Eva Longoria Takes A Shot At White Directors In Hollywood

Eva Longoria opened up about the challenges of being a Latina director in Hollywood.

By Chad Langen | Updated

Eva Longoria, known for her outspoken nature on matters close to her heart, is making her feature directorial debut with Flamin’ Hot. This film tells the true story of Richard Montanez, a janitor at Frito-Lay, who played a crucial role in the invention of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. According to Variety, during her speech at the Kering Women in Motion program at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, the 48-year-old star candidly voiced the pressures she faced as a woman, a debutant, and a Latina in the director’s role.

“The problem is if this movie fails, people go, ‘Oh, Latino stories don’t work…female directors really don’t cut it. A white male can direct a $200 million film, fail and get another one. That’s the problem.”

Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria also confessed that while making Flamin’ Hot, she bore not just the expectations of her own community but also “the weight of every female director.” She further vented her dissatisfaction with the limited opportunities available to filmmakers of her ilk. Highlighting the lack of representation, she pointed out that it has been nearly twenty years since a Latina last directed a studio film.

The Desperate Housewives star acknowledged the strides made in integrating Latinos in Hollywood but stressed the need for continued efforts to achieve genuine inclusivity. She voiced concern over the persistent underrepresentation of Latinos in both on-screen and off-screen roles within the industry. Additionally, Eva Longoria drew attention to the decline in Latino presence from 7 percent to 5 percent in television and film, shedding light on the potential discrepancy between perceived progressiveness and the actual state of inclusivity in Hollywood.

eva longoria

Flamin’ Hot had its debut at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, back in March. The Eva Longoria-directed picture received overwhelmingly positive reviews. The film’s remarkable reception was reinforced by the prestigious Headliners Audience Award it received at the festival, emphasizing its potential to make a meaningful contribution toward enhancing Latino representation within the industry.

The film tells the captivating and inspiring true story of Richard Montañez, a janitor at Frito-Lay who rises above his humble beginnings to become a pivotal figure in the creation of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. The film chronicles Montañez’s journey as he develops the idea for the iconic snack and navigates the challenges and triumphs that come with it. Directed by Eva Longoria from a script by Lewis Colick and Linda Yvette Chavez, the movie stars Tony Shalhoub, Jesse Garcia, Dennis Haysbert, Annie Gonzalez, Matt Walsh, Emilio Rivera, Lora Martinez-Cunningham, and Brooklyn Benson.

In addition to making her directorial debut with the highly anticipated film Flamin’ Hot next month, Eva Longoria will also be seen in the upcoming television miniseries Land of Women, slated for release this year. The series revolves around Gala, whose life is upended when her husband implicates their family in financial misconduct, compelling her to escape the city alongside her mother and daughter. The cast also includes Carmen Maura, Vianessa Castaños, Gary Anthony Stennette, Lolo Herrero, Craig Stevenson, and Santiago Cabrera.

Further out, Eva Longoria has several other projects in the works, including a new take on War of the Worlds, the Jamie Foxx-directed comedy All-Star Weekend, and the romantic drama A Circus Story & a Love Song. She’s clearly immersed in her acting career and keeping exceptionally busy. Nevertheless, it’s nice to see she still finds the time to advocate for significant causes.