Eva Mendes has said that she didn't picture herself as a mother until she met her long-term partner, fellow actor Ryan Gosling.

The Hollywood actress started dating Gosling after meeting on the set of the film A Place Beyond The Pines in 2011. They are now parents to two daughters, four-year-old Esmeralda and two-year-old Amada.

The 45-year-old star has now revealed that she did not picture herself as a mother before she met Gosling.

She told Women's Health magazine: "It was the furthest thing from my mind.

"Ryan Gosling happened. I mean, falling in love with him. Then it made sense for me to have... not kids, but his kids. It was very specific to him."

Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling in A Place Beyond The Pines

The American actress credited her family for helping them when they had two children under two-years-old.

"We have an amazing support group: Ryan's mom, my mom, Ryan's and my sisters," she said. 

"It's a village that helped us. My heart goes out to women who do this alone. I basically come from a single-parent household; although I love my dad, my mom mostly raised four of us on her own." 

Eva Mendes opens up about motherhood in new interview

Mendes, who began her film career in the late 1990s and got her break in 2001's Training Day, said that motherhood has now taken over her Hollywood career.

She said: "I felt a lack of ambition if I can be honest. I feel more ambitious in the home right now than I do in the workplace." 

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