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This Actor Had No Idea She Was Mexican Until She Changed Schools In Third Grade

Latino Talks part 2 starts now!

Posted by Latino Victory on Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Credit: Latino Victory / Facebook

“I love apple pie, but I love micheladas. I love Britney Spears, but I love Maná.”

Eva Longoria was on the Latinos Talk panel hosted by Latino Victory Foundation, where she opened up about the first time she realized she was “different.” This moment of epiphany happened on her way to her new school in third grade, after switching from a predominantly Latino school to a less Latino one. It was her first bus ride that would prove to be life changing.

“The first day that I had to be bused to the other neighborhood, I get on the bus and I have a bean taco,” Longoria told the crowd. “Because that’s what my mom made me for breakfast, was the bean taco. I remember getting on the bus and everybody had a Pop Tart and I was like, ‘What’s that?’ And they were like, ‘What’s that?’ I was like, ‘It’s a bean taco. Doesn’t everybody eat bean tacos?’ And I remember somebody saying, ‘She’s a Mexican.’ and I go, ‘A what?'”

Longoria said she had never felt so different. Since then, she says she’s been “straddling the hyphen,” living a Mexican-American life. It’s a life that a lot of people live, and she has decided to use her voice to talk about the different colors and layers that define what it means to be Latino-American.

You can watch the full panel with Maná here.

READ: Watching Eva Longoria Sew While Reading About Sewing Is Oddly Soothing

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Eva Longoria and Zoe Saldana Are Teaming Up to Produce ‘The Gordita Chronicles’ for HBO Max

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Eva Longoria and Zoe Saldana Are Teaming Up to Produce ‘The Gordita Chronicles’ for HBO Max

Photos via Getty Images

Looking for a show to fill the “Jane the Virgin”-shaped hole in your heart? Well, we may have some good news! Eva Longoria and Zoe Saldana teamed up on a new series called “The Gordita Chronicles” for HBO Max.

According to Deadline, “The Gordita Chronicles” will a follow a “willful, chubby, 12-year-old Dominican” named Carlota ‘Cucu’ Castelli. Cucu “struggles to fit into hedonistic 1980s Miami as her family pursues the American dream.”

Zoe Saldana has long been a producer on “The Gordita Chronicles”, while Eva Longoria was recently tapped to direct the pilot episode and executive produce the series.

But these two powerful Latinas aren’t the only ones with their hands on this project. Dominican-American producer and writer, Claudia Forestieri is the brains behind this series.

Forestieri is a former Telemundo reporter who changed tracks and began a career in TV-writing. She has previously written for Latino-centric shows like “Selena: The Series” and “Good Trouble”. Forestieri is a self-described “bilingual & biracial TV writer of Dominican-Italian descent who was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Miami.”

Eva Longoria took to Instagram to express her elation over being involved in such a trailblazing project.

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A post shared by Eva Longoria Baston (@evalongoria)

“The Gordita Chronicles” is the perfect-storm of Hollywood Latino talent that have been working to have a project like this greenlit for a long time.

“I’m BEYOND excited & honored to announce my part within this brilliant team of women coming together to create ‘The Gordita Chronicles’,” she wrote. “I’ll be directing the pilot, while working alongside the amazing and talented @claudiforest, @brigliebs, @zoesaldana, and so many more!!”

She ended the statement with a comment and the sad state of Latino representation in Hollywood. “The lack of representation and diversity in Hollywood continues to be a major focus, rightfully so, and I’m so honored to be a part of the change!”

To make things more exciting, they have already found their lead. After an intensive search, producers cast an up-and-coming Afro-Latina child actress named Olivia Goncalves.

Per Deadline: “The Gordita Chronicles centers Carlota ‘Cucu’ Castelli (Goncalves), a willful 12-year-old Dominican immigrant with a heart of gold. Cucu leaves her home and her parochial school in Santo Domingo to live in Miami and pursue the American Dream during the hedonistic 1980s after her father, a marketing executive with a large airline, gets transferred there.”

The show will focus on Cucu as she “meets head-on the challenges of being an immigrant in a strange new world with humor, bravado and some really bad choices.”

If the synopsis is any indication of the show’s promise, please count us in! This sounds like a heartwarming, unique story that Hollywood doesn’t spotlight often enough. We can’t wait to watch!

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Latina Actresses Are Pivoting to Directing and Producing In Order to Get More Latinx Stories Told

Entertainment

Latina Actresses Are Pivoting to Directing and Producing In Order to Get More Latinx Stories Told

Credit: EVALONGORIA/AMERICAFERRERA/INSTAGRAM ; KEVIN WINTER/GETTY

The numbers are bleak. Latinos make up 18% of America’s population but only 5% of the number of speaking roles in movies in 2019 according to the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.

Hollywood seems to be late to the party when it comes to Latino representation onscreen. But luckily, there are a handful of Latino artists and creators out there who are taking the fight to appear in front of the screen to behind the camera.

Take, for example, Eva Longoria, who was just announced to be directing and co-starring in the new action-comedy film, “Spa Day”

This marks the third movie the Mexican-American actress will be helming and the first Latina to ever direct more than one major studio film.

The other films on Longoria’s roster include a vehicle for her and Kerry Washington tentatively titled “24/7”, as well as the upcoming biopic “Flamin’ Hot”–a movie centered around Richard Montañez, the man who invented Flaming Hot Cheetos.

Longoria has been candid about how the decision to move into directing and producing has been a strategic one.

“One of the reasons I went into producing and directing was I wasn’t going to sit back and wait for somebody to create a role I wanted to do,” Longoria told Variety in 2018.

“You can’t just sit around waiting for [good projects], and I wanted to create that — not just for myself but for other Latinas.”

But her career transition isn’t unique as a Latina in Hollywood. She has joined the ranks of other Latinas in Hollywood who have began to produce and direct their own projects in order to finally see Latino stories told on screen.

Her peers include Jennifer Lopez (“Shades of Blue“, “Hustlers“), Selena Gomez (“Living Undocumented“), America Ferrera (“Gentefied“, “Superstore“), Gina Rodriguez (“Diary of an American President,” “Carmen San Diego“), and Salma Hayek (“Ugly Betty”).

All of these women have thrown their weight behind projects that otherwise wouldn’t be made if their names weren’t attached to them.

All of these women are creating stories that feature Latino stories and Latino talent–in front of and behind the camera.

America Ferrera explained the reason behind her conscious career pivot from acting to directing/producing: “My genuine heart’s desire is to tell stories that haven’t been told,” she told CBS This Morning. “It’s hard to get stories about people like us made. And then to get those stories told by us is very very uncommon.”

Although the endgame is to have Latinx stories greenlit without having to first be a famous singer or actress, the work these ladies are doing might be laying the foundation for an easier road for future industry players of Latino descent. Or as Longoria so eloquently put it: “If we unite and create opportunities for each other and pull each other up, there could be a lot more success for representation on TV.”

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