Top photo (left to right): Robert Verdi (stylist), McKenzie Liautaud (jewelry designer), my wife, Claudia and Amaury Nolasco (actor, Prison Break & the upcoming NBC show titled Telenovela.)
So back in early March my wife and I got invited to Eva Longoria's 40th birthday weekend celebration. People have been asking me about it. I won't divulge too much since I respect Eva's privacy as well as her family and friends who were just lovely. I got to meet and work with Eva on the film FRONTERA starring Ed Harris and Michael Peña. I played Ramon, a local human smuggler hired by Eva. The bulk of my scenes were with Eva and let's just say the scenes were not nice. I was definitely her tormentor but behind the scenes Eva was totally cool and we shared many laughs due to our experience. After the filming of FRONTERA Eva had invited me to shoot stills for her short OUT OF THE BLUE which she was directing and being produced by Canon and Ron Howard's company. The one thing I can say about Eva is that she is a natural at directing. All those years as an actress and paying attention was obvious on her set. I certainly appreciated her trust and sincerity during her short.
We've stayed in touch on and off. I wouldn't say we're close friends but it was a nice gesture on her part to include my wife and I among her friends and family back in March. She is a force to be reckoned with because she harnesses her followers and gives them all a purpose for good causes. And that's exactly what she did for her 40th birthday bash. She had a scavenger hunt for her friends and family at Morgan's Wonderland (http://www.morganswonderland.com). It's the only park in the world that is built specifically for special needs kids and adults. Eva did this in order to bring awareness to this special park. She invited the media to her private gathering just for that purpose and had her formal sit down birthday gala at the park and money was raised to help Morgan's Wonderland. I don't like celebrities since most of them are a bit vapid and self-serving. Eva is a smart woman who engages politicians, business minded people, entertainers to work for something beyond themselves for greater causes...and that is not necessarily being a celebrity but an activist and community leader...and in her case...a person with a great big heart. Wishing her many more years of success and especially love. Oh by the way, I always refer to her as our Latina Oprah Winfrey! She just needs a talk show.