Eva Longoria knows there’s nothing like the support of her girlfriends.
The 43-year-old actress and producer promoted her new series, Grand Hotel, at ABC’s Television Critics Association winter press tour on Tuesday, where the show’s cast couldn’t help but praise her for using the project as a vehicle for inclusivity. After the panel, Longoria opened up to reporters about how supporting fellow Latinas has become her mission on and off screen.
“We were just together at Gina Rodriguez‘s premiere for Miss Bala,” she said of the event, where she reunited with celeb pals like America Ferrera and Rosario Dawson. “It’s important to us to continue to support and uplift each other.”
“America’s a leader. She’s an example. She’s smart, she’s intelligent, she’s inspiring,” she continued of Ferrera, explaining that they’ve become even closer since becoming mothers last year. “We had our babies at the same time, so we’re constantly leaning on each other for mother stuff. ‘What are you doing? Are you feeding? I’m feeding. Are you sleeping? Yeah, he’s sleeping.’ We’re constantly calling each other. We text all the time, we see each other all the time.”
Longoria welcomed her baby boy, Santiago, in June, and just weeks later, she was back to work at Grand Hotel.
“It was crazy, because [I was playing a mom] at the same time, [after] I had just given birth,” she said. “I went back to direct when Santi was seven weeks old, and I was like, ‘This will be easy, because I’m not in front of the camera!’ And then I was like, ‘This is worse!'”
“But It was really fun to play their mom, because you mostly see me in flashbacks,” she noted.
The Desperate Housewives alum was quick to point out that her focus on directing and producing, instead of acting these days, has made balancing motherhood with work a little easier. “[It’s just about] prioritizing in a way that you can get everything done. I have a great team as well,” she shared.
“I was so embedded in the creation of the show, so Brian [Tanen], me and the producers, we have a shorthand. We all share the same brain when it comes to set design and directing and actors and casting, so I don’t think I [could have done it] on another show.”
It’s also Longoria’s passion to advocate for the Latinx community that keeps her going.
“There was a study that was out that makes sense: Latinos are 18 percent of the population, but we’re 23 percent of ticket buyers to movies, and we over index in TV, but we’re underrepresented onscreen and behind the camera,” she explained. “I want to create those stories for our community, because we can’t be what we can’t see, and if all you see on the news in the media is negative depictions of us, you have to counter balance that with our storytelling and our perspective.”
“For me, I think when people see Latinos in television and media, it not only teaches others about minority communities, but it teaches us what we think of ourselves, and that’s what I want to change,” she expressed. “We have to think of ourselves as more, and I want to show that on TV.”
Grand Hotel premieres Monday, June 17 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.