Originally filed Sunday, November 4, 2018 by RODNEY HOfirstname.lastname@example.org on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
Eva Marcille has come a long way from the time she was dubbed “Eva the Diva” on her way to winning the third cycle of “America’s Next Top Model” in 2004.
Now 34, she is married to Atlanta attorney Michael Sterling and has a baby boy with him. She has also been promoted to full-time status on “Real Housewives of Atlanta” after debuting season 10 in a part-time fashion.
“This season you get to see my whole life,” Eva said a few days ago. “I have a husband, a new child and my work. I’m also integrating with these different women.”
Eva said it was an honor when Bravo offered her this lucrative, high-profile job. She and Shamari DeVoe effectively replaced Kenya Moore and Sheree Whitfield with NeNe Leakes, Cynthia Bailey, Kandi Burruss and Porsha Williams remaining.
Over the years, Eva has blended both reality TV and acting, most recently on TV One’s “Born Again Virgin” in Atlanta.
“I can’t dance, I can’t sing,” Eva said. “I can memorize scripts. As for reality, there’s always a level of stress when you have to be completely transparent. You wake up, you haven’t brushed your teeth, haven’t done your hair, it’s just that regular you.” [The show typically doesn’t show the women minus makeup and hair, but it happens every so often, especially on trips.]
She knows the risks of “Housewives” [see Phaedra Parks’ frayed reputation) but also the up side (see Kandi’s ever expanding empire and NeNe’s solid brand name recognition).
“As a brand, you want everything attached to you to come off porcelain and perfect,” Eva said. “The beauty of ‘Housewives’ is all that stuff goes away. You have good days. You have bad days. I feel the world relates to that.”
She promises tears, given the pressures after having a newborn and planning an “epic” wedding. “That all comes up with pressure and tension.” (Some of that is seen during the trailer.)
One of the key parts of being on this show is providing entertaining commentary about what’s going on as well as a side order of shade.
“I must say jumping on this show, I realized that throwing shade is an art form,” Eva said. “Some women have honed it to perfection. They’re so good... You have to be shady and catty and all those things. It’s new to me. But let’s just say I’m a quick study. And when NeNe is your teacher, you get the best of the best.”
While NeNe is generally rough on newcomers, Eva said they became good friends quickly.
“I absolutely adore NeNe no question about it,” she said. “If you become party to her struggles this year, I just tried to figure out how I could be the best friend given her situation.” [NeNe’s husband Gregg is being treated for colon cancer.]
She also wanted to get to know Kandi better and feels like she has forged a healthy relationship with her.
Plus, she sees Cynthia as her “model mentor... Cynthia is 51. She could be 21! Drop dead gorgeous! She is at a place in her life I can relate to where it’s a very intentional walk every day. She’s really living the best life she can.”
She is also hoping to leverage the show to promote her new home decor line. And she said she’s also venturing into the hair space. She is trying to balance work and family life now that she has two kids, including a four year old from a previous relationship.
Eva said her hubby Michael has no complaints about shooting scenes with her for the show. “He’s an easy-going guy,” she said. “He supports me even if that means hanging out with me while the cameras are rolling.”
“The Real Housewives of Atlanta” season 11 returns Sunday, November 4 at 8 p.m. on Bravo
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