By Latoya Peterson
I generally skip the celebrity interviews in Lucky. I was planning to do the same with Eva Longoria’s, but I happened to catch the term “Federalist Papers” on a skim of “Happily Eva After” and decided to double back. And I’m glad I did:
She’s more effusive when talking about the minutiae of education reform in the Latino community or how hard it is to pass a citizenship test. (Longoria had her assistant, a U.S. native, take the test. She failed.) “They’re not easy questions. When was the Constitution ratified?” Longoria asks the room.
“1786!” shouts out the photographer.
“No!” says Longoria. “1787.”
She’s been studying the Constitution as well, both for herself, but also as a way for her, as a Democrat, to comprehend the Right. “I think it’s important that people who are politically active understand the other side as well,” she says. “I just read the Ronald Reagan biography. When you’re fighting for social justice, one of my biggest pet peeves is speaking out of ignorance.”
Longoria tells me she’s been interested in politics since she was 17, when a high school teacher in her hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas, made her class volunteer for a Presidential campaign. It was 1992; she picked Clinton. Right now, as part of Obama’s reelection campaign, she’s been spending a lot of time in the swing states, talking with women and Latino voters.
Celebrities, especially female celebrities, struggle to be seen as full human beings. So it’s laudable that interviewer Starlee Kine made sure to touch on Longoria’s new projects (For Greater Glory with Andy Garcia is a standout), her production credits (she’s got a dating show in the works and is the executive producer of that Devious Maids show), her start in political activism, why she’s reading 50 Shades of Grey, and her sense of style. Now if only we could get a little more rigor in questions about her projects…