Actress, singer, dancer, musician, and animal rights advocate Christine Evangelista has officially arrived. The breakout star of E!’s hottest new scripted series, The Arrangement, plays an up-and-coming Hollywood actress, Megan Morrison, on the dramatic thriller that involves a marriage contract and a cult-like religion. Known for her TV and film roles on The Walking Dead, The Intern, and Bleed for This, Christine can’t wait to see what drama-filled twists and turns will be happening next on the show’s second season. She revels in playing the complex character Megan on the hit TV show and is fiercely determined to push her acting capabilities to the limits.
The unparalleled beauty is a native New Yorker and was destined to be an actress. As a young girl, Christine was an aspiring dancer when she first started experimenting with acting. She spent a lot of time with her father, who was a very technical man. He built computers and owned many different high-tech cameras. He taught Christine how to operate the video camera he used to tape her dance performances. Christine enjoyed the technology so much, she started writing and creating short movies, prompting her to audition. Both Christine’s parents worked very long days and were unable to take her on auditions; her father worked for the FDNY and her mom was a nurse. As a teenager, Christine enrolled in a performing arts school and joined a program that enabled her to do off-Broadway shows every day after school. “Dancing provided me with discipline and a very strong work ethic. I love having a dance background; it really helps me with expression. I met my manager when I was a senior in high school and was doing an off-Broadway play. She has been around forever and is the person who started me in film and television. We share a vision for my career, and she is like family to me. I am very lucky to have her in my life.” Christine explains.
Christine’s extensive acting work frequently brings her to Los Angeles. When asked where she prefers to reside, Christine explains why she loves living in New York. “New York forces you to define yourself in a way I wouldn’t be able to living in Los Angeles. It’s so multi-cultural. I love how it is removed from the Hollywood scene, especially because of the premise of my television show, where everyone talks about glamour and power couples. I really just try and stay out of it. It’s not my scene. I love what I do, and I love being an actress, but there is an ugly side to that world. I like to remove myself from it as much as possible and to be around real people, and people I grew up with. Some of my friends are actors, but the majority of my good friends aren’t, and I think it is important to surround yourself with people who ground you.”
Aside from Christine’s many other talents, she is a devoted animal rights advocate. Just days before this cover photo shoot, she returned from a global charity mission in Thailand, where she is an ambassador for Veterinarians International, a non-profit organization founded by a Sag Harbor resident, Dr. Scarlett Magda. The mission focuses on providing optimal animal healthcare to captive elephants that suffer from serious, systemic abuse and neglect by humans. Christine traveled to Surin, Thailand, to launch the organization’s latest initiative. The mission was led by Dr. Geraldo Martinez, a world-renowned expert in animal training, to help the private owners use better methods to care for the elephants.
The day of Christine’s photo shoot is a Wednesday, early in the morning. Our location is the 21 West End, a luxury residential building in Riverside Center, which offers incredible views of the city’s skyline and the Hudson River. I’m standing in the vast, modern lobby, reviewing the final details of this magazine’s photo shoot, when Christine arrives. As she walks toward me, I notice that she possesses a subtle confidence that is incredibly rare. There’s this kind of magnetic energy swirling around her that makes you stop dead in your tracks. It forces you to look at her, and when you do, you’re captivated by her natural beauty. Together, we begin touring the spectacular locations of the building’s indoor 60-foot pool, and the art deco lounge. As I describe the types of shots and looks for the day’s photo shoot, Christine, a woman who is definitely not afraid to express herself, communicates her preferences and individual style. When she speaks to me, she is extremely eloquent and engaging. It’s as if she’s a friend I have known forever; it’s hard to believe we have just met.
Our interview takes place in a cozy den in one of the building’s cutting-edge apartments, which features spectacular panoramic views of the city. Christine, dressed in a tan lace romper and white leather jacket, looks exceptionally beautiful as she speaks about her current relationship status. While filming the first season of The Arrangement on location in Vancouver, Christine split with her longtime boyfriend — her first real love. “It was really crushing for me when we split up, and was one of the hardest things I have ever dealt with. We grew apart because we wanted different things out of life. It’s sad when something ends, especially when you have a mutual respect and love for one another. He was very supportive of my career, and it was great to have a stable force around. He was someone who was really supportive of what I wanted to do. After our split, I realized that this is something I don’t necessarily need right now.”
