Who Was the Inspiration Behind Celia St James in Real Life

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s bestselling novel, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, has taken the literary world by storm, captivating readers and garnering a spot on the esteemed New York Times Best Seller list. With the upcoming Netflix adaptation generating buzz, fans are eager to weigh in on the larger-than-life characters that grace the book’s pages.

The Intriguing Tale of Evelyn Hugo

In case you haven’t had the pleasure of diving into this enthralling narrative, let me set the stage for you. The story revolves around Evelyn Hugo, a former Hollywood star who, in her twilight years, decides to reveal her life story to a journalist. Throughout the book, she unravels the truth behind her scandalous seven marriages and the challenges she faced while pursuing her dreams in the glitzy realm of the Silver Screen.

Evelyn’s character is so vividly portrayed that you can’t help but wonder if she was based on a real-life persona. Taylor Jenkins Reid ingeniously weaves a fictional world into the tapestry of historical events, introducing us to captivating characters against the backdrop of significant moments in time. With gossip tabloids running amok, multiple marriages dominating headlines, and women fiercely fighting for success, it’s not far-fetched to think that Evelyn’s character is an amalgamation of the most iconic starlets from Old Hollywood.

So, the burning question remains: who is the real-life inspiration behind Evelyn Hugo? Could it be Rita Hayworth, Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe, or Elizabeth Taylor? All of them were iconic starlets in their own right during that era. Let’s carefully examine the evidence that links each of these remarkable women to Evelyn’s character.

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Unveiling the Secrets: Elizabeth Taylor and Evelyn Hugo

Elizabeth Taylor

According to Taylor Jenkins Reid, two leading actresses were at the forefront of her mind while crafting the captivating character of Evelyn Hugo. One of them was none other than Elizabeth Taylor.

Evelyn Hugo, born into a Cuban immigrant family, grew up in the tough neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, New York. Determined to escape her abusive household, she set her sights on Hollywood, only to face the harsh reality of being typecast as a “token exotic” due to her minority background. To secure more prominent roles, she transformed her appearance by dyeing her hair blonde.

Similarly, Rita Hayworth, originally known as Margarita Carmen Cansino, started her journey in Brooklyn, New York. With a family background rooted in dance, Rita’s father recognized her potential and relocated the family to California to pursue a career in motion pictures. Initially cast as the “exotic foreigner,” she was later advised to change her name to Rita Hayworth and alter her appearance by dyeing her hair red and undergoing electrolysis.

Rita Hayworth, like Evelyn, had five husbands, with her last divorce taking place in 1961. Both Evelyn and Rita hailed from New York, where they eventually shed their Latina identities to cater to a wider American audience. Additionally, they crossed paths with a man named Harry during their early days in Hollywood, and both underwent personal transformations to secure desirable roles. It’s clear to see the striking similarities between Evelyn Hugo and Rita Hayworth.

In conclusion, while Taylor Jenkins Reid has remained tight-lipped about the true inspiration behind Evelyn Hugo, the resemblance to Rita Hayworth is undeniable. By delving into the lives of Hollywood’s iconic women, Reid has managed to craft a character who encapsulates the passion, struggles, and triumphs of an era. So, grab a copy of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and immerse yourself in this captivating tale that brings together fact and fiction seamlessly.

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