Eva Longoria Reminds Women Everywhere to Be 'Independent'

Eva Longoria embarks on an unexpected journey in her new dramedy Land of Women, but her greatest adventure offscreen has been motherhood. "It's a lifelong adventure that you go on when you have a child," the Desperate Housewives alum told Parade in a recent one-on-one interview.

Longoria is a mom to son Santiago Enrique Bastón, whom she welcomed in 2018 with her husband José "Pepe" Bastón. For the boy mom, it's important to show her son Santi what women are capable of.

"I can't tell him about women, but I can show him and I can be an example of a woman he should respect and a woman that he sees in the world as his equal, as strong, as independent," Longoria said. "I think when you're raising a son, it's important to show them the capabilities that we have and the strength that we have and I know he knows that for sure."

"And whether it's just through how I am with him or how I am in life, or my philanthropy or when I'm at work or when I'm directing, like he sits there and he is like in awe sometimes with like, 'Wow, that's my mom,'" she continued. "And I think if he sees that in me, hopefully he expects that of other women, like, 'Oh yeah. I guess every woman is strong. I guess every woman is capable of reaching their dreams.' That's something I think I could show him."

Strong women are at the center of Longoria's new female-led series, Land of Women. The multi-generational show, inspired by Sandra Barneda’s novel La Tierra de las Mujeres, stars Longoria as Gala, a wealthy New Yorker whose life is upended when her husband fails to pay back a debt, so she flees to Spain with her mother and teenage daughter, played by Carmen Maura and Victoria Bazúa, respectively. With her husband gone, Gala takes it upon herself to fix the situation.

"It's a beautiful discovery for women and it's a good lesson for women to know you are enough the way you are, you have all the strength you need to encounter any challenge whether it's in work or family or relationships," Longoria said. "That journey of finding your strength and finding your own roar is what's so attractive about this series."

Continue reading for more about Longoria's feel-good (and wanderlust-inducing) dramedy Land of Women, which debuted June 26 on Apple TV+.

You seem to be drawn to shows that really center around women—this, Desperate Housewives. What does being part of a show that highlights women's stories mean to you personally and professionally?

I think it's needed. It's rare that you have a show like this that's about women and by women. Because usually you're the wife of or the girlfriend of, and you're just such a secondary character and you're not even part of the logline. And so I love shows like this that show our complexity, our weaknesses, our strengths, our breath of life at every age. I don't think you see that enough in television. We're always just a side character or a character in service of a male character.

Related: Eva Longoria Is Ready for a 'Desperate Housewives' Reunion—But Not a Reboot

<p>Apple TV+</p>

Apple TV+

Well, that's definitely not the case here. And I feel like there are so many lessons to be learned [from Land of Women], whether about financial independence or the importance of community. What are some lessons that you hope viewers take away from Land of Women, and are there lessons here that you've learned yourself along the way in life?

What I really loved about Gala and her trajectory from episode one to the last one was, she really was forced to find her strength. She's been leading a very comfortable life in the shadow of her husband. She's not financially independent. And out of nowhere, she has to flee with her mother and her daughter. She has to hide them, protect them, provide for them. She's never done any of these things. And so she's forced to find the strength within. And when she does, she's proud. She's like, 'I did that.' She becomes her own hero... It's a beautiful discovery for women and it's a good lesson for women to know you are enough the way you are, you have all the strength you need to encounter any challenge, whether it's in work or family or relationships. That journey of finding your strength and finding your own roar is what's so attractive about this series. That's such a big lesson to anybody watching this. Not just women.

Related: How Eva Longoria Took Control in Hollywood: 'I Don't Want to Ask Anybody for Permission'

Did you see any of yourself in Gala?

No, other than we both like wine [laughs]. No. I've been a strong, independent—always been taught to be economically independent—educated woman, because I grew up in a land of women. I grew up with all my sisters. I have no brothers. I have nine aunts. And so for me, I was lucky that I was told that I could be anything I wanted. And I was shown that by the examples of the women around me, and I don't think everybody has that luck to have that influence on them throughout their lives.

<p>Apple TV+</p>

Apple TV+

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Next, Everything to Know About Land of Women Season 1