New Wave

Christine Evangelista Knows You’re Comparing Her New Show to Scientology

“The Arrangement” star (and Linda’s cousin!) is setting the record straight.

By: Samantha Sutton
Photography: Alec Kugler

There may be a million and 10 shows you’ve been meaning to watch, adding them to your queue, binging on the weekends, etc. But before you devour another throwback series, you should definitely check out a new one, The Arrangement. The E! hit is a twisted kind of love story—one involving actors, relationship contracts, and a Scientology-like religion. It also stars the multi-talented Christine Evangelista, who plays one of the show’s main characters, Megan. 

If Christine’s name is ringing a bell, you’ve probably seen her here and there, popping up on episodes of The Walking Dead as well as the movie Bleed For This. And yes, she *is* related to Linda: the supermodel and icon is actually Christine’s cousin.

When we met up with the actress at her New York apartment, we talked about a variety of topics, asking a few questions about the show—which just got renewed for season two!—and her climb toward the top (which actually includes some reality TV).

 

On her show, The Arrangement:

“I love the story, I love the concept, I love playing Megan. At its core, I would call this a love story. Can true love sustain all of these manipulated environments, whether it’s Hollywood or it’s the institute? Can love prevail? Can love at first sight exist? But I was very surprised to see the direction that the show goes, and I would certainly classify this more as a romantic thriller.”

About those comparisons to Scientology and Tom Cruise:

“I can definitely understand why people make that comparison. But this is a different situation, these are unique characters, and I think in time people will see that.”

 

If she thinks arranged celebrity marriages happen in real life:

“People have come forward to tell me they have friends that have been either propositioned, or they know people who were put together. I’m very surprised, but I understand. There is some strategy. There is what’s called the Hollywood hype machine, and we look at tabloids and we see stories that are so clearly put together. But arranged marriages as a concept obviously have been around for a long time.”

On appearing in the 2003 reality TV series, Fame:

“I was in high school at the time, and I went to California and studied with Debbie Allen at her dance academy. They were looking for what they called a triple threat, and I remember thinking, ‘Okay, that’s someone who can sing, dance, and act.’ I was very much a singer and dancer growing up, and I did musical theater. I’m like, I’m going to put a song together and put monologue in the middle of it. So I did this piece, and a judge gave me this really weird review. I was just like, ‘Fuck this’ and said something to him on the stage. I think I was just over it at that point, and I remember I came home and got a phone call from an agency. But I wanted to keep working in New York. I went to HB Studio in the West Village and ended up doing plays there for a while, but that’s how I actually got my start as an actress: I told off some judge, some radio DJ, on a stage [laughs]. Look at me now.”

 

Her advice for making it in the industry:

I always say just keep going. It’s super hard and there’s an enormous amount of rejection. Of course you have to be good, you have to be talented, you have to be a hard worker, but I know a lot of really hard working, good actors that haven’t had their deserved break yet. It’s one of those things where, no matter how hard you work or prepare for something, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get that role. It could be a physical thing—there are so many subjective elements, and it’s difficult to be objective in that case. It’s hard when you’re broke and you’re struggling and you need a creative release. But just keep going. If I can do it, anyone can do it.”

On that Instagram shoutout from her cousin, Linda Evangelista:

“When we were growing up, that was her prime, so I would see her a lot at family functions, but she was traveling all over Europe half the time. I think what she represented to me was the possibility. She started when she was young, and was part of this whole movement that was totally extraordinary, but it was a slow climb for her. It’s nice, because I know that she knows how hard I worked for it.”

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