Eva Longoria Bastón is just like many of us “hyphenated” Americans — she, too, has struggled to find her place in the world with a dual identity. “People always say, ‘Oh, you’re half Mexican, half American?’ And I always say, ‘No, I’m 100% Mexican and 100% American at the same time,’ ” she told SheKnows in an exclusive interview. “And having that dichotomy and navigating that identity is not easy, because when you’re in the United States, they’re like, ‘You’re Mexican,’ and when you’re in Mexico they’re like, ‘Oh, the American,’ so you’re from neither here nor there.”
The 47-year-old mom of one talked to SheKnows about how she’s rewriting the script for Latinas in Hollywood. “It’s the reason I started my production company to create opportunities for Latinos, and people, and women to get behind the camera and be the storytellers,” she said. Longoria Bastón’s recently released (January 2022) documentary La Guerra Civil explores how one epic boxing match between Julio César Chávez and Oscar de la Hoya was emblematic of the identity navigation she has felt as a Tejana. “The documentary . . . really explored that divide in our culture, and how it pitted Mexicans against Mexican Americans, and so that fight meant much more than boxing,” she told SheKnows on a press trip in New York. “We have to be writing the stories, producing the stories, directing the stories to create any sort of change.”
And that may be why she has partnered with CNN+ for a new docuseries exploring Mexican food called Searching for Mexico, which was released this spring. “I want them to see that the food is a reflection of history. The tomato comes from Mexico. The Italians perfected it, but it’s Mexican. Chocolate is Mexican,” she said, adding ” . . . There’s so much that’s endemic to the region and the country and so many people don’t know it. And then, also to that point, the indigenous populations that are still thriving today and are still preserving and conserving their practices — it’s really fascinating.” Watch the video above for the full interview.