Eva Mendes wanted to be "raw" in 'The Place Beyond the Pines'.
The actress - who stars alongside her real life boyfriend Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper in the drama - was excited to play the part of a downtrodden single mother and didn't mind filming unglamorous scenes to prove herself as an actress.
She told the Metro newspaper: "I wanted this to be raw. It's not like I was trying to be unattractive, because that almost feels like it's superficial."
The 'Hitch' beauty reveals she wasn't director Derek Cianfrance's first choice for the role as he didn't think she was right for the gritty project because of her glamorous public persona, but he eventually gave her a shot following Gosling's recommendation.
To secure the part, Mendes took the director on a tour of her childhood home in a poor part of Los Angeles.
She explained: "We drove past my school and the driveway where I fell off my bike and my brother laughed at me. It was all quite emotional, not in a teary but a reflective way. And I knew the role was mine. I know this woman.
"I do take responsibility for the image that I have put out there but the way I look when I'm working on a campaign for Revlon or Pantene, or a fashion magazine, it's different. I really am the girl next door constantly looking for stuff to really sink my teeth into."