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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT

Interview With Eva Longoria

Aired April 10, 2011 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


PIERS MORGAN, CNN ANCHOR: There's absolutely nothing desperate about Eva Longoria. The glamour girl who brings the sizzle to the primetime hit.

If all you know about her is what you see on TV or in the tabloids, I can tell you you're in for a surprise.

EVA LONGORIA, ACTRESS: Who I am at the core and what I think represents me is really reflected in my family.

Hey, Piers, you better believe this interview is going to sizzle.

MORGAN: Tonight, we're talking show business, politics, her love life, and she's going to cook something special for me.

LONGORIA: We have a lot to talk about. I don't think an hour covers it.

MORGAN: This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.

Eva, how are you?

LONGORIA: I'm good. How are you?

MORGAN: Lovely to have you in my studio.

LONGORIA: I know. Congrats on --

MORGAN: Thank you.

LONGORIA: -- your show and all of this. This is beautiful.

MORGAN: It certainly is. Oh, I'm sorry. You mean the studio. I'm sorry.

LONGORIA: They spent some money. The studio is beautiful.

MORGAN: Yes.

LONGORIA: They spent some money on you.

MORGAN: Yes, temporarily.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Now look, I said, describe Eva Longoria to me in a way that I can talk to her. And they said, well, she's a producer, she's an actress, she's a director, she's a businesswoman, she's a model. She's a restaurateur, she's a nightclub owner, she's a political activist, she's philanthropist, she's a student.

I mean my god, woman, there's no end to your talents.

LONGORIA: I do a lot. When you put it like that, when you list it, I guess it's --

MORGAN: What's on your passport?

LONGORIA: What do you mean?

MORGAN: Occupation. What do you call yourself?

LONGORIA: Actor is on there.

MORGAN: You're an actor.

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: Because that's your first thing.

LONGORIA: Yes. Yes.

MORGAN: That's your day job.

LONGORIA: That's my day job.

MORGAN: And the rest is kind of part of an empire --

LONGORIA: The rest is like my passion and my interests. Yes.

MORGAN: What really rocks your boat these days? What's the thing that really excites you?

LONGORIA: That excites me?

MORGAN: Yes. One of those things that I mentioned.

LONGORIA: My school. Because I'm in school. I'm getting my masters right now and I love it. I fascinated -- I wish I was this student when I was young.

MORGAN: Really?

LONGORIA: I mean like when you're older you have a better appreciation for history or for knowledge. And I just am so thirsty and I'm so curious. And so I think that's probably what I'm most energized about these days.

MORGAN: What are you -- what are you actually studying?

LONGORIA: Chicano studies and political science.

MORGAN: What is Chicano studies? LONGORIA: Chicano studies is the study mostly of the Mexican-American movement that has happened in the United States, and the history of Mexican-Americans. Actually of all Latinos, but specifically Chicano is usually referencing someone of Mexican-American descent.

MORGAN: I love the name. I want --

LONGORIA: Chicano.

MORGAN: Chicano.

LONGORIA: You can be a Chicano.

MORGAN: Can I?

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: You can be an honorary Chicano?

LONGORIA: You can be an honorary Chicano.

MORGAN: Really?

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: What do I have to do?

LONGORIA: Well, you have to help us in the fight for social justice and believe in equality for everyone. You know, you can study up on the history of Mexican-Americans.

MORGAN: How important are your roots to you?

LONGORIA: Pretty important. You know I'm ninth generation American.

MORGAN: Yes, I know.

LONGORIA: Yes. And so my family was under five different flags without ever moving. And we still have the same land today in Texas. So history has always been important in my family and in how I grew up. My culture.

And I'm as American as American pie. I mean I didn't speak Spanish until about two years ago. I had to learn it because I was so --

MORGAN: You had to learn Spanish?

LONGORIA: Yes. I learned French before I learned Spanish. Yes.

MORGAN: That was a waste of time, wasn't it?

(LAUGHTER)

LONGORIA: Do you know -- no. No. You know, learning other languages I think is very important. Do you speak French?

MORGAN: I speak a bit of French.

LONGORIA: You have to speak French.

MORGAN: He's a naughty boy.

(LAUGHTER)

LONGORIA: No.

MORGAN: We'll come to that later.

LONGORIA: I think it's -- you know the United States is the only nation in the entire world that promotes monolingualism.

MORGAN: What would you do about immigration in this country?

LONGORIA: Immigration?

MORGAN: When I came here, I couldn't believe the hot issue it really is.

LONGORIA: Yes. Right.

MORGAN: And --

LONGORIA: For America. We're a country of immigrants.

MORGAN: Yes.

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: Huge.

LONGORIA: Yes .

MORGAN: And I guess obviously because it's a country of immigrants that it becomes this big thing.

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: From your perspective, what would you do? How would you fix things?

LONGORIA: Well, that's a loaded question. It's a big question, too. And I think there's so much misinformation out there and I will immediately disclaim that I am not the expert in this field, although I am pretty literate -- I'm pretty literate in this particular issue because of people that are in my life and my mentors and people that I surround myself with because I really want to understand what the problem is.

