Eva Mendes gave up her dream of being a nun so she could fulfil her promise to buy her mother a house.

The 'Other Guys' actress wanted to join a convent and devote her life to the Catholic Church when she was a child but changed her mind when she discovered nuns didn't get paid.

She said: "We didn't grow up with a lot of money so I would always tell my mom, 'Mommy I am going to buy you a Big House when I grow up, and a car.'

"And my sister said to me one day when I was ten, 'How are you going to buy mom all these things? You are going to be a nun and nuns don't get paid. I said, 'What?'and that was it, my convent dreams were over."

After finding success and fame as an actress, Eva admits it was a very "proud moment" when she was able to make good on her promise to buy her mother - who raised her single-handedly after splitting from Eva's husband - a new home in 2002.

The 36-year-old screen beauty - who has Cuban heritage - is also keen to give as much as she can to help the community she is from.

She added: "I feel I have so much to be thankful for, and it means nothing if I can't give back. I do it within my own family and I do it with certain charities, particularly the art of the Elysium, which helps children in hospital heal themselves through art therapy."