Longoria a comedy hit as a struggling a Spanish soap star pretending she speaks Spanish, sneak peek Monday, December 7th, 2015, at 10pm, series continues on January 4th, 2016 **** Four Stars
By Robin Rowe
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Gosh!TV) 2015/12/7 – “Even though it’s behind the scenes of a show, I think people are going to be surprised that they’re going to fit right into this family,” says Telenovela star Eva Longoria. “We were ahead of the game when we actually were casting. Because when you get into pilot season every actor is snatched up. We knew what we were looking for really early on. We were lucky to have half of our cast are veteran, you know, been on many shows, and then the other half are new, young, fresh talent you’ve never seen. And I love that mix.”
Telenovela is tremendous fun. Eva Longoria brings passionate comedy to her character, an insecure Spanish soap star recovering from a painful divorce from her Latin heartthrob husband. When she can’t remember a line on camera she brings forth an intense stare-down. Like Carol Burnett, her antics not only crack us up, they present a challenge for her co-stars to keep a straight face. The entire cast is great, but I’ll let Eva Longoria tell you about that…
“I loved when we were casting, to discover a Jose Moreno Brooks, who you guys are going to die over how funny he is,” says Longoria. “And to find a Puerto Rican in Nashville…Jadyn Douglas. We were, like, we can’t cast Roxie. She doesn’t exist. And here comes this self-tape from Nashville. I was, like, there’s a Puerto Rican in Nashville? And then, of course, Izzy, who came in, and we felt…that’s Isaac. And he was testing for another pilot. We were like, no, I hope he doesn’t get it.” “I didn’t get it,” chimes in Telenovela star Izzy Diaz.
“Amaury, I always knew was going to be Rodrigo….this role was created from his life,” says Longoria. “And Alex, who I have known for over 15 years. When I moved to Los Angeles, she was one of the first actresses I met. And she’s one of the most beautiful, talented women. And you have never seen her like this in this show. She’s finally unleashed…. I was out of town when they were casting Diana. And they sent me her tape. And they said, we want to bring this woman back in. And I looked at the tape and I go, oh, my God, that’s my best friend.”
“I auditioned with everybody,” says Longoria, who’s also executive producer. “I read with each person from their first audition. And I knew, you know, Mimi and Ana were going to be a very big relationship in this show, because it’s really a true relationship of friendship. And the minute I walked in and met Diana, we were bonded for life. And this was before she even tested for NBC, or anything. And I was, like, this girl is one of the funniest human beings, but also authentically centering. Like, and that’s her character.”
“We were trying to find our Xavi,” says Longoria. “And I had met Jencarlos through Amaury a year before, and I knew he was on novelas, and I knew he was a big pop star from the Latin world. And I was telling Amaury, God, we need to find an authentic Xavi from that world. You know, like your friend Jencarlos Canela. Like, he’s gorgeous. So, who do you think? And Amaury’s like, why don’t you cast Jencarlos Canela?”
In Telenovela the delicious secret of the star is she doesn’t really speak Spanish. Many second-generation Latinos only speak English. It’s easy to relate to a character struggling to be true to her native roots but not really of that culture. The United States is now the second-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world after Spain.
Sneak peek Monday, December 7th, 2015, at 10pm, series continues on January 4th, 2016