The majority of Latinos in America are American, and I think we forget that we're trying to categorize every Mexican or every Mexican- American and -- as illegal or undocumented, and that's just not true. Nobody wants illegal immigration. You know, what happened in Arizona I think created a dialogue that we needed to have, and for immigration, it's been on the administration -- on the agenda for the past three administrations. So people like to blame Obama and they're going to blame a lot of people for it. But --

MORGAN: There's huge expectation with Obama because he's the first African-American president.

LONGORIA: Right.

MORGAN: So of all people you would expect him --

LONGORIA: Right.

MORGAN: -- to understand about racism and immigration as being --

LONGORIA: Right.

MORGAN: -- issues he had to tackle quickly.

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: That's one of the reasons a lot of people voted for him, is the expectation that he would.

Do you think he has lived up to expectations?

LONGORIA: I think he had a lot on his plate. He inherited a lot of problems. It's not easy being the president of United States. You know is there disappointment because immigration reform has not been tackled? I -- yes, there is. But people have to understand the history of immigration in our country. And so a lot of people that are speaking out about it, even on this channel and other channels, they don't understand the history, especially of Mexicans or Mexican- Americans in this country.

And there's many tenants to immigration, there's obviously securing the borders, which everybody agrees with. There's not one person that doesn't agree with whatever we have to do to secure borders. There's a worker or a guest worker program that needs to be established.

We can't deny that there's a labor force in our country that we depend on not only for products made at low wages but obviously for agriculture.

And I advocate a lot for farm workers but -- then there's the third issue, which is the hot topic issue, which is amnesty, pathway to citizenship. So why can't we just tackle the other two tenants because those seem -- not easy but they seem logical because there's -- we need those things. We need to secure the borders and --

(CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: You recommended a documentary about the farm worker called a "Harvest." I want to show a little clip from that and ask you about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ever since I was born, I remember picking crops.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every morning I wake up my hands were really hurt. They had blisters -- like you had blisters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We start at 5:00 a.m. and go until 7:00 p.m.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We usually don't bring gloves that much because we forget them. And sometimes I have to pick with my hand. You have to get these big scissors, and one time I actually, like, cut myself by accident and I had to put sand on it so the bleeding would stop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every time I look at the sun I would say, is this going to be my entire life? Is this going to be what I'm going to live through?

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: I mean it's very powerful stuff. It's heartbreaking to see kids having to do this in modern ages, isn't it?

LONGORIA: The great thing about this documentary is that -- actually we produced it so it can be used as a political tool to change the way agricultural workers are treated in the United States. People don't realize this is happening in the United States, that agriculture is excluded from the Fair Labor Standards Act. They're not --

(CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: But it's slave labor.

LONGORIA: It is modern-day slavery and it's happening in the United States and it's child labor. We don't accept shirts made in China because they're made in sweatshops, we don't accept certain chocolate because of the cocoa fields in the Ivory Coast. But yet this is happening in our own backyard. And the CARE Act wasn't able to pass, which would prevent children from working in the fields.

And these people are stuck in a cycle of poverty. They can't go to school because they have to leave early to go to work. They go to school late because they're working to put food on the table. And unfortunately, 85 percent of the kids that work in the fields are American citizens. So these are our children.

MORGAN: You're quite an activist, aren't you?

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: I mean I can tell just by talking to you. I don't know --

LONGORIA: I could talk to you forever and I --

(CROSSTALK) LONGORIA: We only have an hour.

MORGAN: But you're not like most actresses. I mean this stuff, I can tell you really know your stuff. I'm surprised.

LONGORIA: Yes?

MORGAN: I shouldn't be, but I am.

LONGORIA: Why? Because of --

MORGAN: Well, because -- you're -- yes. A lot of actors, you know, male and female.

LONGORIA: Yes. Yes.

MORGAN: They attach themselves to convenient charitable stuff, which they just do to make themselves look better.

LONGORIA: Well, there's a big difference between charity and between activism and philanthropy. They're very different things and I think, you know, everybody should find a passion or a cause that they can really get behind, but it has to be organic. You know, I don't advocate for certain things because it doesn't really tie to me. I actually have very true roots in everything that I advocate for.

MORGAN: One of the things you do that I really love is Eva's Heroes.

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: You set up Eva's Heroes which was -- in a tribute to your sister really, is this -- certainly courageous young lady. Tell me about her.

LONGORIA: Yes. She's the oldest of four girls in my family, Lisa. And she's mentally disabled. She was premature child and her brain didn't finish developing. And so --

MORGAN: She's a Down syndrome child.

LONGORIA: She's not Down syndrome.

MORGAN: Right.

LONGORIA: But it does fall in the same category. Eva's Heroes handles 90 percent of Down syndrome kids.

MORGAN: Yes.

LONGORIA: And it's an after-school program that we created because she grew up -- we grew up with her. She's my oldest sister so I was kind of born into her world so all I've ever known is to be a selfless family. You know where can we go on vacation where Lisa can go? We can't go to that restaurant because Lisa can't go.

Let's go to this school because it's easier for Lisa to get to this school. And so I've been an advocate for special needs kids for many, many years. And my mom was a special education teacher, my sister is a special education teacher. So it's something that I've lived and breathed my entire life.

And Eva's Heroes is kind of an ode to the community involvement of integrating people with special needs into society, whether it's the work programs or activities or dances or bowling leagues or the littlest things that you would think are obvious.

