“If you’re WEARING something SHORT, no cleavage or anything SUPER-FITTED”
beloved late grandmother.
When composing an outfit for the evening, Mendes adheres to two basic rules: “If you go short, no cleavage or anything super-fitted; if you’re covered from head to toe, you can go as fitted as you like.” She also has rules for deflecting questions about her romantic life. Mendes reveals that shooting has wrapped on How to Catch a Monster and that it was “an incredible experience”, but that’s all she’ll say. “I’m not trying to be cagey or protective,” she insists. “But when I go through something that has such an impact on me, it’s tough for me to articulate.”
When I ask what drew her to the role of Cat (“the Carmen Miranda of a theater club loosely based on Paris’ Grand Guignol and Hell Cafe”) in Gosling’s dark fantasy
movie, a magnificent smile blossoms on her face, followed by a wary glance. “She’s just really... fun,’’ she says. Seeing my disappointment, she adds, “I know. You’re like, ‘Great, thanks, Mendes.’” When I broach the Mendes/Gosling relationship, she winces. “I’m sorry. I’m shutting down,” she says, half apologetically. “I’m such a weirdo. I literally lose my ability to speak – and you were doing so well,” she adds.
I recount a recent report that she has told Gosling she wants to be married by the time she turns 40 and start a family. “Oh, is that what they’re saying?” she replies, arching one of her eyebrows before explaining that gossip, like red meat, is not part of her diet. “I live in a very protective kind of bubble that I’ve created for myself,” Mendes says. She shifts her gaze to Hugo, still sleeping at her feet. “You know, he’s an attack dog,” she adds with a smile.
How to Catch a Monster, out 2014