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Eva LaRue Is Reinventing Herself (And Her Career)

CSI: Miami actress Eva LaRue talks about her latest film, her new gig on Fuller House and why she thinks it’s so important to give back. 

Eva LaRue On Reinventing Herself
Credit: 2015 Paul Archuleta

Actress Eva LaRue has known her fair share of success —  the All My Children and CSI: Miami star landed on not one, but two hit TV shows.  But she’s faced hardship as well. In early 2014, LaRue announced she was divorcing her husband of four years, businessman Joseph Cappuccio.

LaRue speaks of the end of her marriage (and her 10 year run on CSI) with a positivity born from years of wisdom and a healthy dose of humor.

“We can’t be hanging on,” the actress jokes to Guideposts.org when detailing the sometimes crazy turns her life takes.(During this interview she’s taking her car to the shop in between overseeing the remodeling of her new home.) “We have little happy moments. . . but there’s always going to be [a big change] that’s the one consistent thing in life. We just have to learn to be okay with it, to ride it out and look for the lesson in it. The quicker we find the lesson in it, the quicker we start treading water again.”

But LaRue isn’t just treading water, she’s swimming with confidence. The philanthropist, mother and jewelry designer is enjoying a season of reinvention.

 “I hunkered down for a couple of years [after CSI ended],” LaRue explain “I got a chance to really be home and be a mom and make a nest for myself. I think that was part of the rebooting.”

That time-out also influenced how she now approaches her work in front of the camera. After being known for so many years as Dr. Maria Santos on All My Children – a character that still causes her to be stopped on the street by dedicated fans for autograph requests – LaRue is now focusing on challenging herself by picking parts she normally wouldn’t have.

“If I’m afraid of it, then I know it’s something I should go after,” the actress says. “[I look for] things I’ve never done before. Actors I haven’t worked with, directors, if the script is interesting. It’s always something different now.”

Billy Gardell and Eva LaRue in The Dancer and The Dame

Her break from TV also afforded her the chance to focus on herself.

“It gave me the opportunity to start meditating on a regular basis, which I had never done before,” the actress admits. “Prayer had always been a big part of my life, but to really sit and meditate and clear my head just brought so much more inspiration for me on so many different levels. You become so engulfed by your own anxiety that you can’t get on top of it. The only thing you’re in control of is yourself.”

Now LaRue is back with a new family-friendly comedy The Dancer and the Dame – a film that follows the hilarious and heart-warming friendship of a cop (Mike & Molly’s Billy Gardell) and his new canine partner — that’s available on Netflix.

“They always say never work with kids and dogs but I actually like it because they bring a surprise element to a scene that you have to roll with,” LaRue says of her latest role. “They give you something that is real life.”

Next, she’ll be playing Danny Tanner’s wife in the highly-anticipated Full House reboot coming to Netflix next year.

In between her film and television roles, LaRue makes time for her charity work.

From 2006 to 2008 she was the celebrity spokesperson for the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, partnering with organizations like Beckstrand Cancer Foundation to provide support to women and their families battling the same illness that took the lives of her grandmother and great-grandmother.

“Ovarian cancer is one of the most misdiagnosed cancers of all the women’s cancers,” LaRue explains. “It’s so easily curable in its early stages but the problem is it’s usually diagnosed in the last stages. I was just so shocked about what we didn’t know about ovarian cancer, how much we still don’t know.”

Recently, LaRue stood up for another worthy cause: education. The star joined forces with the Education is Not a Crime campaign to fight for equal rights for girls and young women in the classroom.

 “I go where I feel like I’m called,” she says. “I have to be in it to feel like I’m contributing. Just showing up to a dinner isn’t really enough for me. I have to feel like I’m doing something.”

After nearly 28 years in acting, multiple Emmy nominations and her philanthropic work, LaRue’s developed a motto that’s as poetic as it is simple: enjoy what you have, when you have it.

“I measure success in the amount that you can appreciate it,” she says of her career, her personal life and her charity work. “If you have an insane amount of success but you appreciate nothing around you, then you have nothing because you’re not appreciating what you’ve done, where you’ve come from, how you got there and the beauty and excitement around you. That’s where true success lies — in finding the happiness in exactly what you have.” 

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