Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling are a notoriously private couple. But while Gosling has waxed lyrical in recent months about the joys of fatherhood, Mendes has generally stayed quiet on the subject of the couple’s two children, Esmerelda Amada and Amada Lee.
But now, Mendes has revealed why she and Gosling decided to recycle the name Amada for their second daughter.
“We had a few names picked out for our new baby, and when she was born, we didn’t feel like those names were her,” she tells Latina magazine. “We came up with a few more, even that morning, and tried them out. We were like, ‘What about Viviana?’ But we just kept going back to Amada.”
The actress, who was born in Florida to Cuban parents, says that it’s not unusual to reuse names in Latin culture – “I used to know five sisters that were all Maria del Carmen, Maria Elena, Maria Liliana” – and reveals that Amada is also the name of her grandmother, as well as being Esmerelda’s middle name.
“So we went with Amada because it was something we kept going back to,” Mendes says. “We thought how beautiful to go with what made us emotional and with what felt like her. When we looked at her, we thought, ‘Aww, Amadita’.”
Mendes adds that her priority at the moment is enjoying her time with her daughters – and making sure that they grow up feeling connected to their Cuban heritage.
“Right now it’s really about surviving those nights and trying to enjoy this time as much as possible with them, and start the bond between Esmerelda and Amada,” she says, adding that she speaks to her daughters in Spanish while at home. “Anytime I have an opportunity to introduce [Esmerelda] or [Amada]… to my culture, whether it’s through music or through food, I do.”