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Eva Longoria

The Land of Eva Longoria

The Golden Globe–nominated actress returns to television with the six-episode dual-language series Land of Women, premiering June 26 on Apple TV+

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It’s not much of a stretch to say that Eva Longoria is everywhere.

She’s got a new show on Apple TV+, Land of Women, which launches in June. She’ll be in the fourth season of the hit series Only Murders in the Building, set to debut on Hulu in late August. She’s got a tequila brand, Casa del Sol, which she launched in 2021. She recently announced that she would become a strategic advisor and investor in Siete Foods, the fastest-growing Hispanic food company in the United States, known primarily for its gluten-free tortilla chips. (Longoria met Siete co-founder Veronica Garza at a cheerleading camp when they were growing up in Texas.)

Longoria has worked steadfastly with the Television Academy Foundation to help encourage inclusion in the entertainment industry. She’s an investor in a women’s soccer team (Angel City Football Club), a men’s soccer team (Club Necaxa) and is co-owner of the ElevenEleven padel team. There’s also her philanthropy. She founded Eva’s Heroes, based in San Antonio, Texas, in 2006 and was just awarded the 2024 Courage and Civility Award by Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sánchez.

With a schedule that packed, you can imagine her nonstop travel. A few weeks ago, she was in London for two days for her friend Victoria Beckham’s birthday. While there, she also filmed for an upcoming adaptation of A Christmas Carol (called Christmas Karma) directed by Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham), in which she plays the Ghost of Christmas Past. She lives between the U.S., Mexico City and Spain, she says, but on the day we connect, Longoria is about to board a flight from Los Angeles—the home base of her company, appropriately named Hyphenate Entertainment—to Miami, where she and her husband, the media mogul José Bastón, keep an apartment.

“I recently was in an airport in Poland and I saw myself in a big L’Oréal ad. And all I could think was, That’s so crazy. That’s me. I’m still really confused, and I’m always surprised,” Longoria recalls. She’s referring to yet another one of her many jobs—global ambassador for the beauty company—which she has held for the last two decades.

“What can I say?” she asks. “I’m the ultimate multitasker.”

Longoria suggests her ubiquity is the result of just hanging around the entertainment industry for more than two decades. She started as Flight Attendant #3 on an episode of Beverly Hills, 90210 but moved quickly on, in 2004, to Desperate Housewives, one of the last huge shows of network television.

Oh, and, at 49, she’s also a mom to 5-year-old Santiago. “The other day I heard [my son] say, ‘No, my mom’s an actress.’ And I looked at him and I thought, How did he even know that word and what it meant?” Longoria says. “He’s still unimpressed.”

He might be the only one unimpressed by Longoria’s ability to juggle it all.

Coming off of directing the film Flamin’ Hot, which garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Song for “The Fire Inside,” Longoria needed a break. That’s why she’s only producing and starring in Land of Women, soon to debut on Apple TV+.

At the beginning of the series, Gala (Longoria) has just opened a sexy wine shop in New York City. She quickly discovers that her husband owes some bad people a lot of money, and they’re coming to collect. So Gala runs away to Spain with her annoyed daughter (newcomer Victoria Bazua) and her slightly cuckoo mom Julia (Carmen Maura, a favorite of Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar).

“I usually reverse-engineer my projects,” says Longoria of her work as a producer. “I start with a place I want to shoot.”

For Land of Women, Longoria told her friend, the writer/producer Ramón Campos, that she wanted to film in Spain’s wine country. She wanted something “super female forward,” she explained, and suggested Under the Tuscan Sun as a reference point. A month later, Campos came back with a pitch based on a bestselling Spanish novel by Sandra Barneda.

“So much of television is set in a dystopian future, and I can’t watch television set in a dystopian future,” says Longoria, who admits to “watching everything,” especially on plane rides. “I don’t want to worry and then start setting up my doomsday bunker after watching a television show.”

Land of Women, she explains, is optimistic, “very blue skies and fish-out-of-water. You just want to be there.”

Filming did, indeed, take place in Spain in the small medieval city of Figueres, birthplace of Salvador Dalí. It’s at “the complete other end” of the country from Marbella, where Longoria is relocating. To get to Figueres, at the eastern edge of Catalonia near the French border, “You need to take a plane, a train, a car, and then scale down a mountain,” Longoria jokes.

One last trick: The show is bilingual. (Actually, some of the characters speak Catalan, too.) “What’s the most authentic storytelling? I would talk to my daughter in English and my mother in Spanish,” says Longoria. “This wasn’t possible 10 or 15 years ago, but streaming has made content more global. The No. 1 show is Squid Game in Korean. Subtitles are very acceptable, and so is the idea of Spanglish. We’ve changed the way we seek out storytellers and points of view.”

Easier said than done. “I’d never acted in Spanish,” Longoria admits. “My brain hurt at the end of the day. But I’m the American in the show. I make a lot of mistakes in Spanish, like I do in life. I say the wrong word at the wrong moment.”

