Eva Mendes Reflects on Taking a Step Back From Acting to Raise Her and Ryan Gosling's Daughters (Exclusive)

The actress tells ET that she's looking at a few roles now that her kids are a little older.

Fans might be seeing Eva Mendes returning to the spotlight!

While the 45-year-old actress has kept up with her line of clothing with New York & Company, she took a break from Hollywood these past few years to raise her and Ryan Gosling's daughters, 5-year-old Esmeralda and 3-year-old Amada.

ET's Nischelle Turner spoke exclusively with Mendes all about her new holiday collection with NY & Co as well as when fans can expect her back on the big screen. Now that her girls are a little older, Mendes admits that she's entertaining the idea of a comeback.

"They're actually going to school and they're having a bit more autonomy. Of course, they need me, they're still little, but I'm starting to feel more freedom to kind of be like, 'OK, what am I open to now?'" she shares with ET. "It just takes a special kind of project."

To confirm she hasn't completely closed the door on acting, Mendes notes, "It is not closed completely, no it is not. I'm actually excited to find something."

While Mendes might miss acting, she doesn't miss the red carpet. "They're stressful," she says. "If I can skip one, I do."

The Hitch star doesn't need a red carpet to step out in style, but tells ET that when it comes to her daughters, she wants them to find their own looks.  

"They're so cool because they're so free and it's so beautiful," Mendes gushes over her girls. "I never push dresses, I don't push anything on them. I'm just like, 'You wanna wear your jammies to the market? Wear your jammies to the market.'"

The proud mom adds, "My little girl wore her puppy costume to class today."

As for whether her daughters have started playing dress-up with their mom's clothes, Mendes shares, "They like wearing my shoes, which is cool. ...I'm a little like, 'They're still babies.' But they do and they're good balancers."

As the holidays approach, Mendes fondly remembers a family tradition she had with her older brother, Carlos, who died in April 2016, when she was pregnant with Amada.

"One of the holiday traditions we used to have was that at Thanksgiving dinner, he would roast everybody, which was so fun. ...He'd always cross that line so that was, that was a fun one," she recalls to ET. "We haven't done it since he passed but that was one of the fun things my brother did. He would, like, roast us all and he would go hard, nothing was off-limits."

Mendes thoughtfully adds, "You think about those memories and you're like, I was cringing then but damn that was funny."

As for how her and Gosling celebrate Christmas with their girls, Mendes says they "go big."

"We kind of split the American and the Cuban [traditions.] We have the big dinner on the 24th, Nochebuena. ...Cubans like to open up their presents that night, but we kind of American-ize it because Christmas morning is so special. So, we do presents on Christmas morning."

The celebrating doesn't start on Thanksgiving in Mendes' family -- Gosling turns 38 on Nov. 12! "I'm doing something really fun but I'm obviously not going to say," she says of her birthday plans for the actor. 

Not to mention, Mendes' latest holiday clothing line from NY & Co is coming out on Wednesday, Nov. 13, and nothing is over $200! The style-savvy star teases some of the must-have items with ET and reveals what she likes to wear during this festive time of year. 

"I know it's obvious to go red for the holidays, but it's the holidays! I wanna sparkle, I wanna go red. I wanna, you know, give it a little glitter and a little glam."

Sharing what else she looks for in an outfit, Mendes notes, "I love a cinch at the waist. I think that's always really important with all my clothes. ...I love a sweater set. I just love a sweater set!"

Here's more with Mendes: