Eva Longoria Dishes on 'Coco' Live Concert Special, New Projects and Her Social Distancing Routine (Exclusive)

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For everyone practicing social distancing at home and going "un poco loco" trying to figure out what to watch next, Disney+ has you covered!

On Friday, the streaming service is debuting A Celebration of the Music From Coco, a live concert special -- featuring songs and visuals from the Academy Award-winning animated film -- that was filmed at Los Angeles' historic Hollywood Bowl over three nights in November 2019.

Eva Longoria and Benjamin Bratt served as the hosts for the event, and when Longoria spoke with ET about the upcoming special, she couldn't help but rave about helping to bring her favorite movie to life.

"I think it's one of the most visually beautiful movies that Disney has done," she marvels. "The colors of it, it's a palette that you've never seen before in these animation movies." 

"And then of course the story just touches home," she adds. "Being Mexican-American has had such a deep meaning for me. And to see that tradition, the Day of the Dead, come to life in a story so beautifully told, it is my favorite movie. Not one of my [favorites], it is my favorite movie."

The colors and traditions of Coco were brought to life in spectacular fashion at the Hollywood Bowl, Longoria recalled, noting that one of her favorite performances of the night was when Bratt joined Mexican singer Carlos Rivera and young performer Alex Gonzalez -- who played the lead role of Miguel in the concert special -- to croon the heartfelt ballad "Remember Me."

"They turned the entire stage into an altar, an ofrenda, which is the offering that you would put in your house, and it was beautiful," she remembers. "The colors, and how people dressed up, and how people painted their faces, and the dresses. It gave me goosebumps the three nights that we shot, because it was just magical to see the movie come to life with the audience."

Longoria, who grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas, the daughter of Tejano parents, understands that a movie like Coco being made was "a hurdle in itself" for Mexican representation in American media. "And then for it to have the success and to be celebrated and honored and applauded by an award like the Oscar just solidifies that good content and good storytelling can come from any community, as opposed to the same well that Hollywood mostly taps all their stories out of," she says.

"I think people have to understand the contributions we make to our pop culture and to culture in general, and especially in the United States," she continues. "We are woven into the fabric that makes this country up... So for us, it was nice to get that recognition, because it was well deserved."

Championing Mexican and other Latinx stories in media is something that Longoria is passionate about, not just as an actress or host, but behind the camera and behind the scenes as well. One of her next projects is directing Flamin' Hot, a biopic about Richard Montañez, the son of Mexican immigrants who was working as a janitor at FritoLay when he came up with the idea for the brand's now-mega-successful Flamin' Hot Cheetos line.

"That's a beautiful story," she notes. "It's the American dream... Richard Montañez's story is everybody's story."

She's also set to produce and star in A Class Apart, an HBO movie about Gustavo "Gus" Garcia, the first Mexican-American lawyer to argue in front of the Supreme Court. "I'm really attracted to the stories from within my community, because there's so many great ones and there's so much history and so many great opportunities to shine a light on the great accomplishments of the Latinx community," Longoria says.

All that is on a bit of a hold for now, of course, with Hollywood mostly shuttered as the country heeds the advice of medical professionals and practices social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. However, Longoria said some extra time at home is a "dream come true" for her, as she gets to spend it with her husband, José Bastón, and their almost-2-year-old son, Santiago.

"He's at the perfect age where he doesn't know what's going on and he's not yet in school," she says of her baby boy. "So we just get to play all day. And he's just excited that Mom and Dad are home all day long."

As for her other at-home activities, Longoria said she's been enjoying extra time in the kitchen, reading, watching TV and movies and tackling her to-do list. "I'm a big cook. I just like cooking, and I don't get a lot of opportunity to do it whenever I'm working," she says. "So I've been literally cooking every day, every meal, breakfast, noon, night. And that's been fun."

She's also got plenty of recommendations for what to stream when you're done watching her Coco special -- including Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington's Hulu drama, Little Fires Everywhere, the new season of Westworld, the Elisabeth Moss thriller Invisible Man and her own new Quibi comedy, Flipped, which also stars Andy Garcia, Kaitlin Olson and Will Forte.

"And then I've been organizing. I finally organized my spice rack, which was very exciting," Longoria muses. "I'm going to tackle the garage, and the pantry and all the things.. I feel like I'm busier now than before!"

A Celebration of the Music From Coco debuts Friday, April 10, on Disney+Disney+.


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