At the 2023 South By Southwest Film Festival, Eva Longoria revealed how she got started in acting.

“I came from a family of educators so my mom’s a teacher, underpaid and under-appreciated, and my aunts were teachers, my sisters are, you know, engineers so I was the disappointment in the family by becoming an actor,” she began. “I went to college and I couldn’t afford my senior year in college it was like my financial aid ran out, they stopped Pell Grants at the time, and a friend of mine said, ‘you should apply to the scholarship pageant’ and I was like, ‘what is that’ and she’s like ‘it’s like a beauty pageant.’ I was like oh God no no no because I grew up – I know it’s hard to believe now, but I grew up as the ugly duckling in my family, Mexican household is called la prieta, the ugly dark one – so I didn’t grow up with with this idea of beauty.”

“So anyway I entered this pageant and in the pageant, if you won you got like tuition and books and the stipend and second place was like tuition and the 3rd place was like that so I calculated if I could get 4th place, I would get my books paid for and then I was gonna like hodgepodge the rest of it,” Longoria continued. “I was like, ‘ok, I could take two classes I could afford two classes or whatever,’ so my aim was pretty low, it was like 4th place. Then I remember there were five of us as finalists and one of the questions was ‘What do you think about cloning?’ This was when they cloned that sheep Dolly and the girl next to me, she goes ‘What the f–k is cloning?’ and I knew I was going to beat at least that girl. Then I ended up winning it and in this prize package was a trip to Hollywood, and I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t – I don’t want to keep doing this beauty thing, I just want, I needed the money to finish college.’ And so I ended up taking that trip after graduation and then just one day it was like, ‘I think I’m gonna be an actor.’ Just like that. Like in one day. Never thought of it before, didn’t know how to do it, had $22.00 in my bank account, so I stayed in L.A. I just never came home.”

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