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Christine Quinn isn't a b***h. She just plays one on TV.
Well, OK, the Selling Sunset star might be a little bit of a B, but she asks, what's wrong with that?
"I would say the biggest misconception is that I'm just this one-note, crazy raging b***h all the time and I'm not," Christine tells ET via video chat from her Hollywood Hills home. "You're seeing a television show that’s cut down to 30 minutes an episode, and we shoot so much more. But, that’s what’s fun for TV, and I know that's what people wanna see, so I love bringing it."
The 31-year-old has brought it for two seasons now as the Kristin Cavallari to Chrishell Stause’s Lauren Conrad, a “villain” who’s actually a star in her own right -- and that Laguna Beach comparison isn't exactly a reach. The two series share an executive producer, Adam DiVello, which explains why Selling Sunset feels like a grown-up version of Laguna's sequel series, The Hills; just, this time, instead of pursuing the world of fashion and entertainment, this cast of characters is owning the world of luxury real estate at the Oppenheim Group, a brokerage run by twin brothers Jason and Brett Oppenheim. The show was a sleeper hit for Netflix, blowing up when season two dropped amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"We had a billboard on Sunset [Blvd.], that was our thing -- every year we did these really grand photo shoots and we put up a billboard, and it looks like a joke because you have these two twin brothers and you have these tall supermodels and you're, like, what is this?" Christine recalls of how the show came to be. "So, Adam DiVello … saw our billboard and he was like, 'This cannot be real life.'"
Christine says Adam just showed up to the Oppenheim office one day and before they knew it, they were shooting a pilot for what would become Selling Sunset. In fact, episode one of the series is that pilot, shot long before the rest of season 1.
"That's why you'll notice that I have, like, six inches of roots," Christine quips, going on to admit she had no qualms about signing herself up for reality TV after years of pursuing an acting career. She made a small name for herself with roles in projects like Hot Tub Time Machine 2 and Shark Night 3D. Her big dreams led her from the suburbs of Dallas to Los Angeles when she was just a teen.
"I think I was the one girl that was gung ho, all in," she confesses, noting that her co-stars -- most notably Maya Vander, who serves as the show's Greek chorus -- had their reservations at first, and still sometimes bite their tongues in group scenes.
"I always said, wouldn't it be so great to just be myself and be on television?" Christine adds. "That's all I ever wanted, because I love to entertain, I love to make people laugh. I love to inspire other people."
Christine says she’s always been a larger-than-life character with a heavy appetite for glam. While her budget for beauty has increased thanks to reality TV -- she spends close to $1,000 a day on hair and makeup and, yes, that's (mostly) all her real hair -- she says she's always been "extra." Just now, she has access to designer freebies from her favorite brands, like Balenciaga and Gucci. She still styles herself, though.
Originally, the series was solely focused on the business dealings of the cast with an aim to keep things PG, which explains why season 1 featured virtually no curse words and lots of real estate scenes. But, the focus quickly shifted to the office politics and interpersonal relationships of the realtors. That's especially evident when it comes to Christine and Mary Fitzgerald, a twosome painted to be BFFs in season 1 who seemed more like strangers in season 2. The first season ended with the pair at odds over how to handle new girl Chrishell.
"Mary and I had started a transition away from each other, I would say, in the middle of season 1, before any of the drama went down," Christine shares. "And after we stopped filming, you know, the cameras went down and phones work both ways, and I wasn't getting calls from her, and she wasn't reaching out and she was going out of her way to make her relationship with Chrishell really public, and it was something that kind of hurt my feelings."
Christine admits that reality TV cameras and fame entering their lives "100 percent" changed her and Mary's relationship, though she puts that more on her former roommate than herself.
"I know, for me, it hasn't affected me, but maybe other people have gotten egos," she says. "I can definitely see that happening, but I would certainly hope that it shouldn't change any of us."
When cameras went up on season 2 nearly seven months later, Christine says she and Mary hadn't spoken once, missing big life events, including Christine's engagement to her now-husband, tech entrepreneur Christian Richard. But, that didn't stop Mary from talking about Christine’s relationship, spreading what Christine claims to be false information about how she and Christian got together.
