How Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Movie Director Eva Longoria Stayed ‘True To the Themes’

Eva Longoria now has 17 years between her breakout role and her current project. In a recent interview, she revealed the challenges of directing the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos movie and how she stayed true to the film’s themes. 

Eva Longoria became famous for her role in ‘Desperate Housewives’ 

Flamin Hot Cheetos movie director Eva Longoria wearing black
Eva Longoria | Emma McIntyre/WireImage

Her breakout role came in 2004, as Gabrielle Solis on ABCs Desperate Housewives. From 2004-2012 and through 180 episodes, Longoria intrigued fans of the series with her petulant and sensual performances. 

According to her Wikipedia page, The Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild recognized her with nominations for her co-starring role. She went on to appear in movies including For Greater Glory (2012), The Sentinel (2006), Over Her Dead Body (2008), Lowriders (2016), Overboard (2018), and others. 

She signed as a model for L’Oreal, starred on NBC’s Telenovela, and executive produced Lifetime’s Devious Maids TV series.  

The next logical step was to become a film director. And that’s exactly what she did. 

The newly-minted director talked about the ‘rags to riches’ theme of her new movie

Longoria wound up helming Flamin’ Hot, even in the midst of unexpected controversy. Her feature directorial debut is about Richard Montañez, who ostensibly created Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. 

Unfortunately for Longoria, The Los Angeles Times released a story in May 2021 claiming that Montañez embellished his involvement in the Cheetos flavor. Not a great start for a biopic. But it turns out that wasn’t her greatest challenge in realizing the film. Firstly, there was a need to stay true to the themes.

In an interview on Variety’s Just For Variety podcast, Eva Longoria said the bigger puzzle was how to stay true to the themes. She joked about the oppressive New Mexico heat, saying the “asphalt melted underneath our camera trucks,” her priority remained telling the rags-to-riches American story. 

“I think probably the greatest challenge was making sure we stayed true to the theme of the movie, which is opportunity is not distributed equally,” Longoria told Variety.  “And when that happens, you have to work twice as hard and twice as long and be twice as good. And you still have to persevere and the story is so many things. It’s rags to riches, it’s American dream 101, it’s about perseverance, it’s about the underdog.” 

Eva Longoria is loyal to the subject of the ‘Flamin Hot Cheetos’ movie

Despite the unfortunate controversy surrounding Montañez, the director said she was sticking by her subject because the movie is a personal story. To sum up, Longoria emphasized that the story is an individual one. The nature of a biopic is, after all, its focus on the experience of one person. 

“But at the end of the day, it’s also about one person’s perspective and struggle within themselves,” she said. “So it’s a beautiful, beautiful biopic.”

There was also the bigger picture. Above all, Longoria felt it was important to nail the cultural aspects of the story. 

“I was operating from a place of authenticity and making sure I represented not only the story of Richard Montañez and the biopic that we were trying to do, but the Mexican-American community at large and making sure we represented in culture, in casting, in food, in the music,” she explained.

Production on the movie reportedly wrapped in August 2021. The movie stars Jesse Garcia as Montañez. No release date has been set. 

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