Eva Longoria on Running ‘Grand Hotel’ & the Thorny Mendoza Family (VIDEO)
The Mendoza clan heats up Miami in this sudsy tale, set at their beloved oceanfront hotel, the Riviera Grand.
Calling it “an upstairs-downstairs” story about the well-heeled owners, the wily staff, and their crisscrossing lives, Grand Hotel executive producer Eva Longoria has filled this blended family tree with some thorny characters. The Desperate Housewives alum is also major part of the family, in that she is also set to appear on the series as the Mendoza’s late matriarch and is directing episodes.
Below we have the breakdown of the rest of the brood, but before that, here is Longoria explaining why she choose this project, her particular role and what she thinks the cast brings to the screen (hint: it’s heat!).
Now for the Riveria Grand employees and owners…let’s meet them.
Alicia Mendoza (Denyse Tontz)
An idealistic recent Cornell grad, daddy’s little girl is back to help run the hotel. But with the mysterious disappearance of a staffer (Arielle Kebbel) and a potential sale of the hotel, she might not want to unpack too quickly.
Javi Mendoza (Bryan Craig)
The former General Hospital stud’s playboy scion may be missing a leg, but that isn’t stopping him from hopping in and out of various guests’ beds — until he is thrown an unexpected curveball that could shake up his branch of the Mendoza family tree.
Santiago Mendoza (Demián Bichir)
The widowed patriarch married his late wife’s best friend, much to the chagrin of kids Alicia and Javi. If only that were his most scandalous move. “We all keep our own secrets,” Bichir says. “Some of them are small and harmless; some of them are dark.”
Gigi Mendoza (Roselyn Sánchez)
Even though she has a few tricks up her sleeve, Santiago’s second wife isn’t exactly the wicked stepmother. The Devious Maids alum says that the “commonality of that pain” from losing the first Mrs. Mendoza (played by Longoria) “made [Gigi and Santiago] connect … and it’s difficult for the kids to understand.”
Yoli Renna (Justina Adorno)
The “black sheep” of Gigi’s twin daughters, Yoli is “the one that gets criticized the most,” Adorno says. She’s also the one who may be about to overshadow her more glamorous sister. “Yoli has her moment this season,” the actress adds.
Carolina Renna (Feliz Ramirez)
The blinged-out yin to Yoli’s yang, Carolina “loves her life, and she’s excited about being the best in the room,” Ramirez says. Not to mention having the best … so would that include her very hot stepbrother, Javi? “I wouldn’t rule that out!”
Grand Hotel, Series Premiere, Monday, June 17, 10/9c, ABC