Eva Longoria Parker Interview, Over Her Dead Body

Posted by: Sheila Roberts

MoviesOnline caught up with Eva Longoria Parker at the Los Angeles press day for her new film, “Over Her Dead Body,” an uproariously funny romantic comedy about a battle between two women (one of them a ghost…) for the love of one guy. The film is written and directed by Jeff Lowell (writer of “John Tucker Must Die”), making his feature directorial debut.

Devastated when his fiancée Kate (Eva Longoria Parker) is killed on their wedding day, Henry (Paul Rudd) reluctantly agrees to consult a psychic named Ashley (Lake Bell) at the urging of his sister Chloe (Lindsay Sloane). Despite his skepticism over her psychic abilities, Henry finds himself falling hard for Ashley, and vice versa. But there is a big snag. Ashley is being haunted by Kate’s ghost, who considers it her heavenly duty to break up Henry and Ashley's fledgling romance, if it is the last thing she does on this earthly plane...

“The role of Kate was hilarious,” notes Longoria Parker. “You don’t often read a script where the character has so many colors and so many things to do. It’s always fun playing the antagonist who causes all the drama and conflict.” From the outset, Lowell and Longoria Parker felt that Kate was not a villain. After all, she did die on her wedding day. The audience needed to sympathize with her despite her control issues and often-venomous tactics in dealing with situations. Although Kate first appears as a bitch on wheels, both director and actor agreed that it was very important as the story progressed to reveal softer sides of Kate. Longoria Parker explains, “It was a fine line between her retaliating against those who are trying to take away her man and allowing herself to realize what is really best for him.”

Golden Globe nominee and ALMA Award-winning Longoria Parker stars as “Gabrielle Solis “on the ABC mega hit “Desperate Housewives,” the two-time Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild-winning show seen in 208 countries around the world. On the film front, she lends her voice along with Charlie Sheen, Wayne Brady and Hilary Duff to the upcoming animated film “Foodfight!,” where she plays “Lady X,” the smart, conniving Brand X product icon who uses her beauty as a means to take over the world, slated for an April 2008 release. She is currently starring opposite Rob Corddry and Jason Biggs in the independent film “Lower Learning” for writer/director Mark Lafferty. Longoria Parker also starred in “The Sentinel,” opposite Michael Douglas, Kiefer Sutherland and Kim Basinger and alongside Christian Bale and Freddie Rodriquez in the indie film “Harsh Times,” written and directed by David Ayer.

Eva Longoria Parker is the national spokesperson for Padres Contra El Cancer, a non–profit organization committed to improving the quality of life for Latino children with cancer and their families. This past year, Eva raised over $1M dollars for Padres and donated her entire salary from one episode of “Desperate Housewives” to the charity as well. Here’s what the lovely Eva had to tell us:

Q: When you read the script, did you just know this was the part you wanted to play?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: When I read the script, I thought the ghost was the best character because I thought she had the fun stuff to do. She had all the physical comedy. You know a ghost is obviously limitless. You can do anything and I’d never played a ghost and I thought “Oh what a fun time to levitate and float and make noises.” (Laughs)

Q: Were those CGI special effects moments fun for you?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: They were. You know it was the first time. It’s such a pain in the butt to shoot those days because of the wiring and it’s such a safety thing and I’m like “I’m only raising 4 feet off the ground and I think I’ll be fine.” But it’s such a process to do those scenes and they have to digitally erase the wires. You can’t really change positions so my arms had to stay out and you couldn’t really do anything. So it’s a little limiting and you’re acting, but when you see it, it looks great. I was like, “Oh wow, that looks amazing!”

Q: What’s your take on ghosts and psychics? Do you believe in that stuff?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: Yeah, I’m definitely a believer in spirits, especially angels. I feel we all have people taking care of us and whether it’s someone you know in the past or just a guardian angel that God has sent you, I’ve definitely felt guided in my life by some angels.

