Jesse Metcalfe Wasn’t Originally Cast In Desperate Housewives, Gushes Over “Incredibly Intelligent” Girlfriend Cara Santana

Lucky hunk! Jesse Metcalfe revealed he wasn't originally cast as the hot (and shirtless!) gardener John Rowland on Desperate Housewives during an interview with HuffPost Live on Thursday, Sept. 4. The actor — currently promoting season 3 of his TNT reboot series Dallas — played Eva Longoria's extramarital love interest on Wisteria Lane from 2004 to 2009.

"I had no idea how successful Desperate Housewives was going to be. I just didn't have a clue," the 35-year-old said. "I actually wasn't originally cast in that part. And for some reason or another they decided to recast and I was lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time and fit the bill."

Longoria's philandering character Gabrielle Solis seduced high school student Rowland while her husband Carlos Solis (Ricardo Chavira) was busy at work in role that launched both of their Hollywood careers. (Longoria is only four years older than the star.)

"I think a lot of it had to do with working with Eva Longoria," Metcalfe said of why their storyline worked. "We had a great friendship and great chemistry." He added: "It was really a lucky break."

Metcalfe was even luckier when he first met Cara Santana, his girlfriend of over five years.

"I think most people are drawn to someone initially because of the way they look," he admitted. "Maybe it's just a vibe — generally when you meet someone you don't know anything about them so you can't just be like, 'Oh, this person is so intelligent!'"

Cara Santana and Jesse Metcalfe
Stefanie Keenan/WireImage

"As far as being in a relationship, I've dated in the past some very beautiful women who weren't so smart," continued the smoldering star, whose real life exes include The Bachelor alum Courtney Robertson and Girls Aloud's Nadine Coyle. "So I really look for the total package."

And it appears he's found that total package in Santana. "She's just one of the most caring, generous people I've ever met," he said of 30-year-old Santana, who moved from El Paso, Texas to L.A. to become an actress. "And she's incredibly intelligent. She keeps our lives and my life in order. I would be lost without her, I really would."

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