MORGAN: I mean the saddest thing -- I know quite a few families who've had children in that position.

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: And the saddest thing is, is the life expectancy is never that long.

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: How do you deal with that as someone who's got in your own family?

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: Your sister is now in her 40s?

LONGORIA: I -- you know what? Yes, she --

MORGAN: How is she doing?

LONGORIA: She's doing amazing. She's actually doing amazing. And I'll tell you why. Because she lives a very vivid life. She can take the bus, she'll go get her hair done, she goes to meet her friends at the mall, she gets -- makes her way back home.

And when you constantly stimulate people who have Down syndrome or mental disabilities, they actually progress. And the minute you stop they regress. And so that's what Eva's Heroes does, is provide an after-school program so the parents aren't throwing them in adult daycare or some kind of daycare that they're not constantly stimulated. . And that's why Lisa has been doing so well. She's doing amazing and she's 43.

MORGAN: What does she make of you, of your career?

(LAUGHTER)

LONGORIA: Well, she thinks she's the star.

MORGAN: Of course.

LONGORIA: Yes. Yes. We'll go to events together and she'll do autographs. But you know she's taught me the greatest lesson in life that I've ever learned from Lisa. She was -- it was in an integrated high school, and one day somebody had stole her Letterman jacket. And I was livid because I said, who would take a special needs kid's jacket from them?

I mean, she came home and didn't have it. And she said, I don't know. You know? Lisa, where's your jacket? And she said, you know, someone must have been cold. And I remember going, oh, what compassion. She didn't think, like, you know, what a mean person and what somebody stole it.

She immediately thought, somebody must have needed it because they were cold. And she taught me that lesson early on, to think about other situations and think about other people.

MORGAN: And that's an incredibly important thing to have in her life when your life is so kind of -- in many ways, any celebrity's life, has a lot of shallowness, it's kind of based on a false alter of fame. It's all about money and fast cars.

To have somebody in your life who none of that means anything to at all and who's not impressed by any of that because why would she be?

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: It makes it very natural for you, doesn't it?

LONGORIA: She's very grounding.

MORGAN: You're (INAUDIBLE).

LONGORIA: It's very, very grounding. And you know even with my activism and my philanthropy, people go, your parents must be really proud. I say, no, they actually expect it. They're proud but my mom expected me to do something.

MORGAN: Because you were brought up as a selfless family.

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: As you said. (INAUDIBLE) have to revolve around --

(CROSSTALK)

LONGORIA: Somebody else. Yes.

MORGAN: So it could never be about you.

LONGORIA: Yes. Yes. And it still isn't.

(LAUGHTER)

LONGORIA: When I go home, believe me it ain't about me.

MORGAN: Don't you find that a bit unsettling when you go home?

LONGORIA: Yes. You know --

MORGAN: No entourage?

LONGORIA: Yes. I have no --

MORGAN: No phoning.

LONGORIA: No entourage. I have -- you know, I still go to the ranch and we sleep, you know, under the stars. And I have a very, very simple life. I know it's hard when you see all the glamorous pictures in the red carpet because that is really -- that's my day job. But who I am and who I am at the core and what I think represents me is really reflected in my family.

MORGAN: We're going to take a short break. When we come back, I want to talk to you about Twitter and about your efforts to build a global empire.

LONGORIA: OK.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: I haven't heard anyone complain so much about a chair before.

LONGORIA: You know why?

MORGAN: What's the matter with you?

LONGORIA: I'm really not a complainer. I just -- this dress requires proper posture. And I want to slouch. And I want to have a good conversation.

MORGAN: Do we say slouch, lay back, think of England?

LONGORIA: I'm going to go sit in your lap.

MORGAN: That is exactly my game plan. Why do you think I put you in an uncomfortable chair?

LONGORIA: Right.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Let's talk about Twitter.

LONGORIA: OK.

MORGAN: Because you're a very active tweeter. Aren't you?

LONGORIA: Yes. Yes.

MORGAN: You got 1.5 million followers.

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: I'm jealous. I'm only a third of the way. But I've got --

LONGORIA: But you just started .

MORGAN: Yes, I'm faster than you. LONGORIA: You're a lot faster.

MORGAN: Yes.

LONGORIA: And you -- I tweet a lot. But you -- I'll take all of your half a million and you can have mine.

MORGAN: OK. And you just tell your followers to follow me, @PiersMorgan.

LONGORIA: I'm going to tell them that. I'm going to tell them that. Yes.

MORGAN: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

LONGORIA: Because we probably have different audiences.

MORGAN: I would imagine that's right.

LONGORIA: So this is good. This is good that I'll get your audience.

MORGAN: Why do you like Twitter? From a business point of view.

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: And celebrity point of view? What's the attraction of Twitter?

LONGORIA: You know it's funny because Demi Moore and Ashton were, like, you know, the really pioneers of getting everybody on Twitter. And I remember talking to her, and I said, I just can't be bothered, why do you do it?

And she'd said, to control what is out there about yourself. And I thought about that and said, god, that is pretty smart because then you take the bounty off gossip, and you take the bounty off a picture. And then I use it so much for philanthropy and every charity that I use. I use social media. And it's just that outreach is viral.

MORGAN: And this thing called TwitChange that you introduced.

