Eva Longoria explores ‘Dora and the Lost City of Gold’ and celebrates Latinas on screen 

Eva Longoria, left, Isabela Moner and Michael Peña star in "Dora and the Lost City of Gold."  Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures / Vince Valitutti

The actress also talks about playing an on-screen mom for the first time since the birth of her 14-month-old son, Santiago.

Eva Longoria, left, Isabela Moner and Michael Peña star in "Dora and the Lost City of Gold." 
Eva Longoria, left, Isabela Moner and Michael Peña star in "Dora and the Lost City of Gold."  Photo Credit: Ivan Pereira

“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.

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