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Eva Longoria on Why She 'Couldn't Wait' to Pay for Her Own Quinceañera — and How It Empowered Her

Updated

Jeff Lipsky

Eva Longoria is crediting her mother for teaching her a great deal about hard work and dedication.

In a PEOPLE exclusive sneak peek at the upcoming December issue of Redbook, the Desperate Housewives alum reveals that she paid for her own Quinceañera when she was 15.

“I wanted to have a Quinceañera when I was 15 and my family didn’t have the money, so I got a job at Wendy’s and paid for it myself,” Longoria, 41, tells the publication.

“I couldn’t wait to get to work and make my own money. There was never any resentment, because I saw how hard my mother worked and all she did for my sister [with special needs], and I wanted to do whatever I could to help. We all did,” she continues.

Jeff Lipsky
Jeff Lipsky

Longoria continues to hold onto the strong work ethic that she learned as a teen, and recalls intentionally maintaining a positive outlook and perspective during her early audition days.

“I remember losing auditions or being let go from a job and I’d say, ’That must mean there’s something amazing ahead for me!’ My friends would laugh and look at me like I was crazy. I have never, ever had a personal pity party,” Longoria adds.

The actress, who married José Antonio Bastén in May, also gushes about her husband, whom she knew was “the one” early on in their relationship.

“Even before we got engaged, we just felt married. We called one another ‘my husband’ and ‘my wife.’ It didn’t take either one of us very long to know that ‘this is the one.’ In my case, it only took 40 years to find him!” she says, and adds of taking his last name, “I love him, I love his last name, and I love that tradition. It’s a choice I made, but I realize it’s not for everybody. I was thrilled to take his name.”

RELATED VIDEO: Eva Longoria Shows Off Her Collection of Photos with Famous Politicians

Looking to the future, the actress, who supported Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, also reveals that she has contemplated entering politics “a million times.”

“I’ve thought about that a million times. I think the most powerful part of our democracy is being a citizen. Our society cannot function without citizens,” she states. “Voting, civil disobedience, protesting can make our voices heard. There’s more things you can do as a citizen to bring about change than as a politician. After some deliberation, I choose to hold on to that power rather than relinquish it. But I do have a great deal of respect for people who devote their lives to public service.”

To read the full interview with Longoria, pick up a copy of Redbook‘s December issue, on newsstands Nov. 15.