Eva Longoria got her start in Hollywood on the small screen, booking guest roles on a number of TV shows in the early 2000s before becoming a series regular on The Young and The Restless. Her breakout role came just a few years later, playing Gabrielle Solis on Desperate Housewives over the hit primetime soap's eight-year run from 2004 to 2012.
Meanwhile, Longoria was establishing herself as a bona fide movie star with roles in films like Over Her Dead Body (2008), Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019), and Sylvie's Love (2020) — all the while, building a body of work as a prominent producer and director of film and television alike. Longoria will make her feature directorial debut with the upcoming movie, Flamin' Hot, about the Frito Lay janitor who created the titular Cheeto.
A multi-hyphenate with a master's degree in Chicano Studies from California State University, Northridge, the entertainer and activist uses her platform to spotlight social issues and elevate the Latinx community through storytelling. Through her wide-ranging work, she continues to expand opportunities for others by paving the way for women and people of color as industry leaders in Hollywood and beyond.
Below, Longoria shares with A.frame the five films essential to her life.
This article was originally published on July 9, 2020.
Directed by: Charles Vidor | Written by: Marion Parsonnet
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 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.
Directed by: Tod Browning | Written by: Garrett Fort
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.
Directed by: Herbert Ross | Written by: Robert Harling
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.
Directed by: Michael Hoffman | Written by: Robert Harling and Andrew Bergman
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.
Directed and written by: Martin Scorsese
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.