Eva Mendes might've stepped away from acting to raise her children, but the mother of two still feels creatively fulfilled.
The 48-year-old sat down with TODAY's Hoda Kotb on Friday to discuss motherhood, and she called parenting the "most creative thing" she's ever done.
"I'm an actress, I've designed clothes, I've done a number of different things. But this is the most creative thing, is to create life with them," she said of her children.
Together with her partner Ryan Gosling, Mendes shares two daughters: Esmeralda, 7, and Amada, 6. The couple is notoriously private, but the mother of two proudly opened up about her decision to take a break from her acting career to stay home with her children.
"I really took it back to when I was little," she explained. "My mom was able to be there for me at home until I was about 8 or 9 and those memories for me, that just formed who I was, those years with her."
Mendes, who became a mom in her 40s, said she felt fortunate that she had the ability to take a break from acting to stay home with her daughters.
"And so I just felt lucky enough, I'm like, 'Damn, I really want this time with them.' And then now, you know, I'm obsessed," she told Hoda.
Mendes finds it hard to say goodbye when she does occasionally need to travel away from her family. For instance, before meeting with Hoda in Studio 1A, Mendes was in London with her family, where Gosling is shooting a movie. The farewell was equally hard for her as it was for her girls.
“Oh it was so dramatic, hugging, and then my older one who's 7 said, 'Don't leave us.' And I was like, 'Oh my God, I can't do this,'" she said. "And then of course, I'm here, and they're fine."
When asked what she misses about acting, Mendes had a hard time thinking about one certain thing and joked, "the Craft Service tables."
"I don't think I've missed anything," she admitted.
Still, the happy mom isn't ruling out a return to acting in the future.
"I think that'd be fun at some point. But I think my list has gotten so short. I don't want to do anything violent, I don’t want to do anything sexual," she said. "I'm like, 'What's left?'"