TV

“Telenovela” Star Jose Moreno Brooks Tells Us Which Celebrity Should Be His Character’s Boyfriend

"Women go, 'I'll still date him,'" says Eva Longoria of Brook's character. "He's that big of a hunk."

On the new NBC comedy Telenovela, Eva Longoria stars as actress Ana Sofia Calderon, who plays the queen diva on the fictional Spanish-language soap Las Leyes de Pasion (The Laws of Passion).

On the show-within-a-show Ana Sofia locks lips with the gorgeous (and often shirtless) Gael Garnica. But when the director yells “cut,” Gael transforms back into her gay best friend.

“Every girl has one,” Longoria, who also produces Telenovela, says of the “GBF.”

But it’s not often a reality depicted on Latin television.

“We thought it was interesting to show a gay telenovela star,” Longoria told NNN at the TCA winter press tour. “That’s just so uncommon in the culture that we wanted it to be reflected.”

Along with seamstress Mimi (Diana-Maria Riva), Gael is Ana’s main confidant—though he’s not afraid to call her on her drama.

“He thinks Ana Sofia is incredible… she really cares about me and my feelings and she tries to lift my spirits,” says Jose Moreno Brooks, who plays the hunky-but-sweet character.

“It’s a really cool dynamic.”

Jose Moreno Brooks, Eva Longoria
NBC

Longoria says much of the show’s humor comes from the group of misfits that work on Las Leyes de Pasion .

“The fact that my character doesn’t speak Spanish, that Jose’s character is gay…  everybody has their thing in this [soap opera] world that kinda doesn’t fit. Those are really cool obstacles to play with, comedically.”

eva longoria jose brooks telenovela
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As far as Gael’s sexuality, Longoria says a gay man playing a straight character isn’t a big stretch in terms of of real-life telenovela heartthrobs.

“There’s actually quite a few telenovela stars in Mexico, and Latin America in general, who are gay—but the illusion is maintained as much as possible.” explains the former Desperate Housewives star.

“It’s like Ricky Martin, where women go, ’I’ll still date him.’ [Gael is] that big of a hunk.”

TELENOVELA -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: Jose Moreno Brooks as Gael -- (Photo by: John Tsiavis/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Brooks jokes that his alter ego’s shirt must come off at least once an episode—and this week was no different: In the episode, the cast is stuck on the Miami set during a hurricane and must suffer without air-conditioning or food.

Great reason to get the good-looking cast—including eye candy Jencarlos Canela and Amaury Nolasco—out of their clothes, right?

While Brooks admits to being self-conscious at first, he says it didn’t last long.

“By the end of the season, I [had] gotten so comfortable with the cast and crew, I was just walking around in these little shorts,” he recalls. “Something I would have never done at the beginning.”

Brooks, who played semi-pro soccer before starting a successful modeling career, keeps his abs ripped and pecs tight with a diet of “a lot of brown rice, chicken and salad.”

That might not sound fun, but he says, “I don’t like to go out there and suck, so I always keep myself at a certain level.”

Gael has professed his love for action star Jason Statham, and recently struck up a short-lived flirtation with a guy he met at the gym. But if he had his choice, Brooks would go in a different direction for his character’s love interest.

“I have a soft spot for Jack Black,” he told us. “I think that would be really funny… let’s make that happen.”

Telenovela airs Mondays at 8:30pm on NBC.