate to hear u rich famous asshole complain about privacy. U wanna be rich famous and have privacy ohhh plssss

Cory23 on

Sorry, something seems amiss. I am wondering if she had this child to keep Ryan.

Mrs. X on

Seems like the oddest couple. Good luck with the baby and enjoy.

Girl Detective on

Narcissist, much?

Carrie W on

I love emeralds and I love the name Esmeralda. Don;t worry about the late nights Eva – it’ll be over before you know it and baby Esmeralda will all of sudden be in kindergarten! Enjoy her as is!!

Debbe on

She took the time to address something I too thought as a new mother but usually never hear many mothers talk about. That is that it is hard to be a baby. I felt so bad when my son was an infant, he couldn’t communicate when he was sick, or hungry or had the colic except for cry or make funny facial expressions. He needed me 100 percent. So it was so wonderful when he turned four months and started playing and standing up on his own and trying to dance up and down. I know, it was early, but I knew it was because he hated being an infant. I could tell, and he advanced fast as he could so he could have some independence. We always talk about how hard things are on a new mom or dad, but not usually the baby. They go through the hardest part, and we have to be as strong as possible for them. She recognizes that as I did.

Crraaappp on

That baby won the DNA lottery!

Queen Deb on

I don’t like the name — same name as Samantha’s wacky witch mother, played by Agnes Moorehead, on the 60’s sitcom, Bewitched. (I guess I am giving away my age here.) Then, again, my opinion on this is of no importance whatsoever.

vibration on

Privacy? So why this annoying interview which unfortunately makes clear what a dip she is? Wow, other mothers have gone through it! Alert the media! Maybe the baby is throwing up from the second and third hand smoke. and who cares why she named the kid what she named it? Not I.

vibration on

and to one commenter, no Samantha Stevens’ mother’s name was NOT Esmerelda!! It was Endora!

yahoo on

She really can’t be serious in this interview. She is all over the place taking about that child and making sure it has no privacy. She says all this because she really doesn’t want privacy. Aren’t we drawn to the things that says ‘hands off’ or ‘keep away’? Her new clothing line is coming out and she is using the baby to drum up business. Please Eva….give us a break with how hard it is for a baby. It only becomes hard in life, once you have responsibility.

Rally on

I love it that they are going to try and make life private for their child. This is a good thing, kids don’t need to grow up with strangers seeing their photo every week.

Louise Sawyer on

I also thought Agnes Moorehead played Endora, NOT Esmeralda, on BEWITCHED. [Perhaps Ryan & Eva will call her Esme for short–“Esmeralda” can be a mouthful to say for a little child]

Guest on

EVERY commenter on this article is a low life pathetic loser. If you didn’t like the article, just walk away, but no, you have to impart all of your so-called personal knowledge and slip something in about your own ugly, gross children.

annie on

yes well….does selective privacy count? she just spoke about her daughter while promoting whatever it is shes promoting

Queen Deb on

I was the one who thought Samantha Stevens’ mother’s name was Esmeralda. As a couple people pointed out, her name actually was Endora. Thanks for the correction, I was wrong! (Don’t know how I came up with Esmeralda!)

SAE on

I think she is awesome! And to the rest of you READERS; there are interviewers, writers and editors that have say on the final content of the article. So words and/or phrases could be omitted that make her statements appear awkward. And if that’s not the case give her a break! She’s got new mommy brain!

vibration on

when will someone finally cast her as a witch? She was born to play that role!

DeeDee on

The name of her baby is different I like it. Eva is pretty, but that Ryan guy not so much.

sw on

Esmeralda was the shy nanny/babysitter character on Bewitched. When she got nervous, she would disappear.

Michelle on

Aww, come on Eva and Ryan. We love you guys and just want to be included. We would love to see a picture of your baby. I’m sure she is beautiful.

Lili on

Beloved Emerald / Esmeralda Amada. Is a beautiful name

kW on

Don’t get a nanny ever!! You can do it Eva! Use the occasional babysitter for your sanity. Your sweet baby is going to be grown and gone before you know it. Cherish! Love ya.

Anonymous on

Great photo shoot of Eva.

KingKing on

Amanda is a pretty name.

Sue on

Oh come on, some of you people can say some dumb stuff and obviously aren’t parents. It was tough for my daughter for the first four month. She had colic and we had many horrible nights. My heart would break as she cried in agony and there really wasn’t much I can do. It was awful. Poor angel. Now that she is seven months and outgrown the colic, life is good, for both of us.