"Mary went out of her way to be a little malicious for the television show, which is fine -- I don't mind, but she really didn't know how I met him," Christine says, "and she was like, ‘Oh, I think he was a client…’ And I was like, what the f**k, Mary?! You know that's not true."
Christine says she met Christian through a friend who had been on one date with him, but they were not dating. The mutual friend actually set Christine and Christian up on a date of their own, joking with Christine that if it didn't work out romantically, then maybe she could sell Christian a home. For the record, Christine kept her romance with Christian under wraps until she had a ring on her finger because she was once bitten, twice shy when it came to sharing relationships with her co-workers. Too often she introduced a guy to the group only to have things fizzle out soon after.
"So, that got muddled through the grapevine into, 'He's a client. He was dating someone else, he was in another relationship…' and like, it's good for TV, but, Mary, you know the real story. She just wants to stir some s**t up, and then Chrishell jumps in, 'Once a cheater, always a cheater' kind of thing. Yikes, looking back on that now. Yikes on that comment she said.”
Christine finds it ironic that Chrishell would pass judgment on her relationship, seeing as Chishell’s marriage to This Is Us star Justin Hartley was ending just as Christine’s marriage was beginning. Fans will see that all play out on season 3 of the series, though they may not see as much as they expect. As shown in the trailer, Chrishell is blindsided by the news, and according to Christine, viewers won’t see much beyond that.
"He's not allowed to be on the show, so he's never been on the show. She's not allowed to talk about him, so she never talks about him," she claims. "So, you're gonna see her finding out … and that was pretty much it, I think her just finding out, and I don't think there was any resolve, which really kind of sucks for her. But, yeah, we’re gonna see her trying to keep it together as all of that is unfolding."
Chrishell got the news just days before Christine's gothic, snow-themed December wedding, which apparently proved to be a hard day for the actress-turned-realtor, who storms out of her co-star's big day.
"My wedding was extremely hard for her, that's really what it comes down to is, it's an emotional thing," Christine teases. "That was really more about her emotions at the wedding, you know, kind of getting to her and being fresh out of a relationship. There's really nothing more to it than that, but I think that would be hard for anybody."
Chrishell and Christine also don't have the best relationship, in general, which likely contributed to the emotional day. Chrishell has made it very public that she has Christine blocked on all her social media, but has played coy as to why she made such a drastic move, just hinting that she has "receipts" of Christine’s bad behavior.
"I have an idea why I'm blocked, yeah," Christine confesses. "I mean, it's nothing bad. I didn't like her at the time and I was being funny and I was ‘hearting’ certain comments. I mean, it’s really not a big deal. … It was just silly."
Christine won't reveal what comments she was liking, exactly, though it was around the time of their big fallout in season one. Christine says she gets around being blocked (for two years now) with a "finsta," a secondary, anonymous Instagram account she uses to lurk on her co-stars. For instance, she watched an Instagram Live that Mary did recently, which wound up hurting her feelings because Mary said of all her co-stars, she'd least like to be stuck on an island with Christine.
"It kinda sucks, but it is what it is," she laments. "We were something that we needed for each other for that moment in time and we just aren't anymore. We've grown apart and we're so different, and I think it's a valuable lesson to learn that people aren't always going to be in your life forever. Sometimes they serve a purpose and they're there for you when you need them, but people grow and as we're constantly growing, sometimes you just gotta let people go."
Even so, Christine is holding out hope that she and Mary, as well as she and Chrishell, can repair things moving forward -- she just says they need to learn how to not hold grudges, and that Mary should call off her "bodyguard," longtime friend but cast newbie Amanza Smith.
"It's getting tiring, it's getting wearing," she says. "Maya's exhausted, Davina [Potratz]'s exhausted, [even] Amanza’s exhausted of Chrishell just constantly hating me. … It’s time to just move on and forgive."