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: Tell me about that.

LONGORIA: TwitChange is something we started after the earthquake in Haiti. And we just started it as a tent drive. And then it kind of took off and we raised $500,000 for children in Haiti the first time we did TwitChange, which basically it's an auction where you can bid on your favorite celebrity to follow you, to tweet you, to mention you or to re-tweet something. And -- so it's kind of cool.

MORGAN: You pay a certain amount of money.

LONGORIA: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

LONGORIA: But you could pay, like, $50, $100. And it goes to charity and Justin Bieber says, hey, Piers, thanks for bidding on me. And then you get to re-tweet to tell your friends. And it's kind of a cool thing. Instead of buying memorabilia or instead of, you know, buying an autographed something --

MORGAN: Does any part of you, when you're on Twitter and a temptation -- I mean I do the same thing, I'm on it all the damn time. So it's addicting.

LONGORIA: Are you a drunk tweeter?

MORGAN: No, not drunk tweeting. It's more to do with putting stuff out there where you -- why did I do that?

LONGORIA: No.

MORGAN: And all these celebrities that do it are the same ones who really like -- as all celebrities do, when the tap is not very nice, you want to turn it off about your private life.

LONGORIA: Right.

MORGAN: And when it's OK, give it a bit of a fuel.

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: On Twitter, if you put it all out there.

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: Do celebrities who use Twitter like that, do they have any rights to privacy, do you think?

LONGORIA: Like if you choose to make your life so private?

MORGAN: Yes.

LONGORIA: You always have a right to privacy as much as you want. You know if you want to talk about your personal relationship, then you do.

I don't -- I find that not a lot of celebrities complain about it. I mean the pros and cons of being a celebrity, which that definition is obviously widening today because you don't really have to have --

MORGAN: Any talent.

LONGORIA: Any talent or a trait. You can just --

MORGAN: Does that annoy you? Because it's so easy now to become a celebrity? LONGORIA: No, because I mean -- really I don't really care. I don't have that competitive nature. I'm like the more, the merrier, great. Come on down. And I try to, you know, really corral anybody who has that platform or voice in my charity. So if you have a platform or so-and-so has a platform, I'm going to say great, let's do some good with that. That's what I usually do.

MORGAN: What's your game plan businesswise? Because I've been watching your little operation, this empire that's being built, the Eva Longoria empire.

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: You're look like a mini Oprah, aren't you?

LONGORIA: Yes. So funny you say that. She's actually my -- she would be my ideal, you know, mentor or my ideal person that I would like to follow in that blueprint of what she's done. You know, I have my production company. I have my philanthropy. I have my perfume, I have my cookbook. And so I have a lot of things going on.

But I think what I love most about Oprah's brand that I would love to do with the Eva Longoria brand is she has purpose with her brand. Everything she does means something.

MORGAN: She knows her brand better than anybody.

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: I mean I find her incredibly impressive. I've interviewed her, I've been interviewed by her. And everybody connected with Oprah. You go to her show in Chicago, it's like this amazing machine.

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: Everybody knows the Oprah brand, don't they? What's the Eva Longoria brand?

LONGORIA: Well, I think similar to Oprah. Like Oprah's brand is love or Oprah's brand is inspiration. I would love my brand to be about passion, empowerment, justice, hope.

I would like for my brand to represent that, whether it's -- whatever I'm producing on television and in movies or what I'm starring in, you know, even my cookbook is very inspirational because I'm not a chef, I'm not Gordon Ramsay. I'm Eva Longoria and I would like for people to go, hey, I can do that, too.

Or whether it's the social justice that I do to bring hope to groups of people that are discriminated against or groups of people that are facing justice.

MORGAN: Are you tough enough to be a mogul, do you think?

LONGORIA: Yes. Absolutely.

MORGAN: You've got like (INAUDIBLE).

LONGORIA: Yes. You know what's so funny? Is women get a bad rap for being tough. Women are always called the bitch, or women are always called, you know, she's so cutthroat whenever they are just trying to hold their own. I mean, women are very disciplined and very aggressive and very --

MORGAN: Are you not to be messed with?

LONGORIA: I am not to be messed with.

MORGAN: You're very direct. I'm going to see hold the eye contact, very like --

LONGORIA: Right.

MORGAN: Which is very impressive. A lot of people don't.

LONGORIA: A lot of people don't. Interesting. I actually hate that. I hate a soft handshake.

MORGAN: Oh, nothing worse.

LONGORIA: Nothing worse than soft handshake.

MORGAN: I mean seriously, could you ever go out with a man with a soft handshake?

LONGORIA: Never. No.

MORGAN: I said it myself, I've got three sons, the only thing you have to worry about in life, firm handshake will take you through any door.

LONGORIA: Yes. And look me in the eye.

MORGAN: And a weak one -- people don't forget the weak one. I can remember every guy, famous person I've met who had a weak handshake.

LONGORIA: Really? Who?

MORGAN: I'm not going to name them now. It's embarrassing.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: There is, but it is nothing worse.

LONGORIA: Nothing worse than a bad handshake. But yes, I think -- I think that would be --

MORGAN: Who taught you this? Who taught you direct eye contact and firm handshake?

LONGORIA: Probably my family. You know I come from a family of women. I have nine aunts, three sisters.

