New Academy member Eva Longoria has cemented herself as an industry staple for her work both in front of and behind the camera. As an actor, producer, director, and activist, Longoria continues to expand opportunities for others by paving the way for women and people of color as producers, directors, and industry leaders in Hollywood and beyond.
Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford in Charles Vidor’s story define film noir on so many levels. I remember watching Gilda from an early age as my mom loved romance. Later in my life, I found out Rita was Latina—and then had a new appreciation for and perspective on the film. What she had to overcome to become a legendary actress—she got electrolysis on her hairline, had her teeth worked on, and changed her birth name from Margarita Carmen Cansino. Her performance was so impressive that atomic scientists named an atomic bomb Gilda and painted Rita’s picture on it. She was appalled and she made it known. Today it’s still difficult to be heard as a Latina woman, but can you imagine back then? To me, it truly is the perfect film of all time.
When I was studying acting, I was a Lupita Tovar fan. Lupita was a huge star in Mexico but in America she was more limited. The Spanish version of the film shot on the same set as the English version but because the priority was the English, the Latinx cast/crew had to shoot in the evenings. In the opinion of many, the Spanish version ended up being much sexier and more intriguing than the English version.
I’m a big fan of writer Robert Harling because of his talents and I’ve worked with him several times. There is an amazing cast in Steel Magnolias. Julia Roberts, Shirley MacLaine, Dolly Parton, Daryl Hannah to name only a few. Sally Field, who I admire tremendously! I’m a huge fan of hers. I’m from Texas, neighbor to Louisiana, so I could relate to these women, their story, their families. The film was based on the life of Bobby Harling, the role played by Julia was his sister, who did pass away, and Sally played his mom. Knowing him makes the film and characters even more special.
C’mon, everyone is in this movie! Whoopi Goldberg, Sally Field, Robert Downey Jr. Kevin Kline and many others. I tend to lean more towards films with true ensembles and multiple story lines. And it’s wonderful when a movie can make you laugh out loud and make you want to watch it over and over again.
I have watched Casino countless times—mostly for Sharon Stone’s performance but equally for Robert De Niro’s. The film spanned many years of their lives and their ability to play that range of ages was phenomenal. I also think it contains my favorite Robert De Niro/Joe Pesci scenes.