Eva Longoria Talks Flamin' Hot Cheetos Movie Challenges Following Controversy

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Eva Longoria is proud of the work she did on Flamin' Hot.

The multi-hyphenate star spoke about the challenges of her feature film directorial debut about Richard Montañez, the man mainly credited for creating the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, following the controversy surrounding his credibility.

"I think probably the greatest challenge was making sure we stayed true to the theme of the movie, which is opportunity is not distributed equally," she told Mark Malkin on this week's episode of Just for Variety podcast. "And when that happens, you have to work twice as hard and twice as long and be twice as good. And you still have to persevere and the story is so many things. It’s rags to riches, it’s American dream 101, it’s about perseverance, it’s about the underdog. But at the end of the day, it’s also about one person’s perspective and struggle within themselves. So it’s a beautiful, beautiful biopic."

In May, the Los Angeles Times published an explosive article digging into the snack's presumed creator. In their investigation, Frito-Lay claimed that the former janitor did not create the product. The news came on the heels of Searchlight Pictures and Franklin Entertainment's announcement that they had found their two leads.

Shortly after the LA Times piece, PepsiCo, which Frito-Lay is a subsidiary of, released a statement that expressed that Montañez's words and actions are "far from being an urban legend," noting, "We attribute the launch and success of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and other products to several people who worked at PepsiCo, including Richard Montañez."

Not specifically mentioning the controversy, Longoria expressed that when making the film she was "operating from a place of authenticity."

"I was operating from a place of authenticity and making sure I represented not only the story of Richard Montañez and the biopic that we were trying to do, but the Mexican-American community at large and making sure we represented in culture, in casting, in food, in the music," she explained.

As for Montañez, the businessman previously told Variety, "I was their greatest ambassador. But I will say this, you’re going to love your company more than they will ever love you, keep that in perspective."

Just last month, Longoria celebrated wrapping the film, writing on Instagram, "Can’t believe we are wrapped. What a ride! Truly the most special film of my life and can’t wait for everyone to watch this film! Thank you @hotcheetosrpm for sharing your inspirational story with us!"

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