Eva Mendes on Naming Daughter Esmeralda Amada: ‘We Love the Hunchback of Notre Dame

09/16/2015 at 08:40 PM ET

Actress and fashion entrepreneur Eva Mendes isn’t letting Hollywood’s standards dictate her view on motherhood.

Mendes, appearing on the The Wendy Williams Show on Wednesday to promote her New York & Company line, opened up about her life as a new mom, naming her daughter and how she feels about the pressure on women in Hollywood to “bounce back” after having a baby.

“I feel like we can be really hard on each other,” the 41 year old said when asked about losing baby weight. “That whole term ‘bounce back’ after pregnancy … I don’t like that terminology.”

She adds, “Look, if you go into the bikini two weeks after, good for you, but that wasn’t me. I just feel like we as women need to support each other more.”

Eva Mendes The Wendy Williams Show
Anders Krusberg

One area where Mendes doesn’t lack support? Her big “crazy” Cuban family. After welcoming daughter Esmeralda Amada last year with partner, Ryan Gosling, 34, she says they’ve been a huge help, adding that she’s “never appreciated [her] family so much.”

The Training Day star also credits her family as part of the reason why she and Gosling chose to name their daughter Esmeralda.

“We love the Hunchback of Notre Dame, we loved the name, the cartoon and the novel,” Mendes shares. “It’s actually a very popular Latin name so it’s easy for my father, and certain family members that still don’t speak English, to pronounce. That was a good selling point.”

The actress adds that her family is so hands on; she doesn’t even have a nanny. Noting that she’s not “anti-nanny,” Mendes says that between her and Gosling’s families, there’s no need for one.

“It’s like a takeover. The Cubans come over and it’s like, ‘The Cubans are coming!’ It’s amazing because they take the baby, they start cooking food, the dishes are done, it’s a beautiful take over,” she explains.

— Naja Rayne

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Showing 24 comments

megan on

“We love Hunchback of Notre Dame, we loved the name, the cartoon and the novel,”

Really ? Because the novel involves an attempted rape & ends with a brutal, horrifying death scene.

sup on

she always looks like a DragQueen.

Stella on

If only Ryan and Sandra Bullock had stayed together!

ginger on

She tried to trap him, she was 40, & wanted a baby. She is homely and tell her illegal family members to learn 🏫 English.

Mes on

Lucky baby.

SarahJane77 on

How wonderful that her family is so involved. It’s so heartwarming that their baby will grow up with such a loving family.

Esmeralda on


There is always a designated party-pooper on this board.

Marky on

Megan and Ginger…could you please get a big old grip on yourselves? It’s as if you can’t just let anyone enjoy their lives, and their baby and their family, without turning your comments into an insult session–totally unnecessary. This couple is together for whatever reasons, and frankly…no one gets “trapped by a baby” anymore. (think Tom Brady, for goodness sake!) People co-parent and have their new relationships all the time. If Ryan didn’t want to be there, he wouldn’t be. Get over it! So tired of the rude comments…not even interesting.

Anonymous on

megan- You could say that about A LOT of the classics. Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn deal with (among other things!) underage boys smoking, things being written in blood, and blatant racism…while To Kill a Mockingbird is about racism AND rape. And Shakespeare’s works are pretty much an encyclopedia of all things bloody, horrifying, and untoward! Doesn’t mean they aren’t good books (and plays)!

Pam on

Love the name Esmeralda.

sharon Little on

That was a horrible novel/movie & an ugly name to saddle your child with.Perhaps she’ll go with Esme once shes old enough.

MomOf3kids on

Sounds like this baby will have an awesome family oriented upbringing – Kudos for them as parents as this isn’t the norm in hollyweird.

jessiemaystorm on

@Esmeralda …and a designated racist apparently @ginger for real? You think it’s okay to talk like that?
I think Eva and Ryan seem like a sweet and down-to-earth family, and Esmeralda’s lack of presence in the media is tribute to that. All the best to them.

Victoria Dodds on

Thirty four years ago, Esmeralda was on my list for a baby girl and I would call her Esme. As it turned out, I named my daughter Alana. BTW: Simon LeBon has a daughter named Esme. It’s a beautiful name.

Anonymous on

@megan Ok is there really ANY point in being a bitch for no reason? Holy crap, party pooper is a understatement here. More like buzzkill times 10. There’s no need to be a prude about her choosing the name she did.

@ginger And how would you know this? You must know her really well eh? If she wanted to, she could’ve adopted or had her own baby. You don’t need a man in you’re life to have a kid these days. Especially if you’re wealthy.

Kattie on

@Stella Thats a first as most people’s complaint about Eva is that she is too old for him or looks it. Well Sandra Bullock is 10 years older than Eva and looks like it most of the time. she is also 16 years older than Ryan. And has systematically proven she can’t keep a man to save her life. The one thing Eva has going for her is unlike his previous girlfriends (and himself) public ally at least she hasn’t had a trail of relationships in her wake.

Tully on

Eva Mendes is terribly attractive and sexy and Ryan Gosling is not so bad himself (oh la la!). Baby Esmeralda will inherit her parents’ s genes for sure. Their families sound like a great bunch of people.

Esmeralda on


Hahaha!! How am I a racist? Please elaborate. 🙂

lola on

@Esmerelda I didn’t read her comment like she was calling you a racist. I believe she was agreeing with you and adding that Ginger was ALSO a designated racist along with being a ” party – pooper”

lilly pond on

Did she use a surrogate? I have never seen her pregnant. She does look like a drag queen.

Marky on

Lily Pond…don’t know where you were, but the rest of us saw her pregnant, and everyone doesn’t use a surrogate! So tired of that comment and everyone’s “gaydar”. Can you just let people be happy, and congratulate them? This couple stayed out of the headlines and didn’t make a production of the pregnancy, and they have raised their daughter with their families’ loving support and no outside help (I don’t personally think having a nanny is all bad, either, but not applicable here). Say “Good for them!” or just move on and read about someone else. Insults are just tiresome….

Anonymous on

lilly pond- We didn’t see her pregnant because she mostly stayed at home. I think (don’t remember for sure) it was implied that her pregnancy wasn’t a smooth one (not that surprising considering her age).

Kattie- Um, Sandra is just now getting into a serious relationship after FIVE YEARS without being in one (at least publicly!) in order to focus on her son. I wouldn’t call that jumping from man to man! Also, she’s only been married ONCE. I fail to see what’s wrong with just dating a bunch of people (as long as you’re not dating them all at the same time, of course!)!

Lyoness on

Beautiful name! I went to middle school with an Esmeralda. This was in the late 80s in the Midwest. I always thought her name was SO pretty and sounded like a song.

Kattie on

@Anonymous I never said anything was wrong with her dating people. Whowever many she chooses. Nor do I really care about her marriage nor do I think she does since it became such a big disappointment.
If you actually read what I wrote you’d understand that I was being specific and comparing what people have said about his current girlfriend and being objective toward his ex. I’m not saying Sandra is a bad person, nor Eva or any of his ex’s. I was simply responding to what someone else previously wrote.