Eva Longoria, Actress, Producer, Director & Activist
Eva Longoria talks about growing up in a family of powerful women, beginning her acting career in Hollywood, and starting her foundation to help Latinas through education and entrepreneurship.
- Everything I've ever done, I was like, I want to be the best at. If I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna put everything into it. I grew up in Texas. I actually like to call myself a Texican because I am Mexican American. I grew up in a large family of powerful women. I never had to look far for role models. Every single woman in my family was educated, independent. I grew up the youngest of four girls, and I was considered the black sheep of the family. People used to come up to my mom and go, "Your daughters are so beautiful. "And who's this?" I remember actually entering a beauty pageant in college and telling my mom, "Mom, I'm gonna enter this pageant." And she goes, "Oh, honey, "are you sure you want to put yourself through that? "Like, you're not gonna win." They said, read this script, we may make this into a pilot, and it was Desperate Housewives. And I read it, and I was like, oh my god, that's cool and it'll never get picked up. And I remember sitting down at the first table read and going, "This is special, this is magical. "I wonder if anybody else feels this." And everybody did. Carlos, you son of a bitch. I am pregnant, and it's all your fault. I don't think I could have done it without Marcia and Felicity because it was this runaway train that we were all on. I was always turning to Felicity and Marcia, who just took me under their wings and was like, we're gonna stick together. We're gonna do this together. I always loved the business side of entertainment, and I used Desperate Housewives and being on set for nearly 10 years as my film school. When I decided to direct, I was actually terrified. Nina Lederman, who was a president of Lifetime at the time, she goes, "You're gonna direct an episode," and I go, "Okay, yes." And then, I go home and I go, ah. What I found helped ease my nerves was preparation. So, I just prepped the shit out of my episodes. Now, I just encourage so many other women to just do it. My goal with my foundation was how do we arm Latinas with the ability to have economic mobility in life. How do they get ahead? How do they become independent? And education is key to economic mobility for women. I gotta tell you, I have been on a lot of stages in my life, but none as important as this one. If you look at the fastest growing demographic of the United States, it's Latinos. It's the women in that community that are leading the way. We know the barriers. I want to know what's working, what's successful, and let's replicate it.