Christine's quick to point out how she’s done a 180 on Heather Rae Young. In season 1, Christine straight-up told Heather that she didn’t like her and didn’t consider her a friend. Today, though, Christine says she and Heather are quite close, close enough to even consider going into business together. As seen in the season 3 tease, Christine, Heather and Maya meet up to discuss leaving the brokerage for their own company.
"That's something that we've always talked about, because the favoritism in the office with Mary is real," Christine notes, citing how Jason likes to give his ex-girlfriend listings he landed, but rarely hands out properties to other agents.
"It's really hard for us, because we are all hard working, as well," she continues. "So it’s something that's in the works, I'll just say. We’re working on something that's very big, very exciting, very good."
If the women do spin off into their own company, that would change the dynamic of the series from being focused on one team to being focused on competing teams, which may actually already be in the works.
"There's been some drama going down," Christine teases. "Someone has left the brokerage for good and started their own brokerage. … Brett."
Yes, a quick Google search will show you that Brett is now running his own brokerage, the similarly named Oppenheim Real Estate; his name and image have been wiped from the Oppenheim Group's website, which now lists Jason as the sole broker.
"There's been a division going on," Christine explains of the split. "It's kind of something that's been happening for a while and people are just trying to figure out where the chess pieces are going right now. Let the games begin."
Christine stays mum on whether Selling Sunset fans will see that division play out in season 3. She's already thinking about a potential season 4. Netflix hasn't publicly green lit another season, but it seems safe to assume it will happen; it just may take a little longer to make it to TV due to the pandemic, which Christine admits has totally upended how real estate and TV are done. The ladies would usually be gearing up to film in the next few weeks, but that’s unlikely to happen. Hopefully, distance makes the heart grow fonder.
"I would love to see this group evolve to actually become friends and family again, because it's so divided and it’s so broken and it’s just not, it's not normal," she says of the state of things after filming season 3. "[And] I would love for it to be more about real estate. That's kind of my hope, but I don't know that it will ever happen, because people love the drama. It is what it is."
People also love the cinematic vibe of the series, which, much like its MTV predecessors, has led to some viewers labeling Selling Sunset as fake, but Christine says it’s all real -- well, as real as reality TV allows it to be. For instance, the women aren’t normally all crammed into the office like sardines as seen on the show.
“We're shooting a scene and there's 60 camera crew and four producers,” she notes. “So, yeah, there is a lot that goes into it. But at the end of the day, our reactions are real to everything. I'm a good actor, but I'm not that good.”
There are some moments that require acting, like the series' signature opening sequences that feel more like movie scenes than real life. In one season 2 episode, Christine dove into her pool as an overhead camera tracked her movement all the way across, where another camera was waiting at the foot of the pool to capture her Little Mermaid-like exit atop a just-out-of-frame apple box. Without the cameras there, Christine would have never attempted that move.
Christine knows reality TV won't last forever, or at least not this reality show. She already has gears in motion for what she wants to do next. Big picture, she sees herself getting out of real estate (remember, her husband retired before the age of 40), having kids in the next couple of years (after checking off some travel destinations from her bucket list) and launching a lifestyle brand where she can showcase the parts of herself she says get left on the cutting room floor of Selling Sunset.
"There is a sweet, caring, genuine side to me, and I do get my feelings hurt and I do cry and I am a big teddy bear, so I encourage people to get to know me outside of the show," she says.
She’d, of course, be open to more reality TV, too. The Real Housewives is a personal favorite.
"I've been watching it for years, and it’s definitely crossed my mind," she says. "There's gonna be a point where I'm going to be doing my own company, and I'm not gonna be in real estate, you know, in the next few years and then what? And I think it would be really fun to be a Housewife, down the line. Eventually. I'm a little too young right now."
As for what a potential tagline could be, Christine’s already gone one picked out: "I used to do real estate, but now? I'm just keeping it real."
For now, check out Christine on seasons 1 and 2 of Selling Sunset on Netflix. Season 3 starts streaming on Aug. 7 and she promises it will be “juicy.”
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