“Just be yourself. Who you are is enough,” says Eva Longoria, when asked for the main message of “Dora and the Lost City of Gold,” her new family-friendly film, out Friday.
“For Dora,” she adds, “being an explorer and being smart, just like being Latina — that’s not an obstacle, that’s her superpower. It’s about representation. And it’s great to celebrate that.”
In the big-screen feature, Longoria and Michael Peña play the parents of 16-year-old Dora (Isabela Moner), who goes from the jungle to a big-city high school and back again to help her mom and dad as they run into baddies while searching for a mythic city.
The brand expansion marks the first live-action film drawn from the popular animated Nickelodeon series “Dora the Explorer,” about a young adventurer. In one trippy sequence — sparked by an encounter with exotic blooms with hallucinogenic effects — Dora is seen in cartoon form.
Longoria, 44, an actress, producer and director perhaps best known for her starring role in "Desperate Housewives," loves the flower-powered scene.
“It’s such a great way to honor the source material,” she says, adding that the film brought her a new experience.
“Filming ‘Dora’ was the first time I played a mom when I actually was a mother.” Her son, Santiago, is 14 months old. “When you see Dora in the jungle and she’s holding a huge snake, I thought, ‘I would never let me child do that.’”
In other words: Be yourself — but lose the boa constrictor, please.