Eva Longoria and George Lopez are hosting the Alma Awards this year with Eva executive producing the show as well. This year Cheech Marin will be honored along with several Latino Olympians. Rapper Pitbull has a special song planned with more music from Flo Rida featuring Roselyn Sanchez.
Eva Longoria is known for acting in the ABC series Desperate Housewives where she received a Golden Globe nomination, and George Lopez starred in his own self-titled sitcom on ABC before hosting a talk show. He tours regularly performing his stand up heading soon to the Windy City. Here is what they had to say before the show aired this week.
Gozamos: Hello, Eva and George. Well first off I want to say congratulations. Both of you are nominated so that must be awesome to be both hosts and nominated.
George Lopez: It really is. I’m happy that I’ve won multiple times. I have them where I can see them everyday. When you work hard to be honored not only by your peers but also on a large scale like the ALMAs, which means something to every Latino performer young and old, it is quite an accomplishment to be chosen to win an award.
Eva Langoria: I always pull myself out of the categories as a producer. They talked me into keeping myself in the movie category because that movie was just so great and Andy Garcia is amazing in it. A lot of people were nominated from For Greater Glory. I was very proud of it. But I was trying to pull myself out again.
You deserve it. You weren’t even recognizable in that movie you were so into the role.
EL: Well, thank you. I appreciate that.
When did you become involved with the Alma Awards and NCL in the first place?
EL: I’ve been involved with NCLR for a long time; I think since Young and the Restless, attending NCLR performances and really working with them as the largest advocacy group for Latinos in America. They do a lot outside of the ALMAs. So that’s when I started with NCLR was through advocacy and activism.
How is juggling your scheduling when you are filming?
EL: It’s been crazy because I’ve been campaigning a lot for the President. It’s usually harder whenever I was on Desperate Housewives. That was a little harder. But, yeah, you make it work. It’s a very important show.
How do you few Latin people are represented in the media?
EL: It’s definitely improving. We have a lot to do. I think as a community we have to get behind the camera and we have to start creating our own stories and our images. A great example of this is Devious Maids, which I’m an exec producer on. Being able to put four lead Latinas on a show, telling the remarkable stories of these four complex women it’s an example of what we need to continue to do as writers, as producers, as directors. We need to create our story.
GL: But also in the media you have to change your thinking. We all need to do better as people not just as Latinos. And obviously, you know, when you look at some other award shows they tend to be a little bit hard to watch and hard to take. The ALMA Awards, on the other hand, are very colorful, it moves, it’s funny and it’s vibrant.
I think a lot of the other award shows suffer because they have a lack of vibrancy. This one is on Mundos and Telemundo and NBC and it’s performers who cross over to other cultures. When you look at the American Music Awards a lot of the time it’s just a one-sided appeal.
Do you think Hollywood is finally doing better at stereotypes?
GL: Our celebrity is on the level of everyone else. If you look at Eva, Eva is a celebrity of the highest magnitude all over the world not only in the Southwest but in the United States of America. So if you look at Christina Aguilera, she’s on a show that’s incredibly successful. Pitbull is the musical director, composer of the song and performer on the highest level, on a global level.
What are themes are you focusing on this year?
EL: Well every year George and I mix it up because usually George’s comedy is pretty relevant to current events. This is a really big year obviously with the elections coming up. We’ve had a lot of fun things that have happened this year. We’re usually current-event-related. So every year is a little different and exciting and fun.
What has been a big moment on past Alma Award shows?
EL: God, one of mine is Andy Garcia. I don’t know why that one just sticks with me but it was when we honored Andy Garcia. Another one was Marc Anthony. Those were really great tributes and the musical components of all of those were amazing. When Christina Aguilera first came on the scene, it was her first televised appearance on the ALMAs. I think it was Genie in a Bottle. Looking back she was on our stage when she was beginning her career.
GL: I liked it when Prince came by to honor Sheila E.
What routines do you have planned?
EL: One year we did a skit with Cheech and Chong and next year we’ll do something else. And so this year we’re actually formulating all of our stuff right now.
That will be a surprise. There is quite a list of people to go through.
EL: These celebrities now are global and not just regional. That’s an important thing to also realize is that Latinos and the people that we honor now are wildly successful, globally successful and we’re honoring them with our pride and we want everybody to see that.
The board nominated Naya Rivera who had such an important storyline on Glee with being openly lesbian and dealing with her religious mother. Hats off to the nominations because I think she was nominated twice and she deserves it.
GL: Yes, I agree. That’s a good storyline for all people, any actor, and, yeah, I think that it’s contemporary. It’s nice that we get to play those parts as well.
We will see you in Chicago on September 22.
GL: I will see you then, brother. I am looking forward to it.
Watch the awards Friday, Sept. 21 on NBC at 7 p.m.
See Lopez live and in person the day after at the Chicago Theatre, 175 North State St.
For more about the stand up act and to purchase tickets visit www.thechicagotheatre.com.