While most primetime TV shows don't even have one Latina star, the new pilot "Devious Maids," which is headed to ABC this fall, has four: Ana Ortiz ("Ugly Betty"), Roselyn Sanchez ("Without A Trace"), Dania Ramirez ("Heroes"), and Judy Reyes ("Scrubs").
The show, which is being produced by "Desperate Housewives" creator Marc Cherry, also has something that no show has had since Salma Hayek began producing "Ugly Betty" on ABC in 2006: a Latina A-lister (Eva Longoria) as a co-producer!
Yet despite the fact that all of these proven and talented Latina actresses are starring on the new show, there are some bloggers who feel that the premise of the show—about four maids with big dreams who work for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills—will reinforce the stereotype that has long plagued Latina actresses in Hollywood: that they can only play "the help" on TV.
LatinoVoices caught up with Eva Longoria to talk about the debate surrounding 'Devious Maids'. The Mexican actress—who is constantly working to get Latinos on TV, particularly in her work as a producer of The Alma Awards—talked about why the Latino community should be proud of the show, and why she doesn't see it as a bad thing that four Latinas are playing maids.
CHECK OUT THIS SLIDESHOW ON EVA LONGORIA"S CAREER RETROSPECTIVE
Longoria <a href="http://www.contactmusic.com/news/eva-keeps-in-touch-with-wendys-staff_1077508" target="_hplink">told Latina Magazine</a> about her teen years working at the fast food restaurant: "I loved it. And I still love them. They are an amazing organization. I still keep in touch with my manager from when I was 14. They are just great to me. I wanted to have a <em>quinceanera</em>, so I went to Wendy's to work to pay for my own <em>quinceanera</em>. I stayed. I paid for my cheerleading and everything through that. It was like whatever you want to do outside of school, you have to pay for it. I never had a car because I was always trying to save."
Before she made it big with "Desperate Housewives," Longoria was on the daytime soap, <a href="http://www.people.com/people/eva_longoria/0,,,00.html" target="_hplink">The Young and the Restless for two years and says</a>, "It was, like, almost minimum wage. But I had a great time on it, and it obviously led me to better things." She also played bit parts on <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/15/10-fun-facts-about-eva-longoria_n_1343308.html" target="_hplink">General Hospital and Beverly Hills 90210.</a>
When "Desperate Housewives" premiered on the alphabet network (ABC) in 2004, the show had four stars: Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross and Eva Longoria. Even though Eva was the least well-known of the group, her character Gabrielle Solis -- a materialistic former model turned housewife -- was easily the character most beloved by fans. DH fans loved the season 1 story line in which Eva's character Gaby has an affair with her hot young gardener John Rowland (Jesse Metcalfe). Her performance on the show turned Eva into an overnight star and a household name.
Longoria is one of seven Latinos who were appointed as <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/19/eva-longoria-msnbc-latino-vote_n_1364634.html" target="_hplink">co-chairs </a>for Obama for America. As co-chair, Longoria will represent Hispanic and women's issues. "There is an attack on women's health care and President Obama's policies are the only ones that are going to move the agenda for women's rights," Longoria <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/19/eva-longoria-msnbc-latino-vote_n_1364634.html" target="_hplink">said</a>.
Eva Longoria became a <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAjlzP4rbXw" target="_hplink">spokesperson for L'Oréal Paris</a> in 2005 and was featured in L'Oréal TV commercials and print ads until 2010.
Eva Longoria opened the restaurant Beso ( "Kiss") on Hollywood Boulevard, <a href="http://besohollywood.com/" target="_hplink">along with partner and celebrity chef Todd English,</a> in March 2008. The menu offers <a href="http://besohollywood.com/" target="_hplink">a Latin approach to a classic Steakhouse. </a>
Longoria is the producer of <a href="http://theharvestfilm.com/" target="_hplink">"The Harvest/La Cosecha: The Children Who Feed America,"</a>, a documentary about the more than 400,000 children in the United States who are torn from their schools and homes to work as migrant workers with their families, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/17/eva-longoria-on-producing-new-documentary-the-harvest-la-cosecha_n_1016377.html" target="_hplink">according to HuffPost.</a>
Eva Longoria is the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/26/eva-longoria-joins-devious-maids_n_1380988.html?ref=mostpopular" target="_hplink">latest Latina to join ABC's new fall pilot, "Devious Maids"</a>. After working with Marc Cherry for seven seasons on the hit ABC dramedy "Desperate Housewives," the actress will continue working with the producer on the new ABC pilot as a co-executive producer.