Eva Longoria is confident that her feature directorial debut is worth the wait!
The actress, producer and activist marks a new milestone in her career with the upcoming “Flamin’ Hot,” which tells the story of how janitor-turned-business mogul Richard Montañez rose to an executive position at Frito-Lay with the launch of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
Eva sat down with Access Hollywood’s Mario Lopez this week and shared why she was motivated to take on the project after learning more about Montañez and the cultural ties they have in common.
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“I’ve been directing for a minute,” Eva said. “This story found me. It wasn’t like I was like, ‘Oh now it’s time to direct a film.’ I read this story and I was blown away that it was a Mexican-American and I was Mexican-American and I didn’t know the story. I was like, ‘How do I not know who Richard Montañez is?’ We should all know who Richard Montañez is.”
Eva explained that the film isn’t focused on the title snack but rather how Montañez’s idea and determination helped take his life to an empowering new level.
“It’s a beautiful inspirational story about Richard Montañez. It’s not the history of the Flamin’ Hot Cheeto, it’s about the life of this guy and everything that he’s encountered and overcome, and you go, ‘Man, this guy shouldn’t be alive, much less successful,'” Eva shared. “So to see him not only survive but thrive is really what makes this like the best, feel good movie you’ll see in a long time.”
Eva agreed with Mario that “Flamin’ Hot” is “like a Mexican ‘Rocky'” and explained how she believes it will leave audiences of all ages and backgrounds cheering.
“For everybody meaning not just Latinos, everybody. But also kids, your grandma, like this is total co-viewing. Everybody can see this movie and is gonna walk away saying, ‘Whoa I’m blown away,'” she said.
Though the movie may be titled “Flamin’ Hot,” Eva noted that there wasn’t an abundance of the spicy treat on set like fans may think but teased that she did get “addicted” to the white cheddar version during filming.
And when it comes to her nearly 5-year-old son, Santiago, Eva told Mario that the little one isn’t quite ready to enjoy such fiery flavors anyway – at least not yet!
Eva’s first outing as a feature-length director is the latest milestone in a prolific Hollywood journey for the A-lister, and she reflected with Mario on getting her big break with “Desperate Housewives” as the show nears its 20th anniversary.
Mario recalled Eva telling him back in 2004 that she didn’t think the show would get picked up because it was “so different” and she thought audiences might not connect with the then-daring tone.
Now, Eva confirmed that she’d be thrilled to find out what the Wisteria Lane crew has been up to but isn’t sure the potential project has a future at this time.
“I will be the first to sign up for a reboot. I miss Gabby so much. I miss being Gabby Ruiz. Marc [Cherry] wouldn’t do it, our creator. I’ve talked to him several times, yeah. He feels like there’s no ‘why’ now, like for the sake of a reboot, he wouldn’t do it,” Eva said, adding, “He wants to know like, ‘What do I have to say with these characters that we haven’t already fully mined,’ you know? I come from the generation of 24 episodes a year for a decade of our lives, like there’s no six-episode-per-season stuff that there is now. This was like 24 episodes a year. We fully mined those characters.”
Eva went on to note how the show’s impact likely wouldn’t have the same effect in 2023 as it did when it became a TV phenomenon.
“Twenty years ago we were saying something about ageism and we were saying something about being a housewife and, you know, it was shocking and there was a lot of things we said and did that was ground breaking and I don’t think it is now,” she explained. “Now it’s the norm.”
Eva also joked that there’s “nobody on the street” left for her character to sleep with anyway, and laughed when Mario suggested that it would be easy to pick back up where the show left off because she hasn’t aged a day.
“I look the same,” Eva teased, before predicting what she thinks Gabby would be doing these days.
“I know they were like, ‘What would Gabby be today?’ I’m like, ‘She’d be an influencer for sure. She’d be like a social media mogul,'” she smiled.
“Flamin’ Hot” streams on Disney+ and Hulu starting June 9.
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