Longoria talks politics and media
In her first New Zealand appearance yesterday, Eva Longoria put on a show like no other.
The actress is in the country for just two days to put her weight behind the launch of The Shopping Channel.
Undoubtedly, Longoria is a true star: fodder of gossip pages all over the world, who has lit up TV screens for more than eight years as the sexy Gabrielle Solis in Desperate Housewives.
But stars mean red tape.
A media convoy, made up of around 20 journalists, cameramen and photographers were yesterday loaded onto a bus at one end of Auckland city, and driven less than two kilometres to another location, where the actress made her 20 minute appearance.
With a perky "kia ora", she floated into the room; all glossy hair, silver space-aged nails and killer heels. She's tiny, and perfectly formed.
The media had been given firm instructions in the lead up to this moment: submit two questions for Longoria's "team" to vet, and ask only what made it through the process.
Comparing notes, there seemed to be no rhyme or reason as to why some questions made it and some missed the mark. Oddly, it seemed the tamer the question, the less likely its chances were of being approved.
But according to the star herself, almost everything was fair game.
"You guys are very tame. This is the tamest press conference I have ever been to...You can ask me whatever you want," she assured us, more than once.
"But it's a matter of [me] answering it."
When pressed to shed light on the heavy-handed nature of the process, Longoria explained having those boundaries in place was all part of the game.
"I think it's important, because if you ask me about my friendship with Victoria Beckham, what has that got to do with The Shopping Channel?"
One could ask the same of the many, many questions about her political activism, but Longoria thinks politics falls into the "important" topics, along with The Shopping Channel and New Zealand itself.
"I don't think it's important to talk about who I'm dating."
Instead, there was approved question after question about her work with President Obama - she is co-chair of his re-election campaign - and she certainly knew what she was talking about, reeling off stats and policies like the politician she works alongside.
Longoria first volunteered in politics during the first Clinton campaign when she was 17.
"My political activism has evolved, but was civically engaged long before I was famous so it's just been a natural progression for me.
"I care deeply about my country."
The 37-year-old also cares deeply about standing on her own two feet, owning restaurants, writing books and releasing a handful of fragrances on top of her political work.
"I think it's important, as a woman, to diversify. I've always been ambitious to have my own empire and I've never thought I would have the global reach I have today."
But the actress has a lighter side as well.
She thinks a young Richard Gere should play the lead role in the Fifty Shades of Grey film; her first big purchase was a new house for her parents and her flawless skin is thanks to a lot of moisturising and treatments.
"It's painful... facials are work."
But Longoria seems to be as hard to understand as the way she vets questions.
She described herself as "pretty domestic", cooking and staying at home since Desperate Housewives ended earlier this year, but in the same breath, she carried on to say she will be extremely busy for the next few months travelling for, and with, Obama.
"There's a lot more to life [than living in hair and make up]."
- © Fairfax NZ News