Eva Longoria is a lot of things—executive producer, businesswoman, philanthropist—but above all, she’s a television star. A bright, shiny star whose on-air presence we have missed terribly. Bueno, mi gente, get comfy because Longoria’s long-awaited new comedy, Telenovela, is previewing on NBC tonight, with the premiere on January 4. We got an early peek at Telenovela, and we can tell you that it’s as deliciously over-the-top as a show about the making of a Spanish soap called Las Leyes de Pasion should be. (And yes, Longoria’s character, Ana Sofia, who plays the telenovela’s lead character, Pasion, rocks a look worthy of her audacious name—big hair, glossy lips, jewelry for days.)

We caught up with Longoria and two of Telenovela‘s male leads, Jencarlos Canela (who plays Ana Sofia’s ex-husband, Xavier) and Amaury Nolasco. Listen in!

GLAM BELLEZA LATINA: Eva, we’ve missed seeing you on TV. We talked to you about Telenovela when you were on our spring cover, and now it’s here!
EVA LONGORIA: I’m so excited. This project is really special. The minute I read the first draft I was like, oh my gosh, I have to play to her!

GBL: What was so appealing about the telenovela genre for you?
EL: The telenovela has always been a popular TV genre for many cultures all over the world. It just so happens to be in Spanish. And so many of the most popular TV shows, like Ugly Betty and Devious Maids, have been adaptations of televenovelas.

GBL: Your character isn’t fluent in Spanish. What was the thinking behind that decision?
EL: It’s my life story. I’m ninth generation American so I’m very far removed from the language. I didn’t grow up speaking Spanish so I learned it later in life. I try my best but I don’t care if I say the wrong word. I learn from my mistakes. Also, this helps make Sofia relatable for the mainstream audience.

GBL: Good point. Now, Jencarlos, you’re already a legit telenovela star, with big roles in soaps like Telemundo’s Pasión Prohibida. Have you dipped into that experience in order to play Xavier Castillo?
JENCARLOS CANELA: My whole life has prepared me for this opportunity. I’m having so much fun playing this character. It’s a comedy so it’s a little nerve-wracking, especially next to these guys!

GBL: You’re so groomed! Is it a lot of work to get yourself together for this?
JC: Well, the girls really take the prize. They really do it up in a big way. The guys actually have a lot of accessories. Like 77 rings, bracelets and necklaces. Oh, and poufy hair like Elvis.

GBL: Amaury, you’re best known for your serious roles in dramas like Prison Break. Have you ever worked on something so tied to your culture?
AMAURY NOLASCO: Well, Eva wrote this role for me. She said, I’m developing a new TV show based on the telenovela and I want you to play the villain. I was like, you have my attention! I grew up with telenovelas. I’m having a real blast doing comedy with Eva. She’s like our version of Lucille Ball!


Tune in to Telenovela tonight at 10 P.M. Tweet us your thoughts @glamlatinamag!