MORGAN: They're all strong women, aren't they?

LONGORIA: And they're all strong. Strong women. I wasn't the first to go to college. You know it was very expect. I come from a family of educators, a lot of teachers. So I think probably from my parents. My dad, you know, is very strong person, my mom is amazingly sweet and compassionate but strong. Just my family. We're Mexican. We're very strong.

MORGAN: What do they make -- what do they make of what's happened to you?

LONGORIA: They're proud.

MORGAN: Are they baffled, are they bemused? Are they -- do they quite believe it?

LONGORIA: Well, I was always different. I didn't look like anybody in my family. Everybody became an educator or a computer programmer or engineer, and I was like, I want to be an actress. They're extremely supportive. And --

MORGAN: Do you like being famous?

LONGORIA: Do I like being famous?

MORGAN: Yes.

LONGORIA: Wow, that's a good question. I like what it affords me to do, whether it's to get better jobs so I can live a certain lifestyle or whether it's to give me a louder voice to lend to people who don't have a voice, like in my charity. So I would say the pros are a lot better than the cons.

MORGAN: We're going to take a short break. When we come back I want to talk to you about some of the cons.

LONGORIA: OK.

MORGAN: About what it's like to suddenly find yourself tabloid fodder.

LONGORIA: OK. This will be fun.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: Eva, we talked a bit about the good stuff from fame. You've recently been through a pretty unhappy period with the downside of fame, with the breakup of your marriage and stuff.

When that happens, is it 20 times worse because it's all in the magazines and on television shows and so on? Or does it make no difference?

LONGORIA: Absolutely. And you're right. What you talked about earlier, because I am so public and I am pretty open about myself and about my marriage I was, you know. Tony and I are going here, Tony and I are going there.

When that happens, you immediately shut down and you go, oh, my god, I have to deal with this. And it was hard. It was devastating to go through on its own, much less publicly. I think for anybody.

MORGAN: Did you imagine you would be married for life?

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: Even the way that a lot of marriages go, in your heart, when you got married you got married in Paris, very romantic.

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: I remember it, watching the pictures and everything, like everybody else, loving that the glamour that went with it all. But did you really believe this was the guy, this was the one for you for life?

LONGORIA: Oh, yes. I believed it. You know, marriage in my family is really a sacred sacrament. It wasn't something we did frivolously. And I really did. Our mantra was divorce is not an option. We always would kid about that. You know? I'll kill him before I divorce him.

But, you know, I guess the relationship ran its course, and you know so many people want me to hate him or so many people want me -- want to just destroy him. And I don't. I wish nothing but the best for him, and a really good friend of mine said, hold on to the love and not the loss.

And there was a reason why we got married. There was a reason why we fell in love. There was a reason why we were together seven years. And I just hold on to that.

MORGAN: What was it like for you when it all exploded?

LONGORIA: What?

MORGAN: It all came out.

LONGORIA: The marriage?

MORGAN: Yes. When all of sudden the fairytale suddenly was hit by this hammer blow.

LONGORIA: Yes. It was heartbreaking. It was -- it's the first time I'm talking about it. I'm sorry.

It was heartbreaking. It was -- you know I think it was disappointing because I had such an identity in being Mrs. Parker and being a wife. And so when that's taken away from you, you go, who am I? It was hard. Sorry.

MORGAN: No, no. I didn't know you'd react like this because I wasn't aware it was -- LONGORIA: Neither did I. But, you know, like I said, I would never speak ill about him or the time we had together. I really, really valued it. You know seven years together is a long time.

MORGAN: I read some interviews that you gave before, when you were happily together. And you always made a point of saying, the key thing to you is trust. Because obviously he's a major sportsman, you're a top actress, like a lot of people in that position, you spend a lot of time apart. There has to be that trust.

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: Otherwise it just can't work.

LONGORIA: Yes. It's true. I mean, I think every relationship -- people go, oh, he's an athlete and you're an actress. If you're a dentist and a lawyer, if you're a -- you know a secretary and a teacher, you need trust in any relationship much less a marriage and you know I love the concept of marriage and I love being a wife. And I was very devoted and dedicated. You know, everybody who knows me, my friends, they know, you know, we tried our hardest. We really, really tried and it just didn't work. We wanted different things.

MORGAN: Do you feel humiliated?

LONGORIA: A bit, yes. I mean, mostly, like I said, because it had to play out so publicly. But, you know, he's not a bad person. He just wanted something else and I don't hate him for it.

MORGAN: Well, people watching this like I am, having met you, incredulous that this could happen, that any guy would ever even think or contemplate of doing anything to damage a marriage to somebody like you. What more could a guy want, frankly?

LONGORIA: Well, you know, like I said, we just -- you want different things. And what happens is, you know, I would never speak publicly about what happened or why we got divorced, because I love him and we still talk. We still are in each other's life.

MORGAN: Yes, I've seen you out. You've been out in public. You've been photographed together and stuff. And I really admire you for that. A lot of women wouldn't be able to do that.

LONGORIA: It takes grace.

MORGAN: They would actually bring a large cutlass..

LONGORIA: No, you know, like I said, he's really -- he's going to do some growing and he's going to figure out what he needs in life. And life goes on. You know, everybody goes through this. I'm not the only person in the world that has been through this.