As we continue to converse, Christine confesses to me that dating can be very daunting. “Having someone who is intelligent is very important to me. I like someone with a great sense of humor and someone who has a drive that is equal to mine. I also like someone who has a strong family background. Having a strong family background is very important to me because that is something I have. I’ve always been a monogamous person, and I am a long-term relationship kind of girl.” Often, Christine’s work takes her away from home for several months at a time, so she doesn’t mind getting involved in a long-distance relationship. “There is a two and half week rule, meaning we can’t go two and a half weeks without seeing each other. I really have never been that girl who needs to be around someone all the time. I am a very social person, but, at the same time, I have this loner quality to me. I prefer my space and my own time.”
When Christine is not working, she prefers to spend more time in the Hamptons than in New York City. In fact, immediately after this photo shoot, Christine left New York City for the Hamptons. Although she lives in Manhattan, her family has a house in the Hamptons and they are transitioning to live here full time. She loves to spend holidays here. “The fall is absolutely beautiful in the Hamptons; there is no traffic,” Christine says smiling. “It is an escape and I like to be with family. It’s a good vibe in the Hamptons, and it reminds me of my childhood. I am a very nostalgic person. My parents are transitioning to be in the Hamptons full time, and I want to spend as much time with them as possible. Also, I have a lot of friends in the Hamptons.”
A few days after Christine’s photo shoot, we decide to meet again for dinner at 75 Main, a chic restaurant in Southampton. Christine, having just returned from a barbecue in Montauk, looks equally as beautiful without any makeup as she did the day of her photo shoot when she had been primped by a glam squad. Sitting at a private table in the rear of the Miami-styled restaurant, I ask Christine what it was like growing up in the ’90s with her supermodel icon cousin, Linda Evangelista. “She was literally all over the place,” Christine says. “Physically all over the place and all over magazine covers.” Christine goes on to tell me that she and Linda both happen to come from very similar immigrant Italian backgrounds. She says that they both are from hardworking, blue collar families who have the same strong work ethic. Linda’s persistent work demonstrated to Christine that any career goal is possible if you put the time and effort into it. “Linda was always this really glamorous woman who was so devoted to her craft of modeling.” Christine explains. I ask Christine if Linda offers her any advice about being in the limelight. “Linda warns me to be conscious about the people I surround myself with,” she replies.
During the summer Christine will be leaving New York to shoot the second season of The Arrangement in Vancouver. Christine and I converse about what it’s like working on the E! scripted series with her gorgeous costar, Josh Henderson. Josh plays mega movie star Kyle West and the duo have an amazing chemistry on screen. I ask Christine if the chemistry exists between the two off-screen as well. “He’s definitely a specimen,” Christine replies, laughing. “The two of us are very professional people; we put our work first, and we work well together. You have to keep your work separate from your personal life, but we do have a lot of fun. The days are very long on set, 18 hours, and you have to have fun because it gets totally exhausting.”
As we finish eating and wrap up our conversation, Christine candidly confesses to me, “My parents didn’t have the ability to go out and dream and do something as risky as I am doing. If you know me, you can trust me, and you can get a sense of what I am about. I care about my reputation. I love acting, and I love people. The desire to act is natural, the technique isn’t, and this is something that I need to continue to explore. There are so many things with the mind that I haven’t experienced yet, but I still need to be able to play. There are so many stories about people full of expression and texture, and these are some of the things that really made me want to be an actress. That is why I like living in New York City. Acting technique requires a lot of work, and I am always in class. In Manhattan, I’m a part of this really great school, and I have a coach. It’s like exercising; you need to work your muscles.”
Executive Producer and Creative Director — Christine Montanti
Photography — Tiffany Walling McGarity and John McGarity
Hair Styling by Leonard Calandra & Make-up Artistry
by Charles Douglas of Nubest Salon and Spa
Fashion Styling – Grace Amarante and Dawn Cohen of Meringue
D.P. of Video Production — Mike Cruz of PixelMotiv Media
Sound Technician — Mark Fraunhofer
Executive Assistant — Martha Licciardello
Hair Styling Assistant — Madison Clark
Shoes Provided by Jildor, Woodbury
A very special thanks to Lizzie Grubman and Dylan Rudolph
of Lizzie Grubman P.R. & Management
Thank you to Caryn Leeds of Wolf | Kasteler, P.R. & Richard Piana, Marketing and Public Relations Director of Nubest Salon & Spa
Thank you so much, Elizabeth and Steve Benjamin, for our beautiful
location, 21 West End Avenue, New York City