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LONGORIA APPEARS ON THE COVER OF ISSUES #15, #28, AND #40.
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How does it feel to be recognized as one of the world’s most beautiful Latinas?
I grew up as an ugly duckling. They used to call me prieta fea, because
I was the only one of my family’s four girls with dark hair, dark eyes,
and dark skin. Growing up I was the ugly one, because I was the odd
one. I was the different one. So when the “Most Beautiful People” thing
came out I was like, “Ha, somebody thinks I am beautiful.”
As far as physical appearance, is there anything you wish you could change about Eva Longoria?
Absolutely nothing. God blessed me with some great, unique
features—some beautiful, in my eyes, and some not so beautiful. But I
think we are all created this way for a reason, so I have no desire to
tamper with that.
What do you think about the rise in the number of roles for Latinos in Hollywood, is the progress real or temporary?
There are opportunities for Latinos now more than ever. Has there been
a Latin explosion? No. We’re so underrepresented as far as reflecting
our society accurately. We did go up from 2% in film and television to
5% this year. But we are 13% of the population, so there is still a big
lack of representation there, although I think we are headed in the
So you see things continuing to get better?
Absolutely. I think the networks are getting it. They’re realizing that
if they want a successful show they have to represent all cultures, so
that everybody can relate to the characters and relate to the journey
that we take them on during the show.
What do you think about
stereotypical roles like the Hot Tamale or the Latin Lover? Are they
detrimental to Latinos or should we be worrying about more important
I don’t think they’re detrimental. It’s great to be represented in any
way. Ricardo Montalban said something about that in the documentary The
Brown Screen. He said, “What is wrong with being the Latin Lover? Why
is that a bad stereotype? I consider that a compliment.” Same thing
with Latinas always being cast as the sexy girl. It’s like, that’s a
good thing! For instance, my role on LA Dragnet was a tough, smart,
sexy cop, and that was a very positive role that I played and a
positive image that I represented. So I think that you have both sides
of it…there’s a lot of roles for Latinos, not only the stereotypical
roles, because we Latinos are doctors and lawyers and cops. Latinos are
a lot of things in real life, but unfortunately Latinos are also
gangsters. Latinos are also maids, and Latinos are also gardeners in
real life. So to accurately portray that is not a stereotype, it’s an
accurate reflection. I think instead of Latinos complaining and going,
“Oh, poor Latinos, us poor Latinos. We are so underrepresented, we are
so stereotyped,” what we should do is get out and do something about
it. Write something about it that reflects what you think we should be
portrayed as. Produce something that reflects what you think we should
be portrayed as. Direct something, you know what I mean, instead of
sitting back and waiting for these roles to happen. They are not going
to happen on their own. We need to take charge and create opportunities
for our own culture.
How would you rank the following
attributes in terms of helping an actor achieve success: acting skills,
Determination, acting skills, and networking. I’ve seen a lot of
talented people not go far because they have no ambition, they have no
desire. And I have seen a lot of so-so talented people become stars
because they have the drive and they have the will to make it happen.
Usually those same people become better because they have the desire to
become better at their craft. So I think, definitely, determination and
discipline are the number one factors in making it in Hollywood. If you
have the determination and the discipline you’ll learn your craft a lot
better, which will make you a better actor.
You’ve acted on an American soap
opera and as popular as American soaps are their popularity pales in
comparison to that of telenovelas. Why do you think that is?
Because programming for Spanish television isn’t up to the American
programming. They don’t have a thousand different things to watch from.
They are very limited. They have telenovelas and what else? The news?
So of course they are popular, because they don’t have as many options
as American television has, I believe. Especially if you only speak
Spanish, because the percentage of people that watch telenovelas are
primarily and dominantly Spanish-speaking. When you only speak Spanish
and you can only watch Spanish channels the only thing that’s on are
telenovelas or the news…same thing with Sabado Gigante, it’s so popular
because it’s the only thing of its kind on Spanish television. So when
you don’t have options, you’re more likely to get viewership.