Q: So who do you think in your life is guiding you?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: I had an aunt pass away and she had a very strong personality. She was a very strong, independent female and I always feel her energy around and sometimes I can hear her telling me things to do or not to do, or that she’s proud of me. She was such a strong presence in life. I did have a psychic make-up artist once come up to me – she was doing someone else’s make-up – and said “I’m sorry but this woman will not leave me alone. She’s really strong and she just wants me to tell you that she’s so proud of you.” She was telling me what my aunt was saying but it was funny the way she described this personality and it was so like her to not leave her alone (laughs). The make-up artist said “I’m sorry, but I keep hearing this woman and she won’t leave until I come talk to you.” That was funny.

Q: Would you admit to being anything like the control freak part of your character or is that not you?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: Yeah, it’s definitely me in my business life whether it’s my career or my businesses or my restaurant or whatever I’m doing, I’m a control freak. I want to know what’s going on, what’s the process, what’s the timeline, what’s the next step, what do we have to do, but when it comes to my personal life, I’m the opposite. I don’t have a care in the world and Tony is more that person. Tony plans dinner, Tony plans our vacations, Tony buys our cars, Tony does our house stuff…he’s like this is what we’re doing today, this is what we’re doing tomorrow, this is what we’re doing next week. He’s a big planner, and I’m not in my personal life. And I definitely wasn’t like that at my wedding. I was stress free the day of our wedding.

Q: With everything going on and the opening of your restaurant, too, and Jeff mentioned filming locally because of the Housewives schedule, how crazy was it going from Universal Studios to Long Beach and all that?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: Long Beach was hard. The great thing about that was that Tony was here so it wasn’t like I had to go to Texas and then I had to come back. It was nice to have him here. I love television, I love the medium of television, I love that it’s fast and we do 14 pages a day. We’re like knocking it out and you’re barely in your trailer. You have time to change and eat and go back on set. There’s rewrites. It’s like, OK, new scene, what’s going on, who are you, hi, guest star, great…(laughs). It’s so fast that we’re basically doing a movie a week. So on my days that I was doing the movie, it was like vacation (laughs). It was like shoot 2 pages a day, watch movies in my trailer. Tony was there. We could go and eat dinner then come back and they were still not ready. So it wasn’t as hectic as people thought. It was just so relaxed to do that movie. It was nice to venture out and do another character, to have a different cast, to play off a different director. It was bliss for me. It was so fun.

Q: Your character does come across as sweet and likeable but at the same time, she’s not. Did you find it was a fine line you had to walk with this character? I heard the film was originally going to be called “Ghost Bitch.”

(Laughter)

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: Yeah. I liked that title. It was so funny. Jeff Lowell and I…I said I just don’t want her to come off as not justified in her anger. We only had that one scene at the beginning of the movie with Paul and I to see our relationship and then I’m dead. So you had to see in that one scene that he really adores me. The big thing was why would he love me so much if I was such a bitch and you never got to see the relationship so you had that one scene to see how much he loved me and how much I loved him and how great I was and that we were really great together and that’s why he was so sad that I was gone. You only had that one scene to see, OK, she loves him a lot and that’s why she’s kind of bitter and hasn’t moved on. It was a fine balance to justify it and particularly for me to differentiate Gabrielle and how she is day to day with her kind of…I think she’s more egotistical and conceited and Kate is more on a mission to protect Henry.

Q: If you had some of her fun abilities and powers, what would you be doing with them if you weren’t protecting people and guiding them?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: Oh I would totally haunt Tony if I passed away. (laughs) Definitely staying around, sabotaging anything. I told him that you’re not moving on until I move on. Yeah, I don’t know, what would I do? I’d scare people. I love scaring people. I always hide behind a door or something and then I’ll jump out and scare my girlfriends when they walk in. We love scaring each other. I think scaring people is the funniest thing ever. I would definitely use my powers to make voices.

Q: You should be in a horror movie. Do you like scary movies?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: No. I like thrillers. I’m not so much for the blood and guts, hands cut off, like “Saw” and Tony loves that.

