Meet Christine Evangelista, the star of the E! popular series “The Arrangement“, who just returned for a 10-episode second season. The series follows a young actress (Evangelista) who enters into a contract relationship with a major movie star who has ties to a controversial spiritual organization. It’s a Hollywood love story that brings to life the darker side of fame, and is a guilty pleasure with a hint of topicality.
The show ranked as the 2nd biggest scripted cable drama launch with young women for 2017. Christine also had an exciting recurring role on AMC‘s hit series “The Walking Dead” as one of Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) many reluctant wives.
A woman of healthy habits and professional discipline, Christine is not afraid to pursue her ambitious dreams, and to continually refine her craft.
JILLIAN KORKOSZ: Your acting career is flourishing! You’ve given memorable performances in projects like “The Walking Dead” and in the film “Bleed for This” opposite Miles Teller. You currently star in the hit television series “The Arrangement” on E!. Can you tell us a little about the journey that’s gotten you to this place in your career?
CHRISTINE EVANGELISTA: It’s a journey of dedication, extreme self discipline, dreaming big, and perseverance – not giving up. It’s the dreaming part that holds you through the challenges and downturns – which I’ve certainly experienced. It’s not all success all the time, but it’s the belief that gets you through to the next great role; The next chance to dedicate yourself to a new height.
JK: Through my research, I noticed you studied at the Herbert Berghof School of Acting. Did you also do theater or performing arts programs growing up?
CE: Living in New York City, my mother would take me to shows as often as she could and I fell in love with the theater. When I was about 14, I would ride the subway into Manhattan to study and perform in various play houses and Off-Broadway theaters. I’m also a trained dancer. I was actually honed by a professional tap dancer to be a New York City Rockette. I obviously did not take that road but I used my strong dance background in musical theater productions. The stage is a very happy place for me.
JK: When did you first discover that you wanted to be an actor? What was your first role?
CE: I was a teenager performing as Emily in Thornton Wilder’s, ‘Our Town’. At the end of the play, she has a dramatic, impassioned monologue. She describes her realization that she had not been aware of the wonder of life as she lived it. I was so nervous and anxious to perform it, I really gave it my all.
I remember a woman in the audience crying at the end of my speech… It was in that moment that I realized you can help people tap into their own human experience through acting. From then on acting was something I wanted to take seriously.
JK: “The Arrangement” chronicles a Hollywood contract marriage. Do you think arrangements similar to this happen frequently in the entertainment business?
CE: During the ‘Golden Age of Hollywood’ (late 1920s-40s), when actors were contract players and the five major studios dominated the industry, it’s known certain relationships were arranged to promote films or promote an image. To the extent of it happening now, I don’t know – but we’ve all heard the rumors…
JK: If you could give Megan some advice, what would it be?
CE: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them”.
JK: What do you admire most about Megan? What are her flaws?
CE: I admire her strength and I admire her vulnerability – which could be argued her greatest flaw – but still it’s interesting and fundamentally human.
I admire her desire to lead with her heart even though she is in a precarious and often dangerous situation. She’s a very dynamic woman and she’s game for it all.
JK: Are there any funny or strange anecdotes from set that you can share?
CE: This season, Kyle, Megan and the institute are planning a wedding. I don’t know what overcame me, I can only describe the transformation similar to when Clark Kent puts on his cape and he can fly. But the moment I put on a wedding dress I became this bridezilla – very unlike me. I had a friend visit me on set that day and she quickly snapped me out of it. I blame it on being 31 and single.
JK: Your character on the show has a gorgeous wardrobe. Do you have a particular favorite outfit that you’ve worn on the show and if so, who was the designer?
CE: In season 1, we traveled to Venice, Italy to film during the Film Festival. There is a scene when Megan is on a balcony overlooking the canals and has a private, emotional moment in awe of the Cinderellaesque situation she is experiencing. She is wearing this beautiful cream colored, A-line Alexander Mcqueen dress and drinking an espresso. That dress is a favorite for me mainly because my personal feelings mimicked hers in that moment. I was a very ‘meta’ experience.
JK: How would you describe your own personal style? Has your sense of style and interest in fashion been influenced by your supermodel cousin, Linda Evangelista? Has she given you any advice?
CE: Lagerfeld deemed Linda to be “the Stradivarius of models, you can play her like you can play no other instrument”.
She is the chameleon of the industry: glamorous, androgynous, tough, feminine, etc. Her transformative quality was very impactful and very inspirational for me… especially when it comes to character acting and developing new identities. Fashion has always been a tool for me to express myself and it is an integral component to bringing the women I play to life. Aside from fashion, I observed her professionalism in the industry and the value of surrounding yourself with supportive people. She was quick to warn me about self-interested people in the media.
dress Vassilis Zoulias
JK: Who are your style crushes?
CE: Audrey Hepburn, Olivia Palermo and David Bowie.
JK: What item of clothing in your closet do you wear the most?
CE: Either my black leather pants or my black stretchy pants. Depends the side of the bed I wake up on.
JK: Could you walk us through your daily beauty regime?
CE: It’s true that beauty comes first from the inside. I protect my happiness, surround myself with positive people, drink loads of water, eat a healthy diet and I meditate.
But for my exterior: day-to-day I don’t wear much makeup; Its generally tinted moisturizer, mascara and tinted chapstick. I’m very disciplined in my night regime. I wash, tone, use serums and moisturize religiously. I love Shani Dardens line and her LED mask. I often treat myself to facials and I work out daily. Exercise helps my state of mind as much as it does my body.
JK: You are an animal rights advocate. Can you tell us a little bit about your work with animal rescue organizations?
CE: Growing up, my home was always the place where animals found their second home. We took in strays and pets from people who couldn’t provide for them anymore. So even as a child I loved to nurture and comfort animals. I vowed then that I would use any professional platform I had to give a voice to the voiceless.
I started working with NYC based animal rescue group, Zanis Furry Friends. We pull dogs out of local shelters, provide medical care and place them in foster homes until we find their ‘furever’ family. I also foster as much as I can. Recently, I started working on a more global scale and became an Ambassador for the non-profit, ‘Veterinarians International’. I traveled to Thailand with them last summer to launch two mobile veterinarian clinics in Surin: providing free 24 hour care to the Asian elephants in the community and more humane training techniques for their mahouts.
JK: Being a lifelong New Yorker, what’s your favorite thing about NYC?
CE: It’s limitless. New York is a city of infinite possibility and there is something so romantic about that. I really do call it my first love. The city inspires my curiosity, creativity, style and most importantly, work ethic.
JK: Similarly, what’s your favorite hotspot/restaurant in the city?
JK: If someone looked inside your refrigerator, what would they find?
CE: Bone broth.
JK: If there was a theme song to your life, what would it be?
CE: “Don’t you worry ‘bout a thing” by Stevie Wonder.
dress Sonia Olla