What’s the toughest thing about being married?
Probably being selfless 100% of the time. You constantly have to think
of the other person, whether you’re at the store buying groceries or
whether you are making life changing decisions like going on a new show
or moving or buying a house. You’re constantly thinking of what the
other person would think and how the other person would feel and what
the other person is doing. So it’s a very selfless life to live. You
live for each other instead of for yourself. But in return you get so
much by having a partnership.
What about trust and fidelity?
Isn’t it hard for young, beautiful people to not stray, especially in
Hollywood where there are lots of social events and tons of successful,
attractive people coming on to each other all the time?
I think whether you are an actor, a doctor, a lawyer, a pilot, whatever
you are, it’s going to be difficult. Because temptation is everywhere
and as humans we are drawn to variety. To be with the same person for
the rest of your life just sounds so drab. Because we are actors we are
placed in front of other beautiful people, which may make it a little
more tempting. But I think that it’s a character trait, not so much an
occupational trait. If you’re a player you’re going to do it whether
you’re an actor or not.
So you don’t think, amongst actors, there are more people hitting on each other?
No. I think what happens in our world is the time that you spend away
from each other is very difficult. And that’s why marriages fall apart,
I believe, in Hollywood. Because you can’t have a marriage when you’re
in New Zealand for six months and your spouse is in L.A. You can’t have
a relationship when you’re shooting a 14-hour day and your husband is
shooting a 14-hour day in the same city. It’s a time thing and it’s a
together thing. Because it’s true you have to have that time to bond
and to be together, to know each other as a married couple. So I think
what destroys Hollywood marriages is our work schedule, not so much
Does jealousy come into play?
No. I learned very young that jealousy is a waste of energy and the
more you think about jealousy or act upon it, the more you create it.
But what if you were at a party and some hoochie was all over your man?
That’s the other thing, you have to choose a partner that will not put
themselves in that position. I believe it’s a vibe that a man gives
off, of availability or interest. You put yourself in the position of
temptation, it doesn’t just find you. You have to welcome it.
What’s the best thing about being a woman?
Everything, everything. The sexiness that we get to exude. The
femininity of having soft skin. The desire of always wanting to be
pretty and put on make-up and wear heels. I love being a woman. I love
shopping. I love wearing dresses and heels and jewelry. I love being
sexy and feeling sexy. But the best thing about being a woman is the
power we have over men.
And the worst?
The struggle we constantly have to be equal to men. Till this day women
still earn 75 cents to the dollar that every man earns, and I think
that’s an unfair obstacle that we continue to encounter. No matter how
hard we work or how dedicated we are, it seems like it’s never going to
As far as Latinos here in the U.S., what do you think we need to do better?
I think Latinos need to unite. I find that we are a very competitive
culture within ourselves. Puerto Ricans against Mexicans against
Dominicans. This is a very scattered culture, unlike African-Americans
who unite. And you see how far they’ve come in their movement. I think
Latinos in general, politically, in entertainment, educationally—in
every aspect of our society—need to unite and have one voice. Because
if you have many voices, you just make noise.
You don’t think it’s hard for so many Latinos from totally different countries to unite?
I think Latinos in general all want the same thing. Because we say it
in different words and with different voices, it doesn’t mean we are
not trying to strive for the same thing. Why can’t we agree what we
want to do with the power that we have? Because Latinos do have power
in this nation, by being the largest minority group and having billions
of dollars in spending power. I think if we can figure that out, figure
out a positive way to utilize the power, we’ll advance a lot further in
What final words do you have for Latino men across America?
From my standpoint as an actor, it would be to support and watch Latino
projects. The only way that more Latinos will be on TV is if other
Latinos watch. Instead of, like I said, sitting back and complaining,
contribute by watching, by writing, and by supporting any shows that
have Latino players, Latino characters, Latino writers, Latino
directors. Support it, watch it, and be educated about it.