Eva Longoria is detailing how she felt about being cast in a “sexy” role on Desperate Housewives and why she has always thought of herself as an “ugly duckling.”
Talking with ET’s Nischelle Turner at the ELLE Women in Hollywood event, the 48-year-old actress and director said she didn’t mind taking on the role of Gabrielle Solis in the hit ABC show — a part that required a decent amount of sex appeal — because she liked praised for something she has never seen in herself.
“You told Elle magazine that you didn’t have a problem being typecast as sexy when you were in Desperate Housewives,” Turner asked the Flamin Hot director.
“Yeah, I’m riding that wave to the beach,” Longoria joked in response, to which ET asked where her confidence came from.
“For me? The ugly duckling,” she said, prompting Turner to express shock at her response. “I did not identify as a beauty growing up and so I don’t have a very healthy relationship with it because it didn’t define me.”
“When people are like ‘You know you’re sexy and beautiful and you’re on this list,’ I’m like ‘bring it yes, yes,'” she said.
The L’Oreal spokesperson went on to say that while it’s odd for her to be seen in that way, she appreciates it all the same.
“It’s better than the alternative, I guess,” Longoria continued, adding that it’s her family that helps to keep her humble. “You know my sisters are still like ‘Why are you a spokesperson for L’Oreal?’ It’s nothing like family to ground you.”
Longoria is one of the nine women who was honored by ELLE on Tuesday night at the event celebrating changemakers in the television and filmmaking business. Among the other honorees are names like Jodie Foster, Jennifer Lopez and Taraji P. Henson.
“It’s such a special night. I think this is the most diverse group of women that have been in this Women of the Year awards and so to see all of that melatonin on those covers makes me very happy but specifically,” Longoria said.
Also included on the list are names like Danielle Brooks, Greta Lee, Fantasia Barrino and Lily Gladstone.
While Longoria told ET it means a lot to receive the honor herself, she said it’s extra special because she was able to bestow the award onto longtime friend and coworker, America Ferrera.
“I’m receiving the award but I’m also giving America her award and if anybody deserves it, it’s her. And tonight we’re giving it to her for her advocacy and that’s really gonna be her life’s legacy,” Longoria said.
“I mean that’s gonna be the work we’re gonna remember her by even though she’s in the biggest movie of all time,” the actress joked.
For more coverage of the ELLE Women in Hollywood honorees, check out the links below.