by Lisa McGarry

Eva Longoria

Golden Globe nominee and two-time ALMA Award-winning actress Eva Longoria Parker stars as Gabrielle Solis on the hit ABC show Desperate Housewives. However, this isn’t the talented actress’ first appearance on television. After landing roles on The Bold And The Beautiful, General Hospital and Beverly Hills, 90210, she went on to win the role of Isabella on the US soap opera The Young And The Restless. Longoria Parker is also no stranger to the big screen with leading roles in movies such as The Sentinel – opposite Michael Douglas, Kiefer Sutherland and Kim Basinger – and Over My Dead Body, with Paul Rudd and Jason Biggs.

With the season five DVD of Desperate Housewives about to be released, the glamorous actress talks about her not-so-glamorous character in the show, her love of DVDs and the five year jump at the start of the new season…

Why do you think Desperate Housewives is so addictive to fans around the world?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: I think you can really fall in love with the characters on Desperate Housewives. Most women identify with at least one of them – or a mixture of them. That’s the feedback I’ve received from the fans. They always tell me, “I’m totally like Gabrielle.” Or, “I’m so much like Bree.” They can really relate to these characters and their stories.

What happens in Wisteria Lane at the start of season five?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: What hasn’t happened? I love season five because it jumps ahead five years to the future and we stay there. When the audience watches the first episode, you’re immediately transported forward five years and you think, ‘Whoa! What the heck happened?’ Gabrielle has two kids. She’s lost her looks and she’s gained weight. Nicollette’s character, Edie, is back – and she has a new husband. You also discover that Mike the plumber and Susan have broken up. A lot has gone on. You’re totally and utterly confused – and it sets up the stage for the unraveling of what happened and how we got here. I love that. I love the way we started season five that way.

What are your other highlights to season five?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: My favorite part has got to be the way we see a new side to Gabrielle. When she eventually goes back to her glamorous good looks, she still takes with her the experience she went through in the past five years. She’s not exactly the old Gabby, but she’s the old Gabby in looks with the new Gabby inside.

Are you a big fan of DVDs?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: Oh, sure. I’m a big DVD person. I love watching a show straight through. In fact, that’s how I watch Lost. Tony and I always take the new Lost DVD on vacation and we watch it straight through. Usually, we’re on an island in the middle of nowhere, so think to ourselves, ’Should we really be watching this?’ It gets a little creepy, but we love it.

Are you a fan of the blooper reels and interviews found on DVD box sets?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER: I love the blooper reel – especially if I’m on it. You know what? There are always bloopers involving me because I’m the queen of bloopers. No, wait a minute… Actually, Nicollette Sheridan has the most bloopers, but they’re always hilarious to watch. I also love those behind-the-scenes features on DVDs. I love to watch them for other shows – especially Lost. That’s a great box set – especially when you watch the first season with the polar bears. You get to go behind the cameras and see exactly how they filmed those scenes. It’s crazy to see how it was made. It was basically just man with a bear claw making a strange noise.

Can you tell us about any of the other extras on the season five DVD for Desperate Housewives?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER : We filmed the table read for the 100th episode, which is on the DVD. We do table reads every episode where we read through the entire script as a cast. It is a nice thing to experience as a fan. You realize, ‘That’s how they do it. That’s how they make the show.’

What else do you think fans of Desperate Housewives will discover when they watch the season five DVD?

EVA LONGORIA PARKER : There are a lot of interesting features on the DVD and the fans get to learn that we’re just actors putting on this elaborate play. They get to see our own personalities behind the scenes, as well as our interaction with each other. It’s a voyeuristic view that I think all fans wish they could experience much more. I think they’re going to love it.

Desperate Housewives: Season 5 is out on DVD from Monday 9th November