Eva Marcille is still what we knew her by, just little under a decade ago: "the diva." After winning the third season of America's Next Top Model, the now actress/model has also branded herself into a down-to-Earth beauty who is as loveable as she is fierce. Recently, Marcille blocked out time of her busy schedule to give the scoop on her new show Girlfriend Confidential L.A., and what it means to really make it in the entertainment industry.
EBONY: Eva, you’ve been so busy lately with your multitude of projects. How is everything going?
Eva Marcille: Everything is going well. We’re wrapping up the first season of Girlfriend Confidential: L.A. with the grand finale tonight on Oxygen. I’m just excited to see everything we’ve worked really hard for just unfold on camera. Sitting back and truly being proud of everything I see [on the show] feels good.
EBONY: We love the show; it’s very girl next-door meets Sex in the City, without the fluff. When you were in talks about Girlfriend Confidential LA, did you make it clear that you didn’t want any cattyness?
EM: I made that very clear, and let me just tell you, Mel---I think we're friends now, so I’m going to nickname you--- I really fought my butt off to make a show. It wasn’t about being catty; it was about it being real to my life. If someone has a catty type of life, and that’s what they portray on television, then more power to you. I’m not knocking their situation. However, that’s not my reality. I know a lot of women, especially women of color, who work in entertainment or are bosses in their field, and that’s not their reality either.
My idea of an amazing show was basically to portray women of color or just women period, in a different light that you see currently on television.
EBONY: It’s a breath of fresh air; we needed something different. We need variety.
EM: I think about the girl who doesn’t have a best friend yet and is figuring out what to look for in a friend. I want to make sure that the representation that I’m putting out there is something that kids can [positively] take from. Sometimes young girls don’t understand the separation of reality TV; what's fun and games and what’s real life. I wanted to make sure that young girls across America that don’t know African -American women get the opportunity to see us in a positive light.
EBONY: Thank you for putting it that way, without putting down the other reality shows.
EM: Of course, I mean it’s what makes the world go round. We watch boxing matches but you don’t want to see a brawl in the parking lot. But you will pay $2000 to watch an organized fight in a ring. So it’s all about perspective.
EBONY: The world got to know you literally overnight. Afterwards, it seemed like you were sort of left to fight for your career, and I don’t mean that in a negative way. What has been the biggest challenge post America’s Next Top Model?
EM: It’s a part of the business that a lot of people don’t talk about. It’s the reason why a lot of young people that aspire to be stars are very misinformed. It’s not about breaking out its about staying out; about looking up and being able to sustain. In this business, make your money, save your money, and create a business behind what it is you do. It’s all about sustainability and I think the most difficult part for me has been walking away from those projects that I know will make me money, but are not filled with integrity. So working with integrity has to be the most difficult part of the business because the allure of money and finances and opportunity are right in front of you. But just because they are right in front of you doesn’t mean they’re good for you.
EBONY: How important is relevancy over talent in this business?
EM: You can’t sell anything unless something is relevant. You can’t sell a magazine, you can’t sell a product, you can’t sell anything unless the person that’s selling it, or the product is relevant enough. To become a spokesperson for Nike, as a ball player you have to be a relevant ball player. What it is about, especially for women of color, is not selling out to be relevant. and losing your integrity. And if there are projects around you that are not making sense, make your own.
EBONY: You seem to have a pretty good handle on your work/life balance. How do you do accomplish this?
EM: Like I said, I’m almost ten years in, so it’s not my first time at the rodeo. I started in this business at 18-years old and I will be 28 at the end of