Eva Longoria wants to be taken seriously even though she's recently posed in a bikini for a magazine cover big enough to be spread out in the Nevada desert and photographed from space.
Although Eva plays a diva on TV and has spent years building her image as a sexpot, she says the publicity is "flattering" but adds that it's not her. She wants to be known for her brains and not just her beauty.
Currently making the rounds to promote a new movie "The Sentinel", where the petite Eva plays a Secret Service, she's outspoken about important issues like immigration, and admits that she's thrilled she passed up the role in "Spanglish" last year in order to do "Desperate Housewives." It's lead to even bigger things, such as her first starring role on the big screen alongside Kiefer Sutherland and Michael Douglas in the new political thriller coming out this Friday, in which the D-wives beauty shocked the cast and crew with her shooting skills.
Eva says her Secret Service character is "closer to who I am" than flighty sex kitten Gabrielle. "I'm from Texas. I grew up with guns. My dad was educating us early about guns, so we used to go target shooting all the time - beer cans, coffee cans, anything that exploded and made noise."
"It was humiliating, to be honest," said Michael Douglas of being outgunned by the Texas native."She shoots better than 90% of police officers in our country. She grew up on a ranch in San Antonio. Her dad had her shooting target practice when she was six years old."
Besides, she notes, most of her pre-Housewives roles consisted of cops roles in such short-lived series as 'L.A. Dragnet.' "It required intense SWAT training from the LAPD ... All the roles I did before 'Desperate Housewives' were cops and detectives. (The Sentinel) was coming back home to me."
As for celebrity, she says she is resigned, but is confused as to what the media wants. "If you don't give them what they want, they'll make it up anyway."
"I did a wonderful article in Allure where we talked about many things, including some personal stuff. And I said I'm the experienced one because I've been married, divorced, broken up, engaged, and he's been in only one serious relationship."
"Then it just got torn up in (the press), saying I'm the teacher of sex! Where did you get that from?"
"You never win. I dated someone before Tony Parker who I was very private about and it was 'Trouble in Paradise: Eva won't speak' then with Tony I've been open about it, saying it's great and we're in love and it's 'Trouble in Paradise: Eva Speaks Out' You cannot win."
"It's getting worse," she continues. "There's a new magazine every week. I don't understand how they stay afloat. But then I see someone reading it and I think, 'Well there's the demand.' And the Internet is insane. If it's printed on one site, it's factual ... (Parker) hates coming here and visiting. He hates the bounty that exists today for gossip and pictures. He loves movies. He's a movie guy. He loves certain actors ... but he hates the (gossip). With him being an athlete, they don't experience that - at least not with the Spurs."
But then there's the matter of the recent Maxim magazine cover which celebrated its 100th issue by constructing a 75-by-110-foot vinyl mesh screen billboard featuring a cover image of Eva and billed her as TV's Sexiest Earthling.
"I was really honored when Maxim called and said you know we're celebrating our 100th issue and we want to honour your cover because it was a popular cover."
"You can see it from space, which makes me feel kind of weird and nervous. If any aliens are passing by, they'll come looking for me first."