The 39-year-old actress says she was "very set in my identity" when she shot to fame in 'Desperate Housewives' in 2004 and believes being older helped her avoid getting into trouble in Hollywood.

Speaking at the Dublin Web Summit in Ireland on Tuesday (04.11.14), the brunette beauty said: "I became famous quite late in life, according to Hollywood standards. I was 28 or 29. I already had my Bachelor's degree, I went to college, I was very set in my identity prior to this thing called fame.

"If you let the tabloids, the news or the media define you as 'America's sweetheart' or 'America's party girl,' and you kind of go in that direction, that's when you can get into trouble. That didn't happen to me because I was so set in who I was, it just kind of falls off my shoulders."

Eva also doesn't feel pressure to maintain her youthful appearance, according to the Irish Independent newspaper.

She said: "I'm still young, so I haven't experienced the ageism yet. I was on a show called 'Desperate Housewives,' where most of the female leads were over the age of 40 and it became a global phenomenon."

She added: "People tend to put women in boxes - she's sexy, she's smart, she's ambitious, she's a mom, she's young... where women are very complex and the greatest advantage we have is that we're always underestimated."

After taking a break from acting to focus on producing, Eva plans to return to TV next year.

She said: "I probably will be returning to television next year in a new show. I don't know what it is yet, but stay tuned."