And I'm lucky that I have an amazing support group and family and friends. And I got through it and life goes on. And I am not one to regret anything. I don't regret getting married. I don't regret getting divorced. MORGAN: Is there any way back as far as you're concerned, if a man behaves that way towards you?

LONGORIA: I don't know. Only time would tell that. Because I do believe in forgiving. I do believe in forgiving and forgetting. I don't know if it's because it's my faith and my religion. But it's absolutely

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Good evening, everybody. Breaking news, an emergency budget meeting has just wrapped up at the White House between President Obama, Vice President Biden, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The clock is ticking. If a deal isn't reached by Friday midnight, there will be a partial government shutdown, roughly 800,000 federal workers won't get paid. We're anticipating statements by the president.

Dana Bash has been reporting from her sources that a deal has not been reached tonight. Dana, as we wait to watch the president, I'm going to have to jump in if he comes in live. What are you hearing?

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I just got a joint statement, I should tell you, from the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner. They said they have narrowed the issues. However, they have not reached an agreement, and that they're going to work through the night to attempt to resolve the remaining differences.

I talked to sources who were at the White House, leaving the White House. They reiterated this. No deal in this meeting, but it looks like they are getting closer. And they're going to be burning the midnight oil and then some all night, because, as you just mentioned, time is not on their side. Time is running out.

But the fact that they're sounding positive tonight is a good thing.

COOPER: Again, it sounds like this is not so much -- you were reporting this last night -- it's not so much now about the money, because the dollar figures, they're actually relatively close on. But this is more what about social issues, about these riders that the Republicans are asking for?

BASH: Social and economic issues. They're policy issues. This is definitely the thing that has been at the center of the talks.

COOPER: What issues in particular?

BASH: Let's just give you the two biggies. First of all, clean air. The House Republicans were pushing a measure inside their bill that said that the EPA can't regulate greenhouse gases. Well, Republicans argue that's a jobs issue, because they say that doing that hurts jobs.

COOPER: Here's the president. Let's listen in.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just completed another meeting with Speaker Boehner and Leader Reid. I want to report to the American people that we made additional progress this evening. I think the staffs of both the House and Senate, as well as the White House staff, have been working very hard to try to narrow the differences.

We made some progress today. Those differences have been narrowed. And so once again, the staff is going to be working tonight around the clock in order to see if we can finally close a deal.

But there's still a few issues that are outstanding. They're difficult issues. They're important to both sides. So I'm not yet prepared to express wild optimism, but I think we are further along today than we were yesterday.

I want to reiterate to people why this is so important. We're now less than 30 hours away from the government shutting down. That means, first of all, 800,000 families, our neighbors, our friends, who are working hard all across the country in a whole variety of functions, they suddenly are not allowed to come to work.

It also means that they're not getting a paycheck. That obviously has a tremendous impact.

You then have millions of more people who end up being impacted because they're not getting the services from the federal government that are important to them. So small businesses aren't seeing their loans processed. Folks who want to get a mortgage through the FHA may not be able to get it. And obviously that's not good as weak as this housing market is.

You've got people who are trying to get a passport for a trip that they've been planning for a long time. They may not be able to do that.

So millions more people will be significantly inconvenienced in some ways. They may end up actually seeing money lost or opportunities lost because of a government shutdown.

Then finally there's going to be an effect on the economy overall. Earlier today, one of our nation's top economists said -- and I'm quoting here -- "the economic damage from a government shutdown would mount very quickly. And the longer it dragged on, the greater the odds of a renewed recession."

We've been working very hard over the last two years to get this economy back on its feet. We've now seen 13 months of job growth, 1.8 million new jobs. We had the best jobs report that we had seen in a very long time just this past Friday.

For us to go backwards because Washington couldn't get its act together is unacceptable. So, again, 800,000 federal workers and their families impacted. Millions of people who are reliant on government services not getting those services, businesses, farmers, veterans.

And, finally, overall impact on the economy that could end up severely hampering our recovery and our ability to put people back to work. That's what's at stake. That's why it's important to the American people. That's why I'm expecting that as a consequence of the good work that's done by our staffs tonight, that we can reach an agreement tomorrow.

But let me just point out one last thing. What I've said to the speaker and what I've said to Harry Reid is because the machinery of the shutdown is necessarily starting to move, I expect an answer in the morning. And my hope is that I'll be able to announce to the American people sometime relatively early in the day that a shutdown has been averted, that a deal has been completed that has very meaningful cuts in a wide variety of categories, that helps us move in the direction of living within our means, but preserves our investments in things like education and innovation, research that are going to be important for our long-term competitiveness.

That's what I hope to be able to announce tomorrow. There's no certainty yet, but I expect an answer sometime early in the day. All right? Thank you very much, everybody.

COOPER: President Obama after meeting with John Boehner, Senator Harry Reid and Vice President Biden. Dana Bash monitoring all this from Capitol Hill. What are the issues that they're most apart on?

BASH: We started talking about some of the policy issues that aren't so much related to the big fight, which of course is spending and spending cuts. I mentioned the environment. The other is abortion. And that is in the House Republican's bill, they had a provision that completely gutted federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

Now, Republicans say that's because Planned Parenthood, in addition to offering just preventive health care, general preventative health care for women, does offer abortion services.