Q: Between marriage, the TV show and movies, it’s got to be busy for you, yet you do find time for charity work. You do some work for cancer awareness in the Latino community. Can you talk about why that’s so important to you?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: It’s funny…thank God I haven’t experienced anybody in my family with a child who has cancer because I can’t imagine anything more difficult. But I was asked to go to an event that Padres Contra el Cancer was having one year, which was like 6 years ago, and I met Michael Velasquez, the CEO at the time and he said I should come to the Children’s Hospital. I don’t know if any of you have ever visited the Children’s Hospital in that wing, but once you go, it’s life changing. It changed my life. To meet the families and to talk to the parents and talk to the kids…there is more hope on that floor than you will see in your whole life. These kids really are resilient and they’re almost the parents. They’re taking care of their parents, saying ‘Mom, it’s going to be fine. Mom, we’re going to kill the monster.’

I got involved with Padres because 70% of the kids in L.A. in the Children’s Hospital are Latino and the reason why there are so many more Latino children that are affected with cancer is because of the language barrier and socially we’re not a culture to go to the doctor early enough to catch it so usually the death rates are higher in Latinos because they go too late. And finances – if you don’t have insurance and you can’t pay…they don’t understand chemotherapy anyway. I think understanding cancer is hard enough in English…it would be like you in China and them explaining it to you in Chinese. “You have cancer and this is what you have to do.” And you’re like, “But I don’t understand what you’re saying.” So those barriers are preventative. You can have financial education courses, you can have a translator with you at the hospital, and socially to educate our culture to get check-ups and take your kids and if something’s wrong, go to the doctor. Everything can be prevented and these kids don’t have to be there so that’s why Padres really is important to me. It’s work that has to be done and somebody has to do it.

Q: Your look in the movie is so different than the way you look now or even as Gabrielle. Do you have input into the way your character looks?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: Yeah. I dyed my hair lighter and blonde for the movie because I wanted to look different than Gabrielle. She was obviously more conservative with a type A personality. We wanted her to be in white as opposed to black. Jeff Lowell didn’t want to stay in the same outfit. He said, “No, she can change with the environment. I think that’s fine but she should always be in white because white is angelic.” It’s hard to keep white clean though (laughs).

Q: Were there a lot of opportunities for improvisation?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: Yeah. That was the great thing about having Jeff Lowell. This is his directorial debut, and being a writer, he was way more open to playing with dialogue than most directors who have to “This is the bible. Once the writer turns it over, you can’t deviate.” And because Jeff was the writer, he was way more open to it…the blocking, everything. He was so pleasant to work with.

Q: Can you talk about a specific thing you did improvise that made it in?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: Well you know when I rattle off all of those numbers, colors, dogs, pet names…because there was so much time we had to cover with those scenes and we had to improv a lot of that. I was making up colors and the pet I had when I was young and how he died. Sometimes I would say things and Lake couldn’t laugh and she said “You had a what named what?” (laughs)

Q: One question about the Spurs as a fan. We’ve been in a little bit of a slump lately. Can you comment on your version of handicapping and our chances for a league win?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: Well we have a lot of injuries now so that’s why the slump. We hit this wall last year because it’s right before trades, everybody gets a little nervous, and we’re not playing as well as we can be. And the West is way more competitive than the East. The East has Boston and Detroit. The West has Phoenix, Utah, New Orleans, Lakers are doing great, Denver which is amazing and…. Dallas…I hate the Mavericks and always blank them out of my mind. (laughs). So we’re in a slump and you can’t be too long in the West because you’ll get run over pretty fast. But we usually hit this wall every year around this time…right before the All Star break…everybody’s tired, particularly Tony. He’s been playing with an injury. He’s not 100% so every time he misses a lay-up by this much (holds up her fingers about an inch width apart) it’s cause he’s like “I can’t jump any higher.” He has a swollen ankle. He plays year round because of the National Team, the French team, so he is like tired. His body is tired. To play that hard, that long, it catches up.

Q: Have you seen the Spanish language version of Desperate Housewives?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: I have not. I’ve heard about it, but haven’t seen it. I don’t know who plays me, but I hear it’s in Argentina, Venezuela, Columbia, and now Mexico. It’s interesting because they use the same exact scripts.

Q: Do you have a lot of downtime right now?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: Yeah

Q: What are you doing?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: I’m being a housewife as opposed to playing a housewife. (laughs) Nurse Tony back to health.