As to her privacy, good for her. They owe their fans nothing but entertaining them as actors. She is not the only one in Hollywood doing this. There is Scarlett Johanson and a few more I cannot recall now. If you don’t like her, skip the article and do yourself a favor and skip the mean comments. It only shows what a miserable person you truly are. Team Eva always. Classy woman and a mother truly protecting her daughter. THEY signed on as actors, Esmeralda did not!!! And as to that one post, they shouldnt have to quit acting and move to the country to keep their daughter away from the lime light. That is BS, and I hope what Haley Berry and Jennifer Gardner are doing, trying to make laws to make it illegal for paparazzi’s to capture and sell pictures of celebrity kids (minors) , goes into law. Not evey one wants to be a Kardashian and exploit their children.

Oh, and as to the baby’s name, I may not like it, but that’s not my daughter and I wouldn’t post mean comments about what someone else likes. This is was makes the world go round. Imagine if we all liked the same names and things what a boring world we would live in. Just a thought!!!

Kay on

I’m a little bothered by comments made towards Eva Mendes and Kristen Bell lately. Just because they are celebrities and accustomed to giving interviews does mean they are expected to hand their children over to the same fate. Celebrities knowingly make the decision to give up their right to privacy, but their children never get to make that choice for themselves. I think it’s wonderful that these parents recognize that and want to give their children that choice.

Besides, how would you feel if you had to rush to get your baby from Point A to Point B without anyone stalking you to take your baby’s picture?

kath on

Agree with her comment about being against the whole media “bumpwatch” thing. However, I think it’s a bit ridiculous to hibernate for 9 months in order to avoid the paps. Going to such extremes probably puts more stress on an individual than just going about your business – as most celebs do – just doing your best to ignore these stalkers.

BTW, Guest, you sound miserable and I’m sure everyone could do without your acid tongue remarks about other commenters !!

Marky on

My first child threw up some of everything he ate or drank all day long until he could walk. He din’t, nor does he now, have reflux. He didn’t enjoy the whole idea of eating, and that was at a time when doctors put kids on solids early. Bless his heart…and bless ours! We had to replace all the furniture, and the area rug when he stopped–barf ground into everything! Some kids just throw up; those with reflux have bigger symptoms than just throwing up.

I have no idea why some of you have such a hissy-fit about celebs showing pictures of their babies. You can show pictures of your child occasionally without ruining their life or turning them into Willow and Jaden Smith. A snapshot every once in awhile makes the fans happy, and still keeps your children in their own world.

Jenna on

Eva Mendes is so gorgeous. So happy for those two. I bet the baby is just beautiful

Gina on

As if we don’t know this is your anchor baby Eva. Ryan was going to break off your relationship.

mommytoane on

Love the nod to Babycenter. Great site for moms of babies and young kids.

When I saw Esmeralda as a name, I instantly thought of the Hunchback of Norte Dame. Such a great story that one is. Love the nod to grandma with the middle name, very sweet.

Grats to the happy parents. Bet that little girl is beautiful.

Aboz on

While I normally don’t care Eva never wanted kids until she baited an a-lister. Why would she need a nanny she doesn’t get work that often. She is a vapid opportunist.

Jay on

Eva is a very pretty lady!

BellaMia on

I am so sick and tired of celebrities making motherhood sound like an impossible thing. Now granted, it is not an easy duty but, women have done it since the beginning of time. With or without a man. But to hear these celebrities, it’s too much for them. They absolutely NEED a nanny to go through with it. While the rest of us “common women” seem to do the job just fine. And they wonder why afterwards, their kids do not relate to them as much as they should. Let the nanny carry your child, cuz apparently, it’s too much for them. Let the nanny push your troller cuz it’s too much. Really! I had kids and yeah, I didn’t sleep much at night. Yeah, I wished I had more time for myself. But considering I CHOSE to bring these kids into the world, it is MY duty to raise them. And I wouldn’t change a thing about it. Because, the love of my kids is unconditional. And once they’re grown, you can’t go back to change things.

GG on

Eva is gorgeous. Congrats!

Linda on

I agree with Cory23, I too think Eva got pregnant on purpose just to keep Ryan. I’ve read that he’s always wanted a child and she wasn’t into the idea, then all of a sudden, she’s expecting. I know the average woman is allowed to change her mind, but something just doesn’t sit right with me when it comes to Eva.

That’s just my two cents, no one has to agree with me, I’m just stating my point.

Salty on

Why give her age (40) and not his age?

Salty on

Such mean comments here. No wonder she wants her baby privacy.

Gail on

Love the name! It’s unique.

Victoria on

I have an older half sister name Esmeralda 🙂

Anonymous on

Salty- I’m guessing they just forgot. Most of the time, they DO give both parents” ages! 🙂