Eva Longoria is Latina Magazine's December 2016/January 2017 Cover Star!
With a handsome new marido, her own fashion line, and bigger #Boss Roles in Hollywood, politics, and the community, the gorgeous 41-year-old Tejana is happier than ever. We chatted with the powerhouse about how, and why, she does it.
We caught up with the effortlessly beautiful (and endlessly youthful) Eva Longoria as she was getting ready to fly to Poland for a pop-up shop for her eponymous clothing line. She looked super comfy and jet-set chic in a flowy gray tunic sweater, black jeans, black trench, smart fedora, and mirrored aviators covering her chiseled features. Eva’s loose-fitting outfit prompted the paparazzi to question for the thousandth time whether she was pregnant. This rumor has been floating about since she married Televisa president José “Pepe” Bastón, 48, this past May at a sunset ceremony in Valle de Bravo, a posh weekend retreat for D.F. elite, surrounded by family and good friends like Victoria and David Beckham, Ricky Martin, and Mario Lopez. We addressed the baby rumors straight on—in bold Gaby Solis–style—as we began the interview.
Are you and Pepe planning on having kids? Is it on the horizon?
If it is on the horizon for us, then great, but we are just enjoying each other now.
Okay, Let’s talk about Pepe.
I mean, I could talk about him for hours. [Laughs]
You’ve said you loved that he was a grown-up. Do you think your relationship works because you’re now a grown-up, too?
Yes, he’s an adult! And timing was everything! He was in a good place in his life, and I was in a good place in my life. I feel like I’m the luckiest human being in the world, and he feels that he’s the luckiest, and that’s a beautiful thing. We have so much respect for each other’s dreams and ambitions, for our families and our life goals together. I never felt I was partnered with an equal until I met him.
We’ve heard that he’s an amazing fashionista.
Oh yeah. He cares more about fashion than I do. [Laughs] He’s super stylish. All my friends call him “Mr. Fancy Pants.” He’s so handsome and such a classy dresser. He’s from Mexico, and you’re more tex-mex.
Can you tell the difference?
For sure! When I’m in Mexico, I’m the gringa that’s visiting! But seriously, I love this cultural journey that I’m on. For me, it’s been this amazing reconnection with the roots inside of me, inside of my heart.
How do you handle shuttling between Los Angeles and Mexico City?
We live like three days here, then three days there; one week here, one week there. It’s our normal. I’ve always had this life. I have a very big life. I love traveling. I love planes. I love my family. I love my husband. I want to do it all! Some people are like, “Oh my goodness, you took a three-hour flight. You poor thing!” And I’m like, “It’s three hours! I’ve gone to Australia for eight hours and come right back. It’s not that hard.”
And your Spanish has improved!
Yeah, I would say I’m 80 percent fluent. I studied in Spain, and now I speak more because of my husband. I do interviews and speak at charities in Spanish. But sometimes I’m like, “Please don’t make me speak about the economy!” I did not grow up speaking Spanish in Texas, and learning it later in life was a gift. Living in Mexico with my husband has really made me feel closer to my heritage. Mexico has been a gift to me—it’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
Pepe has three kids; how’s being a stepmom? Is it fun? Challenging?
It’s great! But that’s one thing I won’t talk about, because we don’t want to involve the kids. fair enough.
Read more on page 2 >>>
Let’s talk about your new clothing line, which is being sold exclusively at The Limited. Is this the first time you’ve gone into fashion?
I have my bedding line at J.C. Penney, and it just expanded to bath, but this is my first time into clothing, and it’s been so amazing.
Is fashion difficult for you?
It’s another creative outlet. I’ve been sewing my entire life—garment construction, materials, fabric—and I just love being able to create. It’s the same reason I love cooking, because it’s totally different.
You are an actress and director, you are politically active, you’ve been honored for your charitable and educational leadership, and you’re a full-fledged entrepreneur, to boot. Do you ever think to yourself, “Maybe I can’t do this”?
No, not a lot. But I only do things that are organic to me and my brand. And for everything I have out there, I’ve turned down a hundred things. Like, “Do you want to sing? Do you wanna do an album?” I’m like, “No, I don’t!” [Laughs] I give 110 percent to everything I do: my charity foundation, clothing line, my bedding line, acting, directing. I just finished directing Jane the Virgin, and for three weeks I was in the trenches of the TV show. Nothing else existed while I was shooting Jane and directing Gina [Rodriguez]. I just wanted to be 1000 percent there for them, I want to be amazing, and it’s just a matter of prioritizing.
You’re such a latina role model, and it feels like it’s a conscious choice.
Young Latinas cannot be what they cannot see. The impact of seeing me on the screen or seeing me politically active or seeing me give back to charity, that’s something they can see and go, “I can do that.” That’s definitely a conscious choice and an effort, and it’s an honor for me. I don’t do anything without thinking of the Latina community. I don’t speak for the Latino community, I speak with them. Empower them to speak for themselves, which is the ultimate goal for a role model.
Latina is celebrating our 20th anniversary this year, how much progress do you think has been made for Latinas in Hollywood?
Progress has been made, but we still have a ways to go. Latinos are 16 percent of the population but about only 6 percent in film. The only way we are going to solve that is to get behind the camera and do what I’m doing—to become a producer, director, or writer and create those opportunities to tell our stories. I loved producing Telenovela because I gave eight roles to up-and-coming Latino actors who maybe wouldn’t have been given a chance. For me, that’s probably the best part of it all.
Telenovela and Devious Maids were canceled, how did you handle that?
I’m such an optimist! I’m a glass half- full girl. I think you have to work hard, and things happen for a reason. I get to learn from those experiences. If you do not pursue the things you want, you’re not learning.
You’ve done so many things in your life—any secret or bucket-list careers?
In another life I wish I’d gone to law school and became a civil-rights lawyer. Campaigning with Hillary Clinton in Florida, I met lawyers not even 30 years old donating their time to give to people in the community. I said, “God, you guys are really fighting the fight!” I wish I’d gone to law school so I can better understand how to help people understand the system and make it work for the community.
Do you see yourself in public office someday?
No! Politics is so much meaner than Hollywood. I mean, you need thick skin for it! But I do love advocating for my community. As Latinos, we need to aggregate our resources, and we need to stand by each other. I hadn’t even met Gina Rodriguez when she was nominated for a Golden Globe, but when I heard the news, I remember just saying yes! Some people were like, “Why did she get nominated and I didn’t?” And I thought, “She’s winning that for all of us!” When Monica Puig won gold at the Olympics, I was in tears! I’m freaking Mexican American, and you would have thought I was Puerto Rican! I was screaming at the TV , saying yes! I couldn’t have felt more proud. I do hope and pray we Latinos can unite and become a more powerful force in everything— entertainment, politics, social justice—and realize that a win for her is a win for all of us.
You can download a hi-res version of Eva Longoria's cover below: