WHY I LOVE...
MY “LIL’ EVA” CHAIR
My “Lil’ Eva” chair, by Eva Longoria
When I was on Desperate Housewives, I bought a director’s chair for each woman on the show. Lil’ Eva was my nickname, so I put that on mine and gave Marcia [Cross], Felicity [Huffman], and Teri [Hatcher] cute names for theirs too. During the eight seasons I was on the show, this chair came to mean a lot to me. Sitting in it on set was like my film school. I paid attention to everything that was happening around me—the set design, the camera choreography, the lighting. And for the first time I realized I wasn’t reaching my potential by being only an actor. I had been setting up scenes in my head for years and was ready to call the shots. I just had to learn how to pitch myself and sell my vision. So I started by directing a few short films, and then when Desperate Housewives wrapped, I chased projects in TV and directed episodes of shows I love, like Black-ish, Jane the Virgin, and The Mick. Now I’m trying to create opportunities for other women behind the camera too. For my new show, Grand Hotel, I called up Ava Duvernay and asked her to recommend a list of great women I could hire for our crew. Hollywood has long been a boys’ club; we’re trying to create a girls’ club. To make a change, it’s important to have a seat at the table. That’s what a director’s chair is for me. Longoria is the executive producer and director of the upcoming ABC seriesgrand Hotel.