Christine Evangelista made the leap from "badass" Sherry on AMC's "The Walking Dead" to starring on E!'s new drama "The Arrangement," which premieres Sunday at 10 p.m.
"It happened within a couple of days," the actress told Business Insider at an NBC Universal event on Thursday of going from the zombie hit to working on the E! show. "I think I literally went from one set to the other, which was awesome. You know, it’s a completely different world. It was definitely a sharp transition."
On "The Arrangement," Evangelista plays an up-and-coming actress, Megan Morrison, who's offered a wedding contract to Kyle West, a famous Hollywood leading man and member of a cult-like religion, who's played by former "Dallas" reboot and "Desperate Housewives" star Josh Henderson.
The audition process for Evangelista mirrored that of her character on the show, in which a spark between the actors was important if they were to pull off a fake relationship.
"Josh and I got the roles the old-fashioned way. We both auditioned for it," she said. "And it was very important that the two of us had great chemistry. We did have a couple of readings together, so they can see us. So we met very similarly to how Megan and Kyle met on the show. We met in a screen test and we got along really well. And a couple weeks later, we’re filming the pilot."
Many in the media had wondered if the show's producers found inspiration in the alleged wedding contract between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, which was reportedly controlled by Scientology. During the Television Critics Association press tour in January, executive producer Jonathan Abrams shot down the comparison.
"Even if I could legally do it... I don’t have the authority to do it,” Abrahams told a room of skeptical journalists about whether he could confirm that Cruise and Holmes were an inspiration for the show. "It doesn’t matter, because it really isn’t."
In light of the producer's denial, Evangelista pointed out that fake romantic relationships have always been a part of the fabric of Hollywood.
"We’ve all heard of rumors. You read any tabloid, right?" she said. "That’s what a marketing team does. There’s strategy involved with promoting a movie. I don’t personally know anyone that’s been forced into a contract marriage. I think if you think back to the old Hollywood studio days, back when Paramount had players and you worked for one studio lot, of course there was some kind of internal matchmaking involved to promote things. So this has been around for a really long time. And I’m just very surprised that there’s never been a TV show about it."
Evangelista thinks that the time is right for a show like "The Arrangement," since the amount of information the public knows now and expects to know about celebrities has become so broad.
"I think with reality shows, people want to know what happens behind closed doors," she told us. "And I think that’s kind of what the show is about. It’s revealing what’s behind the curtain, how do things play out, how do things get made, how are things dramatized, and that’s what the show really is. It’s very intriguing."
Watch a trailer for "The Arrangement" below:
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