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Eva Longoria Discusses "Harsh Times"

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Eva Longoria Discusses

Eva Longoria stars in "Harsh Times."

© MGM

Eva Longoria describes writer/director David Ayer’s Harsh Times as a film all about relationships. While some may view the gritty drama as a movie for men, Longoria sees Harsh Times as a movie with something for all adults. “It has so many themes to it. It's about relationships. It's kind of a coming of age [story]. It's a struggle. It's a love story. It's dramatic. It's violent. I think it's entertaining for everybody.”

What was it about this movie that appealed to you?
“I really wanted to do something as fast as I could that was opposite of Desperate Housewives before people could only see me as Gabrielle and only see me as that character. I wanted to reach out and do something else that was going to show me in a different light. That's why I really wanted to work with David [Ayer] and Christian [Bale] and Freddy [Rodriguez]. I thought it was a great collaboration of talent so I said, ‘Sign me up.’ Plus it was a 20 day shoot and it was a very fast shoot.

I loved that it was independent and gritty. Christian came right off of Batman to do this. I was just like, ‘Wow, what was he thinking with his $200 million to this $1 million little film?’ We barely had trailers. We didn't have craft services. It was really, really tight and we were shooting really fast because we don't have enough time to get it all anyway. I was fascinated to see what he thought, but he does that all the time. He goes from everything. He's amazing.”

When did this movie fall into your schedule?
“Three years ago.”

Before Desperate Housewives?
“It was our first month of Desperate Housewives. I did it on Christmas break, so I was on the air for like two months. You can tell by my bangs how old it was. It was fairly long ago. I just jumped at the chance to play something that was really far from Desperate Housewives. Something dark, something heavy, something intense. David Ayer came to me and said, 'I've got this script,' and I was like, 'Yes.' I mean I just wanted to work with him.”

Were you a fan of Training Day?
“I was a big fan of Training Day, a big of fan of everything about it. The characters, and not just because of Denzel [Washington], but all of the characters in Training Day were really fleshed out and really had some interesting back stories. And then LA itself was a character, the backdrop of Los Angeles. I think David is doing for LA what Scorsese does for New York. You know, just really cast it as a great character in itself.”

Did you have a certain rapport with Freddy Rodriguez since you both have a television background?
“Yeah, Freddy and I knew each other before we did the movie so it was easy. It's always easy when you know someone who you're going to have a love scene with. It was great because he was on his way out of Six Feet Under. They were finishing the season, and it was a highly rated, highly critically acclaimed show and here I am starting. It was like one month into Desperate Housewives, so he really gave me a lot of good advice. He's like, 'This is what you need to do. This is what's going to happen. You're going to have great years, good seasons, bad seasons.' That's exactly what happened. Great first season and people didn't like the second season. But, it's a great third season. So he's like, 'You're going to be on this rollercoaster until the show ends so just be prepared and stay grounded.' He was great.”

How would you describe his character Mike as a boyfriend?
“Didn't you want to jump in the movie and slap everybody? He definitely, on a scale on 1-10, was a 2 as far as effort. I mean, really, it's like, ‘Step up will you?’ It's so funny because people go, 'Why would she stay there in the movie? She's so intelligent, so driven and she's so ambitious. Why would she stay?' I think at the end of the day, she's still a woman. A woman always wants to fix the man and take care of the man.”

Is there anything in your personal background that prepared you for the role in this movie?
“Yeah. I mean, I grew up in a similar neighborhood where it was predominately Hispanic. Gang members were pretty apparent everywhere. I was pretty familiar with this type of environment, as well as these guys. I knew guys growing up who just can't get their crap together. I didn't date them, but I knew them. There is actually a real Sylvia and Mike that David Ayer knew. This is almost David Ayer’s life story. He wrote it from his experiences. I got to meet this Sylvia, so that's really where I got a lot of what I did was from her. She's extremely tough and extremely different than how I played her, but pretty similar in how she was pretty loyal to Mike. Then we met Mike, who was really a total loser. Freddy hung out with him more. Freddy's like, 'I haven't learned anything from hanging out with this guy.'”

Did you question why she'd be attracted to such a loser?
“Yeah, I told him that. But, I just think at the end of the day, she's a woman. Women want to fix men and change men and hope that they're going to get their act together. She was more of a maternal character than anything else to him. Like, ‘I have to take care of him.’ She'd been with him since she was 12 and that's the only man she's ever known. We said we want to slap her like, 'Leave. Go.' Especially in my culture, we're pretty loyal to our men not matter what. We put up with a lot.”

Page 2: Eva Longoria on Independent Films and Desperate Housewives

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