Eva Longoria Parker has never been shy.
While other celebrities remain fiercely guarded, insulating themselves from the prying eyes of the paparazzi, the Corpus Christi, Texas, native is uncommonly candid, acknowledging the ups and downs of her marriage to NBA star Tony Parker, her preference for racy lingerie, and even her desire to leave ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” at the end of her current contract. Still, the one-time model, presently involved in a $20 million defamation suit against the photo agency that accused her husband of infidelity, would rather be recognized for her acting than treated as tabloid fodder.
“It’s frustrating, especially when you’re dealing with a respected newspaper or news-based magazine,” she says with a dry laugh. “There is an insatiable hunger for gossip, and it can seem overwhelming. It’s part of the job, though. Nobody wants to hear a celebrity complain. So you just take it with a grain of salt and try to keep people focused on your work.”
Parker, whose rise to fame after years of modeling and extra work coincided with the success of “Desperate Housewives,” has made no secret of her desire to star on the big screen. With “Over Her Dead Body,” a black comedy about a dearly departed diva who haunts her former fiancé and his new flame, the 32-year-old actress finally has her chance.
“You don’t often read a script where the character has so many things to do,” she says. “Once I read it, I wanted to play Kate, the ghost. She’s the one who stirs the pot and moves the story forward.
“The movie is so many different colors at the same time — it’s light and dark, morbid and funny. I love that kind of comedy. There’s a lot of humor in ‘Desperate Housewives,’ but this is the first time I’ve had a chance to explore that side of me in a film.”
Parker, who recently posted a goofy, Paris Hilton-inspired sex tape on Will Ferrell’s Funny or Die Web site, considers herself a natural comedian, as evidenced by her lighthearted but supremely self-assured turns in “Over Her Dead Body” and the upcoming elementary school comedy “Lower Learning.” Even so, she would welcome the opportunity to get physical in an action-packed thriller.
In the meantime, Gabrielle Solis, her shallow, self-absorbed alter ego from “Desperate Housewives,” remains in sexless limbo as the Hollywood writers’ strike lingers on. Parker, for one, isn’t holding her breath.
“Our last episode has already aired, and I don’t think we’re coming back for season four,” she says. “There’s not going to be enough time to shoot anything for another year. But I support the writers 100 percent — their demands are totally justified, they’re not greedy or far-fetched. And this is an important issue, because the actors and directors are going to be fighting over the same things soon enough. It’s just unfortunate that the writers were the first to have to bear the cross.
“I hate the fact that the writers are being vilified — ‘Oh, the writers are canceling the Grammys, the writers are canceling the Oscars.’ Well, it’s the producers who are doing the canceling by refusing to negotiate. There will never, ever be an amicable resolution to this conflict, and it’s not going to end anytime soon.”