Eva Longoria has been gracing our TV screens since the early 2000s, portraying strong female characters such as Isabella Braña from the soap opera “The Young and the Restless” and, the role she is best known for, Gabrielle Solis from ABC’s hit primetime show “Desperate Housewives.” Now, the star, who has also directed episodes for TV shows like “Jane the Virgin” and “Why Women Kill,” is taking her expertise to the movies. Longoria will debut her first feature film, “Flamin’ Hot,” at the South by Southwest Festival 2023 on March 11.
The movie tells the story of Richard Montañez, a Frito-Lay janitor who became a high-powered marketing executive.
“I felt everybody should know this story,” Longoria told WWD. “Here’s a Mexican American man who becomes a legend in corporate America, and so many people haven’t heard of him. I fought to direct this film.”
“Flamin’ Hot” marks Longoria’s first feature film after years of directing television episodes, celebrating a turning point in her career. Longoria is using this opportunity to fight for more Latine representation in Hollywood.
“I wanted to explore how opportunities are not distributed equally and what happens in the face of adversity and what happens when people tell underrepresented groups no or ‘that job isn’t for people who look like you’,” she added.
Longoria said this film stands to break the ground for Latine and Hispanic representation in Hollywood because it’s often Hollywood who gets to decide what heroes look like. As a director, she decided a hero is a Chicano man who climbed America’s corporate ladder. “This was an exciting opportunity for me as a director to say, ‘this is what a hero looks like: a brown Chicano man.’ Directing this film was an amazing opportunity to portray Mexican Americans in a different light. Even hiring behind the scenes, I focused on hiring Latinos, people of color and women. Authenticity was my North Star in creating this film, and the entire cast in Mexican American.”
In addition to preparing for the debut of her first feature, Longoria’s been working on getting herself red-carpet-ready for the promotional circuit for the film. After giving birth to her son Santiago Enrique Bastón with her husband José Bastón, the actress focused on getting her pre-baby body back. Her big secret has been the trendy new aesthetic technology InMode.
“After I had my son Santiago, I really took my time getting back in shape again, and I wanted to do things a slow and steady way,” Longoria said. “I didn’t want that pressure of how fast my body could bounce back in my head. I was so grateful to my body for creating a human being. I spent a lot of time eating right, exercising and sleeping well, but I still wanted my stomach to tighten up more. Another mom recommended InMode to me, and I went and got the treatment and noticed results. I knew I needed InMode in my life. I don’t believe in defying aging, but if the technology is there to help for just a few tweaks to look and feel better, why not?”
As she starts to prep her red carpet looks to promote the film, Longoria says that comfort is her guiding principle for red carpet dressing. “A lot of these red carpets and award shows are very long, so the first thing I ask myself is ‘Can I sit in that dress?’ I’ve also been walking red carpets for 25 years, so I know what silhouettes look good on me, what makeup looks good on me and what dress colors I should stick with. I describe myself as a laid-back fashionista.”
Some of the actress and director’s favorite brands for the red carpet include Roberto Cavalli, Alberta Ferretti, Saint Laurent, Balmain and Victoria Beckham, whom she is a personal friend of.
“It’s all about a good silhouette for me, and Victoria Beckham is one of my greatest inspirations,” Longoria said. “Any chance I get to wear something from her brand, it’s a moment I know I’ll love.”