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Papás y Mamás English

Eva LaRue on acting, giving back, and raising a teenager

Exclusive interview with the actress who assures her best and brightest role in life is that of mom.
14 Jul 2016 – 02:52 PM EDT
Eva La Rue and her daughter, Kaya

Eva LaRue—best known for her role as the vivacious and brilliant Natalia Boa Vista on the CBS primetime series CSI:Miami has an impressive Hollywood resume. She was Emmy-nominated for her portrayal of Dr. Maria Santos on the popular ABC daytime drama, All My Children, starred in Hallmark and Lifetime movies, and appeared in beloved TV sitcoms such as The George Lopez Show, in a recurring role. Sure, she’s a celebrity, but her best and brightest role in life is that of mom.

Today, LaRue’s daughter Kaya- whose father is LaRue’s ex, actor John Callahan- is a California-based teenager; mother and daughter share a very special bond. Read on to learn more about LaRue’s “life advice” for Kaya, the charity work that’s near and dear to her heart, and what’s next for LaRue career-wise.

As mom in the spotlight, what messages do you have for your daughter about confidence and beauty?
I try to instill in my daughter that confidence and beauty comes from within. It is not what is on the surface that matters. It is especially difficult being in the spotlight; we are often forced to fake our confidence and beauty because we are constantly being judged by the press, the industry, and the public. At the end of the day, you have to have self-love. It’s about having confidence in how you feel about your body, your inner-self, your spirituality, and your love for those around you. You have to have an inner confidence. The exterior beauty is so secondary.

What are some activities you and Kaya enjoy doing together?
We love to travel together and this summer we’re going to Italy. We’ve been all over the U.S. and also to Africa, Turkey, Mexico, Thailand, and Cambodia. We also just started taking polo lessons together. Polo is super fun and we are having a blast!

Can you discuss the missions and causes that are important to you?
Kaya and I also do a number of philanthropic projects together. One thing we have been doing for a number of years is helping out at an orphanage in Tijuana. We go down two or three times a year in a bus with a bunch of family and friends. My daughter and my friends’ kids play with the children at the orphanage and the adults clean and assist with odd jobs and maintenance that needs to be done. We bring lunch for everyone and we make monetary donations and bring other needed supplies. It’s one thing to just give money to a charity, but actually partaking in the work and engaging with those whom you are helping is so much more important.

What do you want Kaya to remember from these experiences?
I want Kaya to see for herself the difference she can make in the lives of others. She does see it and it’s so important for her spiritual growth. She has grown to where she always wants to do the charitable work; she does not feel as though she has to do it, and she looks forward to it.

How has motherhood influenced and inspired your acting journey; and your creativity?
I don’t want to take jobs that take me out of town for any period of time because my daughter is starting high school and these years are so precious for her. I don’t want to turn around and realize that I have been away working and all of the sudden she is off to college and I missed her important years of growth. Also, although I have always been cautious to take on work that I am proud of, as a mother, I’m probably more conscious now. I want to take on roles that will also make my daughter proud of me.

Kaya’s walked the red carpet with you at events. How was that experience for you both?
I think it is always a little nerve racking for me as a mom when Kaya is on the Red Carpet with me because although she is having fun, I’m protective of her. It’s exciting for Kaya because she sees other stars and she can tweet photos and show all of her friends, but in the end, the press and public can sometimes be negative. We are constantly scrutinized. As a public person, I am used to it, but I want to protect her from it whenever possible.

You started out in beauty pageants. Is your daughter interested in modeling and acting?
No, Kaya is not really interested in the beauty pageant world and the entertainment world for that matter. She recently dabbled in the pageant circuit but found out that it was fun but not for her in the long run. She also appeared in an episode of CSI: Miami, did a commercial, and a couple of print modeling jobs. Her real interest is in writing. She reads and writes all the time and her goal is to be a writer! I think she will skip show business.

You have a beautiful accessories line, Eva La Rue Fine Jewelry. Do you have any personal family heirlooms you hope to pass on to your daughter, such as a necklace or brooch?
Thank you! I am not working on my jewelry line much lately because I am busy with other projects in my life. Yes, I have a ton of jewelry and Kaya will get all of my jewelry eventually. Right now, she wears a chain around her neck and it holds both her father and my wedding rings. It’s special to her and although we are no longer together, we both love that she wears it and cherishes it.

What’s next for you, career-wise?
Up next for me is a film that I completed this past year called A Stranger Walks Amongst Us. It’s a psychological thriller and I play a former FBI Agent with a totally flawed personality who comes out of retirement to solve a current murder that is linked to a past case. Currently, I am also in development with a couple of projects that I have created and am looking forward to putting on my “producer hat.”