Dallas-born actress Madison De La Garza is best known for her role as Juanita Solis, precocious daughter of Gabrielle Solis (played by Eva Longoria), on hit ABC drama Desperate Housewives. De la Garza was a little girl when she appeared on the show from 2008-2012 (the actress was born in 2001), and in the years since it wrapped, acting has mostly taken a backseat for her. According to IMDb, De La Garza had recurring roles on the TV series Bad Teacher, Muertoons, and American Koko, as well as appearing in thriller Caged No More, which was released in 2016.
Outside of those, however, the Texan performer has done a couple shorts and voice roles, but nothing since 2018. Now that she’s all grown up, De La Garza is free to pursue her own artistic endeavors, outside of the specter of her most famous role — and, it has to be noted, her famous sister.
Madison De La Garza was shocked by the attention from Desperate Housewives fans
When Desperate Housewives came to an end in 2012, fans were underwhelmed. Madison De La Garza, however, was incredibly emotional about saying goodbye to Eva Longoria and Ricardo Chavira, who played her TV dad. “I looked over and Eva was trying not to cry, and Ricardo was trying not to cry. Then, I lost it, started crying so hard,” she told My San Antonio. The young actress acknowledged that the show changed her life in a massive way, but she wasn’t prepared for the amount of attention playing Juanita would bring.
De la Garza admitted, “People would walk up to me and ask, ‘Are you that girl in Desperate Housewives?’ It freaked me out at first.” The proud Texan, whose family had to relocate to California for Desperate Housewives, came to understand how great it was to be recognized for her work, however, especially since she has nothing but good memories of her time on the show. “Probably the best times,” De La Garza revealed, “were joking around with Eva and Ricardo.”
The young star got some good advice from her famous sister
Although her newfound fame threw Madison De La Garza off, she had a vocal supporter in the form of superstar half-sister Demi Lovato. In a 2015 interview with Seventeen, De La Garza admitted that having a pop star for a sibling isn’t great at times, particularly because Lovato is “constantly away on tour.” However, the teen actress acknowledged that her big sis was great at keeping in contact. “We talk about anything and everything. I know I can trust her with it all,” De La Garza explained.
The pop star’s support was especially important when De La Garza was bullied online for her weight. She revealed how empowering it is whenever Lovato rallies behind her on social media. “It helps when Demi stands up for me online, too. When people hate on me, she can’t really hold back,” De La Garza said, arguing, “She’s strong and she’s a free spirit, and that’s what I love about her.”
Eva Longoria's TV daughter learned how to be herself
Although she had her famous half-sister in her corner, Madison De La Garza still found the onslaught of negative attention difficult to deal with. In a 2015 essay for Latina magazine, the actress revealed that when she was just six years old, social media users were calling her “fat,” “ugly,” and a “slut” (via HuffPost). She admitted, “No matter how strong you are, repetition inevitably takes its toll on you. At an extremely young age, I started to think maybe the cruel voices were right. Their opinions turned into my insecurity — and suddenly I was aware of every meal, every outfit, every post on social media.”
However, De La Garza slowly learned how to accept herself for who she is and how she looks, again thanks chiefly to big sis Demi Lovato’s support. “Like Demi told me, ‘At the end of the day, what others say about you doesn’t matter. What matters is how you cope with it and how you come out on the other side.’ You are the only person who has to love you,” De La Garza advised.
Madison De La Garza has become her own person
Back when Madison De La Garza spoke to My San Antonio in 2012, she admitted, “I want to dye my hair … dye the tips blue.” She’s certainly lived up to that promise, with the starlet’s Instagram page showcasing her love for semi-permanent hair dyes in a whole rainbow of colors. Her style has really evolved, too, into a funky, goth-inflected look. De la Garza even pointed this out herself when she captioned a set of shots in August 2020, showcasing the actress dressed head-to-toe in cult clothing company Killstar’s apparel: “damn, juanita looks different here.”
Her Instagram bio lists De La Garza as a scriptwriter, noting, “My films can tell you more about me than I can.” She’s also kept busy studying scriptwriting at Chapman University, telling college paper the Chapman Prowl in 2019, “I started writing scripts at a really young age, and I tried a lot of different avenues.” She added, “It hit me when I applied to college: the best way for me to make any kind of difference or social change was to be a screenwriter, so that was the avenue I had to take.”
It looks like De La Garza’s taking a break from acting to make her mark behind the screen.
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