It's no secret that Eva Longoria has had some ups and downs in the romance department lately. But these days the newly single star (who recently split from boyfriend Eduardo Cruz) is more focused on helping other people find love through her new dating show.
But before you get too cynical, Longoria, 37, insists that Ready for Love (which premieres this winter on NBC) will have a better success rate than other dating shows. "The Bachelor is kind of weird because people go on that show not even knowing who the bachelor is until you show up in the limo," she tells iVillage exclusively. "Our show is a little more authentic."
As a judge for Lay's Do Us a Flavor contest, Longoria -- who owns two restaurants and released a cookbook last year -- is also busy putting her love of food to the test. When iVillage caught up with the actress she dished about her potato chip obsession, why she cooks for her loved ones and why she would never consider being a dating-show contestant.
Why did you want to be a part of the Lay's Do Us a Flavor contest?
Actually, I've been a big fan of Lay's since I was a child, so it was kind of an organic connection. And then when I found out they were doing the Do Us a Flavor campaign, where they would ask the consumers to pick the next great flavor, I thought that was just a really fun idea. The fact that the payoff is $1 million, it's really life-changing. A housewife, a stay-at-home mom, anybody can really participate and really change their life by being creative. I love inspiring people to be creative and participate in things like this.
Is there anything specific you'll be looking for when you're judging the flavors?
The creativity. I've had a lot of my friends go, "Oh, you know what they should make?" and it's already been made. This is the first time Lay's is doing this in the United States, but they've done it around the world. And so I said, "Oh, you know what would be fun in Spain? Paella!" And they go, "We have that." And they have tuna and wasabi in China and they have chile con limon in Mexico.
What's your guilty pleasure food when you need to indulge?
Mexican food. I like cooking Mexican food for my friends, and I like indulging in Mexican food. It's my go-to when I cook, and for comfort food as well.
They say that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Do you cook for men you're dating?
I cook for everybody. Friends, family...
You're the executive producer for the new NBC show Ready for Love. How is it different than other dating shows?
It's definitely a modern take on the dating-show format. [The female contestants] are already invested somewhat into the guys, and the process has been so fun. The matchmakers give these great takeaways. They'll say a piece of advice to the guys or the girls that the audience at home will be able to go, "Oh my God, that's so true! I never thought of that!" We've had so much fun producing it. Just seeing relationships unfold right before your eyes has been really exciting.
Shows like The Bachelor don't have the best success rate with relationships. Do you really believe you can find love on TV?
Yeah! I mean, with our format, I think so. The Bachelor is kind of weird because people go on that show not even knowing who the bachelor is until you show up in the limo. That's just fundamentally odd. With that basic creative piece, our show is a little more authentic.
Would you ever consider going on a dating show?
Oh, God no. I don't think it's a good forum for celebrities. I think then it just becomes a reality show, as opposed to these guys that we found really don't want to be celebrities. They didn't want to be on TV for the sake of being on TV. They really want to find love.
We're asking everyone this summer: What's your best summer vacation memory from childhood?
Going to Six Flags in Dallas with my family. Driving in the car eight hours is probably my first memory, with it being such an exciting road trip and destination, as well.
So you actually enjoyed the eight-hour road trip?
Yeah. When you're too young to know better!
Ali Gray is iVillage's Senior Associate Entertainment Editor. Follow her on Twitter: @thealigray