Now, Planned Parenthood says that they don't use federal money, because it's not legal right now, for those services. Still that issue, funding for abortion, that is a hot, hot issue.

I will just tell you -- I think this is important to note -- that Democrats who have been negotiating this and who have been talking to us all day, they are very much pushing these issues. It's politically astute for them to do that, because they can say, and they have said that Republicans want to shut down the government over these nonrelated, from their perspective -- they use the word extremist issues.

But talking to Republicans, Anderson, they still insist that spending -- the core of this is spending, and even more importantly what to cut -- what programs and agencies are they going to cut. That really is the heart of where they're coming from.

COOPER: Amazing, I think the thing that shocks a lot of people is that while 800,000 federal workers may not get paychecks, the folks on Capitol Hill are still going to get paid.

BASH: Very controversial. Let me tell you, members of Congress, many of them, most of them, are very well aware of that. The Senate passed something to say that members of Congress shouldn't get paid. The House did in a different kind of version. They're very well aware of the symbolism of this.

Some even today said that they want to at least give theirs to charity. There is actually, believe it or not, something in the Constitution that says that the president and members of Congress must get paid. And that is part of the reason why this is going on.

During past shutdowns, while their employees have been furloughed and not paid, they were paid. That is part of the reason. It doesn't take away from the political problem it causes for these members of Congress.

COOPER: Yeah. A slap in the face to a lot of people. We'll have more at the top of the program at 10:00 on "AC 360." Complete coverage of this. I'll talk to a lot of folks, Republicans, Democrats, folks in the Tea Party, Dana Bash, David Gergen and all of our reporters.

Let's go back to PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT. He'll be right after this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: We're back now with my special guest Eva Longoria and this is your new book, "Eva's Kitchen."

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: -- a place I have spent years trying to get into. I know nothing about food or cooking other than I love eating it.

LONGORIA: Yes, oh, good. You're a --

MORGAN: So what is the premise of this? Why should I get excited by your cookbook?

LONGORIA: I love to cook. I own two restaurants, one in Basil, Hollywood, one in Vegas. And this was just another extension of that brand of my cooking brand. And I loved it. I love -- I always had all these recipes in my head. And I always said, if I don't write them down, if I don't get them down somewhere, then they're going to be lost.

MORGAN: Well, we've been joined by some appetizing little dishes here. So we've got some guacamole.

LONGORIA: We have some guac, which is --

MORGAN: Yes, oh, it's called guac, is it?

LONGORIA: Well, guacamole. MORGAN: And even more pleasingly we have a margarita.

LONGORIA: We have margaritas. Now the cookbook is not Mexican. It's just -- it does have -- it's like a memoir of my life told through food, from -- obviously starting with my Mexican-American heritage and then going on to more European dishes and American dishes.

MORGAN: Now are these your little signature things?

LONGORIA: These are my signature things. And my guacamole is to die for. Everybody loves it. And so in the book you'll get to learn that recipe.

MORGAN: Just play along with me here. It's like a little British fantasy of mine.

LONGORIA: Oh, OK. All right. OK. Good.

MORGAN: I need this for the moment.

LONGORIA: It's like -- it's like the Romans, but I'm Mexican and you're British.

MORGAN: Now we're talking.

LONGORIA: Now take a drink of your margarita which is my mom's -- my mom's recipe.

MORGAN: OK. You could have some of that.

LONGORIA: I know.

MORGAN: This could all go horribly wrong though.

LONGORIA: It could. Now the interview starts, huh?

MORGAN: I love margaritas. I love this whole sort of Mexican flavor we have here.

LONGORIA: Do you?

MORGAN: But this is all quite simple food, isn't it?

LONGORIA: It's all very simple and, you know, I'm not a chef. I'm not a chef, but I'm a cook and I love to -- I'm a pinch of this and a dash of that and if it burns, who cares. And so the cookbook -- it's kind of structured that way. If you want lemon, then put lemon. If you don't, don't put it. If you want salt in your margarita, put it. If you don't. And so it's easy. It's very applicable and people can --

MORGAN: Do you think there's someone watching this who can't cook, like me, if they read this book?

LONGORIA: If you can read, you can cook. I've always said that. If you can follow directions, you can cook. You can pick anything out of that cookbook and you'll be able to do it.

MORGAN: When we come back for our final segment, I'm going to talk to you about what's next for you and it's obviously present company excepted.

LONGORIA: OK.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: Eva, let's talk "Desperate Housewives" for a moment.

LONGORIA: Great.

MORGAN: And I can't think of anybody I've ever met in my entire life who is less desperate than you or less likely to be described as a housewife. So it seems a little bit ridiculous talking about "Desperate Housewives." But it's the show that made you super famous.

Where are you with it? Because I heard your contract's coming up for renewal and you may or may not be going back.

LONGORIA: No, no, we are coming back.

MORGAN: Oh, you are.

LONGORIA: Yes, I mean, we're working out the details because we want to come back for a season eight, and a season nine and I would do the show as long as it goes. We're still the number one show in the world.

MORGAN: It's amazing.

LONGORIA: You know, I can't believe it's been seven years. It just went by so fast. Vanessa Williams joined our show this year so she's been a great addition. And we have so much fun. I love having the home of television. I like the medium of television. I really do.