“Watching Eva act is like watching Messi play soccer,” says Land of Women creator Campos. “Above all, she’s a natural and tireless worker who always supports the team and understands that she’s a crucial part of it—but just one part of it. She’ll get her hands dirty when needed, without worrying about appearances.”

It helps that Longoria could identify completely with her onscreen double. “I’m literally my character,” Longoria says, all the way down to being an oenophile. “I love wine. I love everything about it. I love the different grapes. During COVID, all I did was read about wine. I decided that I was going to study for the sommelier test.” She didn’t end up taking the exam, “but I still want to.”

See? Always multitasking.

After the success of Flamin’ Hot, Longoria decided to take a break from directing. “You could not have stopped me from making that movie,” she says. But even for someone who’s always steering the ship, it was a lot of work.

“I’m not rushing to make my sophomore movie because I’m looking for something to speak to me,” she says. Currently, “I’m reading everything,” including lots of potential biopics. “I’ll know it when I see it. I’ll know it when I read it.”

But this year, she says, “I’m only acting. This year is: Let me go back in front of the camera.”

First up: Land of Women. Next in line: Only Murders in the Building. “I’m most comfortable in television comedy,” Longoria says. “It was the first thing I learned, so I have probably worked the 10,000 hours. You find confidence through that many at-bats.”

But Only Murders in the Building isn’t your everyday television comedy. It’s a television comedy alongside the legendary Meryl Streep. No sweat, Longoria says. Streep is actually her distant relative, a link she discovered when they were both on Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates Jr.

“We actually call each other ‘cousin,’” Longoria laughs. The first time they made the connection in person was at an AFI tribute to Jane Fonda. Longoria sheepishly said hello to Streep. Since then, whenever they see each other, Longoria says, “We’ll say, ‘How are you, cousin?’ and ‘I’m good, cousin.’”

In the first Zoom table read for Only Murders, attended by 100 people from Zach Galifianakis to Molly Shannon to Selena Gomez, Streep introduced Longoria as her cousin.

“She tells the story and everyone’s so confused, because I’m the most Latina person in the industry and she’s Meryl Streep,” Longoria recalls.

Working on set in New York was, indeed, like family. “We talked a lot about democracy and politics,” Longoria says. “But when you have leaders like Steve Martin and Martin Short, you’re never not laughing. Watching them make a lunch order is a show in itself. It’s a constant roast about a sandwich, a 30-minute comedy about mustard.”

In addition to working with Streep, Longoria also had the opportunity this year to star opposite Eddie Murphy in The Pickup, a heist comedy that also stars Keke Palmer and Pete Davidson.

The movie, for Amazon MGM, is directed by another of Longoria’s longtime pals, Tim Story. She auditioned years ago for Story’s Fantastic Four, but didn’t get the role. “I think it was [the Invisible Woman, the role that went to] Jessica Alba, but it was one of those situations where they say, ‘We can’t tell you the story or let you read the script,’” Longoria says.

Longoria doesn’t often get starstruck, but that’s how she felt about working with Murphy. “He’s my Hollywood,” she explains, describing how she was inspired by Murphy’s classic projects from Harlem Nights to Beverly Hills Cop. “He’s my kind of funny. He’s a comedy savant.”

“And of course the first day on set, we have to kiss,” Longoria says. “So it was like, ‘Nice to meet you,’ and then mwah.”

Well, is Murphy a good kisser? “We didn’t have makeout scenes,” Longoria demurs. “It was just a good-morning kiss.” Do they have a texting relationship now? “He’s very private,” Longoria says, adding that no, they don’t send each other Netflix recommendations. “I just sat and listened.”

In addition to 1) ordering a sandwich with Martin Short and Steve Martin; 2) being introduced to 100 people as Meryl Streep’s cousin; and 3) kissing Eddie Murphy—a major year for anyone, no doubt—Longoria also got to see Tom Cruise do the splits on the dance floor at Victoria Beckham’s 50th birthday party in London in April.

Of all of those experiences, which was the most entertaining?

“It’s a toss-up,” Longoria says, adding that Cruise “is the kindest human being and the best dancer. I’ve seen him dance at many parties.” She didn’t recall him doing the splits at any of those other parties, though. This was special. “I danced for five hours at the party and we didn’t leave till 3 a.m.,” Longoria says. “I woke up sore wondering if I’d worked out [too hard] the day before. No, we just danced a lot.”

Longoria insists that she doesn’t actually know everyone in Hollywood. It just seems like she does.

“There are so many people I don’t know and I want to work with, and I’m old,” she says. “But I’m lucky. I’m definitely lucky.”

Her secret recipe is relatively simple, actually.

“I don’t like wasting time,” Longoria says as her airplane is called for boarding. “I consider time like money. You’re either spending it or you’re wasting it, and I choose to spend it.”

Hair: DJ Quintero for L’Oréal Paris
Makeup: Genevieve Herr for L’Oréal Paris
Manicure: Julie Kandalec
Producer: Mariana Suplicy
Fashion Stylist Assistant: Francesca Lazaro
Shot at the WSA Building in New York City