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Eva Longoria on her directorial debut, Flamin’ Hot

"I felt the weight of every female director – because we don’t get a lot of bites at the apple...”
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It’s been almost two decades since we first watched Eva Longoria strut down Wisteria Lane in her stilettos as the sassy and superficial Gabrielle Solis in Desperate Housewives. After a series of guest TV roles and a stint on The Young and the Restless, the now 48-year-old had no idea what was in store for her career when she landed the part back in 2004. 

Watch Below: “FLAMIN’ HOT | Official Trailer | Searchlight Pictures “

“It was like the ninth audition I had that day and I was exhausted. It was pilot season … so I was changing in my car, driving from being a nurse and then, you know, a prostitute. Oh, my God, it was horrible and it was my last audition of the day,” Longoria recalls of the casting call. 

“I remember going in and [creator] Marc Cherry … he goes, ‘What did you think of the script?’ “I said, ‘Look, I didn’t read it. I read my part and my part’s amazing.’ He said he knew I was Gaby Solis in that moment because it was, like, the most selfish thing I could have said.” 

After eight seasons and countless awards, the show wrapped up in 2012. And while Longoria might’ve missed out on a solo Emmy Award for her work, she still believes she hit the jackpot with her breakout role. 

“I really felt like this global phenomenon of these women and Wisteria Lane was the magic,” she tells WHO. “I don’t think any one of us was the magic. But I remember when Felicity [Huffman] won the Emmy, you would’ve thought I won the Emmy. I mean, I almost went up there with her. I was like, ‘We won! We won!’ And she felt the same way, she was like, ‘We won!’” 

Desperate Housewives
“He said he knew I was Gaby Solis in that moment because it was, like, the most selfish thing I could have said.” (Credit: Getty)

While Longoria could’ve been like any other noughties TV star and been typecast because of the success of the show, she used the opportunity to broaden her horizons. “I really used Desperate Housewives as my film school. I mean, I enjoyed every minute of being on set,” she explains. “I was just constantly curious. And I was always on set, even if it wasn’t my shot, or whatever. I would just keep asking questions. They would let me operate the camera. And so, yeah, it was like my playground.” 

Although you might not have seen much of Longoria on screen over the last decade, the actress hasn’t been twiddling her thumbs. Instead, she’s been hard at work behind the camera, producing and directing a number of series. “People think I’m an actor-turned-director, [but] I have always been a producer-slash-director,” she says of her true calling. “I was really a producer and I fell into acting. Even when I was acting, I felt like I wasn’t reaching my full potential as a human being … and that really bothered me.”

Eva Longoria
Longoria will make her feature directorial debut with her film Flamin’ Hot. (Credit: Instagram)

Next up, Longoria will make her feature directorial debut with her film Flamin’ Hot, which will stream on Disney+ from June 9. “The crazy thing is, going into it, I felt the weight of my community, I felt the weight of every female director – because we don’t get a lot of bites at the apple,” she says of the pressure she felt on the project. “For me, it fuelled me. I was just, like, determined and excited for the journey.”

With a new series, Land of Women, also set to premiere this year – in which she both stars in and executive produces – and a 4-year-old to keep up with [see breakout], Longoria is a true multi-hyphenate. Still, the star makes sure to look after her own wellbeing as well. “I definitely am a creature of habit,” she says of her morning routine, which sees her wake up and meditate in the sun before working out. “[I] workout for sanity, not vanity. It’s my mental health hour, it’s like something I have to do. And that gives me a lot of clarity … my morning routine is pretty sacred.” 

Eva Longoria
“I think ever since my son was born, I have felt such an urgency to fix the world.” (Credit: Instagram)

And while her Hollywood career and motherhood have given Longoria a lot of purpose in life, it’s her philanthropic efforts which she hopes she will be remembered by.

“I think ever since my son was born, I have felt such an urgency to fix the world,” she adds. “I’m definitely way more involved … so, I think, you know, my philanthropic work and helping women reach their full potential through educational programs or entrepreneurial programs is really my life’s work.” 

Stream Flamin’ Hot on Disney Plus with a mth-to-mth no lock-in contract. Subscribe here.

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