Q: If the writers go back to work, would you finish the season or do you think the season is pretty much finished?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: Well, I would hope we finish season 4 because it was a weird way to end it but I did read an article where Marc Cherry was being interviewed in USA Today about 3 days ago and he thought that was the last episode of season 4. Even if the strike ended, he needs 2 months to write and he hasn’t written anything so he needs at least 2 months to regroup so if that is the case, then there’s no point in filming because after May and in the summer, the ratings just aren’t there. So we’ll just start season 5. I was kind of bummed that we aired that last episode because that tornado episode was such a great cliff-hanger that it would have been great to end season 4 on that as opposed to airing the episode we did film that answered a lot of questions. Now there’s really no suspense.

Q: Are you still going out, visiting the writers and bringing pizza to them?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: No, I’ve been in Texas. I haven’t been here to go and picket.

Q: Haven’t you been working on “Lower Learning” though?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: I was doing that at the same time as Desperate Housewives so we were trying to wrap that also before the writers strike.

Q: Who do you play in that?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: A superintendent coming to shut down the school with Jason (Biggs) and Jason and I become allies and try to save the school. What’s my name???? Rebecca!!! It was fun.

Q: How do you adjust to doing film and TV and now suddenly there’s nothing? Do you wake up thinking you should be somewhere?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: Yeah, I should be somewhere. Absolutely. I like routine and I like to work. I have an incredible work ethic so that’s why I love working on film, TV…I love juggling everything at once so to kind of stop…the only nice part is that I have been able to enjoy marriage and being a newlywed. So I’ve kind of accepted that and think it’s a sign from God that he just wants us to just be together at this time. Especially at the holidays it was nice to be off, but there are just too many people out of work to be like this for too long. I still stay in contact with our camera guys and my hair and make-up people, some of the electricians and the grips… we were such a family and so we email all the time and we’ve been sharing pictures, and it’s like “Any word?” “Not on my end.”

Q: Are you ever afraid to go and watch your husband play because you’ll get the Jessica Simpson thing going and they’ll start losing?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: I got that. Once Tony and I started dating you’d have thought I was the Yoko Ono of the Spurs (laughs). Tony had a bad game, it was my fault. Tony had a good game, it was because of me. If Tony got injured, it was my fault. Anything that happened…if Tony did anything, they would say, ‘Oh, he’s Hollywood now.’ Believe me, he’s not thinking of me when he’s on the court. And I don’t think Tony Romo was thinking of Jessica when 10 linemen are coming at him, you know. I don’t know what player it was…I think Antonio Davis when his wife was in the stands and got in a fight with a fan and he went into the stands, then he got fined. I was like “Oh honey, would you come rescue me if I got in a fight with a fan?” and he goes “No. (laughs) No, I’m not getting that fee. Those fines are really steep and then get suspended.” He’s like “No, you’re on your own.”

Q: Does that stuff stop over time?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: Yeah because you’re not just some girl distracting him, you’re actually in a long term relationship. And sports is such subculture. The fans of Cowboys, Spurs…that’s their team and who are you to come in and mess up with their boys. The fans have ownership. And I totally understand it. They’re very protective of their teams.

Q: Have you become friends with some of the wives?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: Oh yeah. We have a great group of wives with the Spurs. They’re amazing. It’s such a tight family and it’s great they’re such a great group. I’m really lucky.

Q: How did that Funny or Die video come about?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: Oh my God, I know. Will Ferrell’s company – Chris Henchey, Brooke Shield’s husband came to me and said will I do Will’s site and wanted to know if they wrote something really funny if I’d be interested in doing it. I said Yeah! We went and filmed it. Tony thought it was totally hilarious. When it came out I was hoping it didn’t cause too much backlash. Now everybody really got it, thank God ‘cause it could have gone either way but now everyone is saying that sex tape is so funny. And it was fun to do, too.

Q: Your look whether on or off the set is always so complimentary to you. Any tips  how to look so natural?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: I’m a big fan of concealer and tinted moisturizer. Whenever I’m out and about, I use tinted moisturizer instead of makeup so my face can breathe. It gives enough coverage, and it still looks natural yet it still covers up all the discolorations. But today, this is like team Eva….

“Over Her Dead Body” opens in theaters on February 1st.

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