MORGAN: Really? Why?

LONGORIA: You know, the people you reach. The amount of people you reach. The influence that you have. People welcome you into their homes every week -- you every day.

It's a personal relationship and I -- people feel like they really know you.

MORGAN: The one thing you got very famous for in your interviews when it first launched --

LONGORIA: Oh, God, what are you going to say?

MORGAN: Sex. You never, ever stopped talking about it. Which I loved, of course.

LONGORIA: But you know what's so funny? No, I didn't talk about it all the time. I did one interview about -- and I can't remember. Female sexuality or something. And it was very proper in that particular publication and in that context.

But then, you know, people pull it apart and then they put it on stupid blogs and websites and it looked like I'm just talking about God knows what.

MORGAN: Well, I met Gwyneth Paltrow the other day. And in between telling me that her cure for nerves is a pint of Guinness, old- fashioned Irish Guinness, I then said to her, you're very nice, Gwyneth, aren't you? And she said, I'm very, very nice except in the bedroom.

LONGORIA: Wow. Did she tell you that?

MORGAN: She told me that.

LONGORIA: On air?

MORGAN: No, it wasn't on air, no. I probably shouldn't have repeated that.

LONGORIA: I'm never telling you anything.

MORGAN: Well, it was a great line.

LONGORIA: That's a great line. I had no thoughts about that line.

MORGAN: None?

LONGORIA: Good for Gwyn.

MORGAN: I believe, as I mentioned, is that you seem equally nice. So I just wondered, you know.

LONGORIA: Equally nice. I'm nice all the time. I am nice all the time.

MORGAN: Is that true?

LONGORIA: I am. I really am.

MORGAN: You are basically a nice person.

LONGORIA: I would hope so. I would hope people see me that way.

MORGAN: What's a big ambition for you now? Do you see an Oscar looming at night when you're on your own and you think, wow, that would be quite something. When you see the Oscars on TV, do you think -- do you start practicing the speech that may never happen?

LONGORIA: No, I don't. I don't quite do that. It's a -- it would be an amazing dream to be nominated for an Oscar or do something for an Oscar. What I'd like to specifically with my production company is produce and direct more. You know, I got to direct "Latinos Living the American Dream" which was pretty inspirational during Hispanic Heritage Month.

So I'd like to produce things that bring awareness to issues or that would bring a voice to our community whatever or however that may be.

MORGAN: Do you like politics?

LONGORIA: I actually love --

MORGAN: I could see you --

LONGORIA: -- politics.

MORGAN: -- having a -- I could. I'm actually deadly serious.

LONGORIA: Yes. I love -- I love, you know, navigating through it as an activist. I don't know about -- about being one. I think it would be pretty overwhelming.

Oprah said that one time too. She'd never run for president because she felt like she had more power as --

MORGAN: Well, she told me on this show, she said it wasn't her lane.

And I said, well, get in that lane. Oprah would be an amazing politician.

LONGORIA: I would vote Oprah for president.

MORGAN: Can you imagine?

LONGORIA: Yes. The world would be a better place.

MORGAN: What about Eva? What about Oprah-Eva ticket?

LONGORIA: I know. But you know what? That's something -- I'll always -- I'll always do political activism, always. I find it fascinating.

MORGAN: Finally, what's been the greatest moment of your life? What's been the moment you'd relive tomorrow if you had the chance?

LONGORIA: You know, people ask me this all the time. This whole interview is going to be about Oprah. When they say, when was -- when was the one time you knew you were famous? And it was when -- we hadn't even aired yet, but the show had so much buzz.

And Oprah invited us on the show. And I remember they came in the makeup trailer and they go, we're going to Oprah. And I was, like, oh, my God. And being there and going to Chicago and being on her show and sitting on the yellow couch -- and I was just looking around. I was overwhelmed and I will always remember that because she was so kind and she was so nice. And her presence was --

MORGAN: Well, she's the nearest thing to the queen that you have in America, I think.

LONGORIA: Yes, yes.

MORGAN: I felt the same way. I was like a little puppy dog.

LONGORIA: I have so much respect for what she does. I have so much respect for why she does what she does. So that moment I will always remember.

MORGAN: And apart from "Desperate Housewives," what's on the acting agenda for you? Any movies?

LONGORIA: Well, yes, I just did -- finished a film called "Cristiada" with Andy Garcia. I play Andy's wife and it's a period piece in Mexico based on when the government overthrew the Catholic church. True story. And they massacred priests and shot anybody that was from Spain. It was a crazy time.

MORGAN: When's it out?

LONGORIA: In the fall.

MORGAN: Exciting.

LONGORIA: Yes.

MORGAN: Well, Eva, it's been a real pleasure.

LONGORIA: It was great --

MORGAN: Thank you so much really. I really enjoyed it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: CNN tomorrow night, she puts the sex in "Sex in the City." Kim Cattrall on love, relationships and men.

KIM CATTRALL, ACTRESS: I think with men, the thing you have to do is you have to really spell it out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Piers Morgan, CNN tomorrow night, 9:00 Eastern.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Let's finish our margaritas, shall we?

LONGORIA: OK, we shall.

MORGAN: But first, here's my colleague Anderson Cooper with "AC 360."