And she dropped a tidbit about Lopez's beloved biopic, 'Selena.'
Jennifer Lopez has cemented herself as the blueprint for success in Hollywood, from starring in films on the big screen to roles on TV as well as dominating the Billboard charts, headlining the Super Bowl halftime show, and parlaying all that success into fragrance, beauty products, and even liquor. Last night, fellow actress and Hollywood firebrand Eva Longoria credited Lopez for inspiring her — and, undoubtedly, a whole generation of others — by paving the way for Latin people in the entertainment industry.
“Jennifer broke down so many doors so that we could walk through them,” Longoria told People at Elle's Women in Hollywood event last night. “And she kicked them down. They were not easy doors.”
Longoria specifically called out Lopez's breakout role in Selena as a moment that has stayed with her. Plus, for fans of the Desperate Housewives alum and newly minted director, Longoria dropped a little-known fact about the beloved biopic.
“I'm from Corpus Christi, Texas. I was an extra in that movie and to look up on the stage and go, 'Oh my gosh,'" Longoria said of seeing Lopez in her role of Selena Quintanilla-Pérez. “First of all, to see Selena do it, and then to see Jennifer play Selena, you're like, 'There is opportunity for somebody who looks like me.'"
Lopez isn't the only one setting the standard, however. Annie Gonzalez, who starred in Longoria's directorial debut, Flamin' Hot, credits her with doing the same.
“That's the reason I do what I do,” Longoria told People after Gonzalez sang her praises. “I want to build the pipeline of talent from our community, but also showcase the talent that we have in our community.”
Longoria also explained that there are so many talented Latinx people who are being overlooked by the industry at large and that there's a pool of stars that has “never been tapped into." Longoria shared that there are “such amazing, talented actors, directors, writers, in front of, behind the camera."
"For me, the purpose of doing what I do is to help give our community that experience they need to go onto the next project," she said.
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