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Eva Longoria Says She’s on ‘Cloud 9’ Over Reaction to Directorial Debut ‘Flamin’ Hot’

Eva Longoria’s first feature film behind the camera is already generating a ton of buzz.
On Sunday’s Oscars 2023 red carpet, the Desperate Housewives alum talked about the premiere of her directorial debut, Flamin Hot, at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in Austin, Texas the day before.
“The reviews are amazing,” she tells PEOPLE. “I’m still on cloud nine. I can’t even believe it and I just can’t wait for more people to have access to see it,” Longoria said.
The project follows the true story of Richard Montañez (played by Jesse Garcia), a Frito-Lay janitor who harnessed his Mexican American heritage to become a marketing savant. Flamin’ Hot also stars Tony Shalhoub, Dennis Haysbert, Emilio Rivera and Annie Gonzalez.
“It’s a biopic about the man who had a huge hand in launching the most popular snack in the world, which is Flaming Hot Cheetos,” the 47-year-old star tells PEOPLE. “It’s a pop culture icon and to know a Mexican janitor was behind it is very inspiring.”
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Longoria celebrated the premiere of her directorial film debut, an experience she says made her “so emotional,” one day before hitting the Oscars red carpet.
“I don’t even have words. I’m so emotional right now. It’s hard to do an interview,” Longoria told PEOPLE on Saturday of Flamin’ Hot at the Paramount Theater in Austin, Texas.
“This is my home state, so to premiere this movie in my home state. The fact that it’s Flamin’ Hot, about a Mexican American who is a hero in our community, to bring his story to the big screen — It’s an honor and beyond exciting.”
Of the film, which Longoria shared a first look of with PEOPLE back in January, the Desperate Housewives star says she didn’t set out to make a feature.
“This script and story found its way to me and to my heart, and I was like, ‘I have to tell this story.’ I have such interest in all the themes that we explore in the movie: underdog story, rags to riches, adversity, and overcoming obstacles,” she says. “All of those things that I was like — these are the themes I want to explore and this is the story I want to tell it through.”
“At the same time, it’s huge pop culture,” Longoria added of her first feature film as a director after 12 years behind the camera for television. “It’s one of those origin stories that makes you want to go buy the product. As opposed to, ‘I’m never buying that again.’ It’s a beautiful origin story that you go, ‘Wow.’ You get really inspired and motivated to go, ‘Why not me? I can.'”
The film will be available to stream on Hulu starting on June 9.

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