Eva Longoria Braves Wire Work, Falling Lockers, Explosions in Short Film

Eva Longoria Ron Howard on Set - P 2013
Courtesy of Alliance Agency

Eva Longoria Ron Howard on Set - P 2013

The "Desperate Housewives" actress is directing and starring in "Out of the Blue," an action short for Ron Howard and Canon’s Project Imagination.

This story first appeared in the March 1 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

She may be known for playing the picture-perfect housewife Gabrielle Solis on Desperate Housewives for eight years, but Eva Longoria’s career could have gone in a very different direction had she stayed on her original path.

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The actress originally moved to Hollywood to be a stuntwoman, auditioning for work on TV’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. But at the same time she got a gig on the Young and the Restless and decided to give that a try. “I thought, ‘I’ll just do that since I guess you can see my face,'” says Longoria, 37, of her decision.

But Longoria’s post-Housewives life is bringing her back to her roots because she’s directing and starring in her own action short -- and even doing a lot of her own stunts. Project Imagination, a partnership between Ron Howard and Canon, gives five celebrities the opportunity to direct their own short based on photos submitted by the public. Along with Longoria, actor Jamie Foxx, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Marchesa founder Georgina Chapman and LCD Soundsystem founder and singer James Murphy will create short films around their 10 photo inspirations. The films will be shown at a special Canon “Project Imaginat10n” Film Festival in New York in the fall.

Longoria is not only helming her project, but also has chosen to star in it. She decided to create an action film -- titled Out of the Blue -- which centers on a woman who fights her way through several challenges while on the hunt for a madman.

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“It’s a mini-action epic,” says Howard of Longoria’s project. “It’s pretty ambitious. She’s always been athletic, and so I think she wants to show that physical side of her off, in additional to her creative leadership and directorial skills."

The five-day shoot put Longoria in dozens of challenging positions, including a “drowning” scene in a large water tank, wire work, staged explosions, fight scenes and one action scene in which a large metal locker barely missed crushing the petite actress.

“My body is paying for it,” says Longoria. “Every night I need to soak in a salt bath. I’m too old for this shit now."

Email: Rebecca.Ford@thr.com; Twitter: @Beccamford