Mendes lands her first major movie role in Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror (right). "Brilliant film," Mendes jokes. "Brilliant! It was so bad...I was so ignorant that I didn't even know acting was such a craft and that you have to work at it. I saw myself on the screen and I thought, 'I never want to feel this way again'...talk about overacting." That same year she appears in A Night at the Roxbury before 2000's Urban Legends: Final Cut.
In 2003, Mendes' career took off, with the actress taking on large roles in an ecclectic quartet of high-profile films. In 2_Fast_2_Furious she played a customs agent working with Paul_Walker to bring down a Miami drug cartel. Out of Time found her reteaming with Training_Day costar Denzel_Washington. Flexing her comedic chops, Mendes was the love interest of half a pair of conjoined twins in the Farrelly brothers' Stuck on You. And in Once Upon a Time in Mexico she played another government agent, this time opposite Johnny_Depp.