Eva Longoria Talks ‘Devious Maids’ Backlash, Latino Perceptions at Produced By Conference

Eva Longoria is trying to offer new perspectives on Latinos in the U.S. with her involvement as a producer of NBC’s upcoming comedy “Hot and Bothered” and Lifetime’s drama “Devious Maids.”

Longoria, known for her role in “Desperate Housewives,” discussed the issues of perception and reality in her experience as a Mexican-American actress during her appearance at the 7th annual Produced By L.A. conference Sunday at Paramount Studios. Longoria has revved up her activity as a producer in recent years with a host of projects flowing through her Unbelievable Entertainment banner.

Talking with moderator Marc Cherry, creator/exec producer of “Desperate Housewives” and “Devious Maids,” Longoria noted that Hollywood execs often assume multicultural stars can use accents or speak languages other than English.

“It’s a lot of identity crisis for my character, which is rooted in my life story,” Longoria said about playing a telenovela star in the backstage comedy “Hot and Bothered.” “I grew up in Texas, I’m Mexican-American and I’m close to my Mexican roots but I didn’t speak Spanish and I don’t have an accent.”

“Devious Maids” follows the lives of Latina maids working in the homes of Beverly Hills’ wealthy and elite. The show’s third season begins Monday.

Longoria said there was backlash at first about how “Devious” represents Hispanic women. But she said that not telling the true stories of women who work as domestic help robs them of their humanity.

“I’ve known so many amazing women in my life who are amazing,” Longoria said. “And I said, ‘You’re saying these people don’t have a story to tell — you’re saying all they do is go and clean your homes.’ They have big lives and complex lives.”

Cherry asked Longoria if being attractive has made it harder for her to be taken seriously as a behind-the-scenes talent. Longoria said she wears many hats in the industry to combat that notion that’s she’s “just an actress.”

“I’ve always been a producer and I’ve always been a director who happened to fall into acting,” Longoria asserted.

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