How Eva Longoria Crafted Her Ideal TV Comeback With ‘Land of Women’

Eva Longoria didn’t feel the need to return to a fulltime TV gig for almost 10 years. But after developing her skills as a director and producer, the “Desperate Housewives” and “Telenovela” star was ready to revisit the job that made global audiences fall in love with her in the first place.

This time was different though. Rather than wait for the perfect role to come to her, Longoria could craft her ideal TV comeback. The result is Apple TV+’s charming bilingual dramedy “Land of Women,” cocreated by Ramón Campos and Gema R. Neira, and executive produced by Bambu Studios and Longoria’s UnbeliEVAble Entertainment.

“If I was going to come back to TV, it had to be really special,” Longoria told TheWrap. “I thought, ‘I want to shoot in Spain’ and ‘I want to act in Spanish’ … I reverse-engineered [the show]. It’s a privilege.”

Longoria teamed with Campos to bring her dream TV project to life, finding the novel from Sandra Barneda that inspired the series. “Land of Women” centers around Gala (Longoria), a socialite who finds herself having to escape her idyllic life in New York City and finding solace in the small town in Spain where her mother was born. The chaotic girls’ trip between Gala, her mother Julia (Carmen Maura) and daughter Kate (Victoria Bazúa) helps strengthen their bond as a family, as each woman learns valuable lessons about identity, love and resilience.

The actress and her “favorite writer from Spain” previously collaborated on the modern day-set U.S. version of his hit period drama “Gran Hotel,” but “Land of Women” served as a creative challenge for both hitmakers. Longoria got to act in Spanish for the first time, and Campos injected a healthy dose of comedy into his latest alluring mystery.

“The most important thing for us was to make a show that could speak about important things, without losing focus on the relationship between these three generations of women,” the creator of Netflix’s “Cable Girls” told TheWrap. “It’s a wonderful story about identity, and the comedy helped us tell that story properly.”

For Longoria, comedy was essential. Seeing a “depressing” TV landscape full of “dystopian future and zombie apocalypse” left her with the desire to bring that “Desperate Housewives” essence into the streaming world.

“I wanted it to be a true dramedy where the stakes are really high, but there’s comedic situations. I think we really nailed that tone,” she said.

Eva Longoria, Santiago Cabrera, Victoria Bazúa and Carmen Maura in “Land of Women.” (Apple TV+)

A script with more lines in Spanish than English certainly raised the stakes for Longoria. But a dialect coach and her costars helped make even her bilingual mishaps into comedic gold.

“It’s funny when Gala messes up, and there were many words that I just could not say … but I worked so hard. And because we’re doing comedy in Spanish, the timing is different, meaning the way you hit the words are different,” Longoria explained. “Luckily, I had the legend of Carmen Maura and Santiago Cabrera opposite of me who really helped me figure that out.”

“By Episode 3, I was in a groove,” she added.

Santiago Cabrera and Eva Longoria in “Land of Women.” (Apple TV+)

As the family drama unfolds, both in the present time and Julia’s younger years told via flashback, Gala faces twist after twist that teach her to stand on her own for her family. She also encounters the women who run a co-op vineyard in the town of La Muga, working together to create wine in the picturesque European village. Their stories, along with many surprising turns, should entrance audiences in search of a summer getaway on their TV screens.

“I like to do things that say something about culture. I like to change hearts and minds,” Longoria added. “I want [viewers] to get lost in a beautiful setting and the character drama, and I want [them] to laugh.”

“Land of Women” premieres Wednesday, June 26, on Apple TV+.

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