Eva Longoria Speaks Out on White Male Directors Continually Getting Second Chances When Their Movies Flop
Eva Longoria is making her directorial debut with Flamin’ Hot—the story of Richard Montañez, a Frito-Lay janitor who invented everyone's fave snack Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
Eva spoke about the film at length during the Kering Women in Motion talk at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, explaining that she “felt the weight of my community” and “the weight of every female director” during production.
“We don’t get a lot of bites at the apple," Eva said, per Variety. "My movie wasn’t low budget by any means — it wasn’t $100 million, but it wasn’t $2 million. When was the last Latina-directed studio film? It was like 20 years ago. We can’t get a movie every 20 years.”
“The problem is if this movie fails, people go, ‘Oh Latino stories don’t work…female directors really don’t cut it.’ We don’t get a lot of at-bats," she continued. "A white male can direct a $200 million film, fail and get another one. That’s the problem. I get one at-bat, one chance, work twice as hard, twice as fast, twice as cheap.... You really carry the generational traumas with you into the making of the film. For me, it fueled me. I was determined.”
Eva went on to note that “28% of ticket buyers at the box office are Latino,” meaning “Your film will not succeed if you don’t have the Latino audience. Do you know how many Latinos showed up for ‘Crazy Rich Asians’? Do you know how many Latinos bought a ticket for ‘Fast and the Furious’? We over-index at moviegoing, so why shouldn’t there be content for us if we are the ticket buyers? If we are the viewers? … For me, I take great pride in throwing around that buying-power weight. If you don’t speak to us, we may not buy that movie ticket.”
“We’re still underrepresented in front of the camera, we’re still underrepresented behind the camera, we’re still not tapping into the females of the Latino community,” she continued. “We were at 7% in TV and film, now we’re at 5%, so the myth that Hollywood is so progressive is a myth when you look at the data ....The illusion is that Hollywood is progressive. The reality is that we’re still far behind in equal representation.”
On that note, everyone run to see Flamin’ Hot—which streams on Hulu starting June 9!
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