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Eva Mendes: ‘I Am the New American Girl’

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Eva Mendes heats up the July issue of W . - Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott/W

Voluptuous sexpot, sultry siren -- these are the words many moviegoers would use to describe Eva Mendes. After all, we're used to seeing the 36-year-old playing the role of eye candy alongside Hollywood heavyweights including Nicolas Cage and Joaquin Phoenix. She's also forever hovering near the top of those sexiest women polls in men's magazines because, well, the woman is just smoldering hot.

But now, Eva's taking on a new part: comedienne. She'll headline with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg in the August comedy "The Other Guys" from Adam McKay, the director of "Anchorman" and "Talladega Nights." As she tells the new issue of W magazine, it's a side of herself that she's more than ready for the world to see.

"These are the two comments I get from people when they meet me," the LA native tells the mag. "'You seem a lot taller on film,' and 'You're funny.' If people hang out with me, they see I'm a ham." She adds that, "It's very hard for me to be seen as funny. And the truth is, that's where I'm most comfortable."

Photos: More From Eva's W Cover Shoot

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The actress dazzles in a Louis Vuitton silk and cashmere velvet corset and skirt. - Mert Alas and Marcus Piggo …

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Well, if she wants people to focus more on her sense of humor, perhaps Eva should rethink taking sexy photos like the ones in W, or the ones of her topless and drenched alongside male model Jamie Dornan for Calvin Klein's latest ad campaign. Those pics are insanely hot! But don't try telling that to the "Ghost Rider" star, who scoffed the first time she saw them on the streets of NYC. "There I was all greased up, my head thrown back, and I thought, 'Who are you? Are you kidding me?'"

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As humorous as the actress claims to be, though, she takes her craft quite seriously. Eva continues to take acting classes, and she says she's not afraid to bare all, if a scene calls for it. "I've never had a problem with nudity, but I don't put it out there without a reason. I'm not an exhibitionist. But, honestly, for my art I'll do anything almost. I'll go there."

Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler in W

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The bombshell graces the screen next in the Will Ferrell comedy "The Other Guys." - Mert Alas and Marcus Piggo …

But at the end of the day, Eva is happy to go home to just one man, music producer George Augusto, with whom she lives in the Hollywood Hills. "I'm a modern woman in the sense of I take care of myself, I'm fiercely independent, and I'm really ambitious. Yet I have these old-school thoughts in my mind. I do like to belong to a man. I love having a man in my life, and being his woman at the end of the day. I know it's a dichotomy."

The brunette bombshell also opens up in the interview about her heritage. Her exotic looks are part of her appeal, but Eva admits her ethnicity also has probably limited the parts she's been offered in her career. "I don't consider myself a Latin American actress. I was born and raised here, and I have Cuban parents, but for me, I am the new American girl. It's not only Drew Barrymore and the blond Midwestern girl. This, [pointing to her face] is also what we look like now."

Check out the full interview and see more pics of Eva in the July issue of W, on newsstands now.

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