Eva Mendes likes to look ugly on set.

The sultry star is known as one of the sexiest women in the world, but she has made a conscious decision to try and appear as raw and unattractive as possible on screen in a bid to land more gritty and interesting roles.

She told The Guardian newspaper: ''I just made a decision. I said, 'I am not working with the Mike Leigh's of the world and I want to. When it comes to being an actress I actually really love coming from a very raw place.

''Any opportunity I get to not wear make-up on set, I take. I really don't care about looking beautiful in a film unless I have to for the character.

''I don't check playback, I dint even know anything about lighting. I love anything that gets me closer to the role. So I needed to turn down those things that could possibly pigeonhole me.''

Eva has recently shunned action sequels and romantic comedies for new drama 'The Place Beyond The Pines' - in which she stars opposite real-life boyfriend Ryan Gosling - and she felt she could bring real depth and drama to the part of struggling single mother Romina because she grew up in a similarly deprived environment.

She recalls telling director Derek Cianfrance: ''I just said, 'Hey, I would love to drive you around and talk about Romina and show you where I grew up and draw the parallels there. I think that would probably best serve the character at this point.' ''