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McHappy Day 2021: Heartwarming reason why the McDonald’s ambassador Eva Longoria will ‘always treasure’ Australia

Desperate Housewives alum Eva Longoria has travelled the world for work and play, but it’s her time spent in Australia that she holds dear. 

The actress filmed Dora the Explorer in Queensland back in 2018, just weeks after she and her businessman husband José Bastón welcomed their first child together, Santiago. 

“I’m dying to get back,” Longoria tells 9Honey Celebrity via Zoom. “Santi was eight weeks old when we moved to Australia for six weeks to film Dora the Explorer. We filmed it on the Gold Coast, near Brisbane, and it was so much fun.

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Eva Longoria is the 2021 McDonald's McHappy Day ambassador.
Eva Longoria is the 2021 McDonald’s McHappy Day ambassador. (Supplied)

“It’s a time I’ll always treasure and remember because Santi was so tiny and I was a new mum and got to nest and find motherhood in paradise.”

With an affinity to Australia, the Desperate Housewives alum did not hesitate when approached to be this year’s McDonald’s McHappy Day ambassador.

“It’s the biggest fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities and so what Ronald McDonald House does is really incredible,” the 47-year-old says. “They provide a home away from home for families who have children who are seriously ill or injured. What they do is invaluable, what they do is really special. So I wanted to lend my platform and my voice to amplify McHappy Day.”

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Eva Longoria meets with families virtually for McDonald's McHappy Day.
Eva Longoria meets with families virtually for McDonald’s McHappy Day. (Supplied)

With the ongoing pandemic, Longoria was unable to travel Down Under for McHappy Day on November 13, but she was honoured to meet the families via Zoom. 

“It was so hard to not be in Australia in person to be with these families, but to speak to them even via Zoom was so inspirational,” she says. “Their bravery and their strength at a time where I think I would collapse under the anxiety and stress and pressure of having a child with a serious illness. 

“They were really amazing mums out there who are super-women. Taking their children in and out of treatment, moving their whole family closer to the hospital, everything they’re doing to keep their child not only healthy but happy … I was really, really inspired and awed by them.

“It was so hard because you can’t help but think what if that was me? And I think we have to do that more often is put ourselves in other people’s shoes to have empathy and compassion for what they’re going through.” 

Teri Hatcher, Marc Cherry, Felicity Huffman, Nicollette Sheridan, Eva Longoria, Marcia Cross, Desperate Housewives, on set
From left to right: Eva Longoria, Marcia Cross, Brenda Strong, producer Marc Cherry, Teri Hatcher and Felicity Huffman. (Getty)

Longoria is of course known for her role as Gabrielle ‘Gaby’ Solis on Desperate Housewives, but she tells 9Honey that she’s still surprised she was cast in the hit series given she didn’t even read the script.

“It was my eighth audition of the day — my last audition. It was Desperate Housewives,” she recalls. “I had read the script and it said ‘sexy’, so I’m putting on my sexy [clothes] and I go in there and they never talk to you. Nobody talks to you at an audition. You do your thing and they go, ‘Thank you, next.’ And this is the first time somebody asked me a question — and it was Marc Cherry, the creator of the show.

“He goes, ‘What did you think of the script?’ And I said, ‘Oh, I didn’t read the script. I read my part — it’s great.’ And later he said he knew I was Gaby at that moment because that’s the most selfish thing I could say.”

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Desperate Housewives, cast, Doug Savant, Felicity HUffman, James Denton, Teri Hatcher, Ricardo Chavira, Eva Longoria, Marcia Cross, Vanessa Williams, press tour
Desperate Housewives stars Ricardo Chavira and Eva Longoria. (Getty)

But in real life, Longoria is far from selfish. Long before being asked to be McHappy Day ambassador, she was giving back to those in need through her charity, The Eva Longoria Fund, which she founded in 2010.

“I do it because it is in my DNA and once I had a platform and a voice, I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m going to amplify as many organisations as I can,'” she says.

“But the myth that you have to be rich and famous is wrong. Anybody can help. If you look at McHappy Day, you can walk into any McDonald’s and buy a Big Mac and $2 of that Big Mac is going to be donated. You can buy some Silly Socks, you can buy a Helping Hand … there are so many things you can do to really make a difference for a charity that’s doing incredible work.”

McDonald’s McHappy Day is on Saturday, November 13.

Eva Longoria is the 2021 McDonald's McHappy Day ambassador
Eva Longoria picked up a pair of Silly Socks ahead of McHappy Day on November 13. (Supplied)

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