Latina actress and bombshell Eva Longoria was on the TODAY show talking about her new show Telenovela. Of course there was talk of the show and her recent engagement…blah, blah. But the real show stopper was when she talked about her childhood.
Co-Hosts Jenna Bush Hager and Hoda Kotb were so impressed that Eva Longoria was funny in Telenovela.
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.
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.”
The world is still trying to get a handle on the COVID-19 pandemic that has forced billions into lockdown measures from various government orders. More than 220 million Americans are living in states with lockdown orders leaving children with no school and parents with no childcare. Now, celebs are offering their time with Save with Stories to read children’s books to help parents and children cope.
Gina Torres reading “Sofia Valdez, Future Prez”
Save with Stories, created by Amy Adams and Jennifer Garner, is being done in conjunction with Save the Children and No Kid Hungry. Celebrities are joining up with Save with Stories to offer a bit of reading education to the millions of children not in school right now as the world battles the coronavirus.
Eva Longoria reading “La vida de Selena”
Save with Stories is asking for donations to keep children taken care of during this crisis. Many children rely on getting their meals from their schools. With schools, many children are facing uncertain times with their food. By donating to Save with Stories, you can help the organization continue to provide children with their meals during the shutdown.
Zoe Saldana reading “Cómo dan las buenas noches los dinosaurios?”
Some of the celebrities have given their storytime a more culturally relevant tone. Both Zoe Saldana and Eva Longoria offered Spanish-speaking children stories in their language.
Lupita Nyong’o reading “Not Quite Narwhal”
According to UNESCO, 87 percent of the student population around the world have been separated from their schools, teachers, and peers. In the U.S., 55.1 million children are not in their K-12 schools as the U.S. prepares for a surge of cases in COVID-19 infections across the country. As of yet, the U.S. government has not called for a nationwide lockdown unlike several governments across Europe and Asia.
Jenna Ortega reading “Don’t Call Me Bear”
The initiative is a good reminder that we are all in this together. As billions of people around the world sit at home and social distance to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is important to feel more connected in your isolation. Movements like Save with Stories show how the world can come together in a time of crisis to help everyone cope.
How are you coping with self-isolation in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic?