Who Is Evelyn Hugo Based On? The Actresses that Inspired Her Character

Netflix has announced an impending adaptation of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, much to the joy of fans of the bestselling novel. “Netflix is bringing the best-selling novel THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO!” “, the streaming behemoth wrote on Instagram.

Monique Grant, an obscure reporter, compiled an autobiography of Hollywood star Evelyn Hugo. Hugo, as the title suggests, has been married seven times, each union more contentious and scandalous than the one before it. Sexuality, race, mental health, parenting, and trauma are also addressed in the novel.

It’s a serious but lighthearted look at Evelyn Hugo’s unabashed and exceptional life. It makes one wonder if Evelyn Hugo is a real person.

Evelyn Hugo Is a Fictitious Character Based on Several Real People

who is evelyn hugo based on

Evelyn Hugo was developed by Taylor Jenkins Reid after she researched the biographies of famous Hollywood superstars. Reid characterized it as the most enjoyable study she’d ever done in an interview with Pop Sugar.

Reid mentioned two celebrities that influenced Evelyn Hugo’s character: Elizabeth Taylor and Rita Hayworth. Elizabeth Taylor was married eight times, twice to the same man. “She [Evelyn] ends up having one or two more things in common with Elizabeth Taylor,” Taylor stated.

Elizabeth, like Hugo, married her first husband when she was a teenager, had affairs with co-stars, and won an Oscar for her most mundane role. Elizabeth’s love life was so turbulent and contentious that the Vatican condemned it.

Margarita Carmen Cansino was born Rita Hayworth. Her skin tone betrayed her Latino origin, limiting her chances of success in Hollywood. Undaunted, Hayworth changed her look, dyed her hair a brilliant red, and adopted her Irish mother’s surname.

She succeeded despite giving up her Latino identity in order to meet Hollywood’s beauty standards. Evelyn Hugo was born Evelyn Herrera and abandoned her Cuban origins to become the studio-desired blonde bombshell. Reid elaborated:

“Does she wish to be perceived as a Latina woman?” Or does she aspire to be a leading lady? Those were the options in Hollywood at the time. You weren’t going to be a mainstream leading lady unless you met a very specific definition of beauty and identity.”

Taylor did not mention Marilyn Monroe, yet it is impossible for her not to be inspired by the actress. Marilyn’s beauty made her famous, but it also constrained her: she was constantly typecast as a seductress by filmmakers.

Evelyn experienced the same issue, striving to persuade Hollywood’s decision-makers that she was as untalented as she was gorgeous.

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Taylor Reid’s Retelling of The Tale Was Influenced by Ava Gardner’s Private Confessions.

who is evelyn hugo based on

Similar to Evelyn, Ava Gardner told a ghostwriter about the racy details of her life in the 1980s. The interviews were recorded by the ghostwriter, but Ava Gardner terminated the project before the biography could be published.

Reid remarked, “She was talking openly about so many topics. She was discussing her marriages to Frank Sinatra, Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw, and Lana Turner. She was merely spilling all the beans.

Ava reportedly received a financial offer from Frank Sinatra to stop the book’s release. Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversation was published after the ghostwriter and Ava had passed away. Reid stated:

“I began to consider the concept of a made-up Hollywood star’s book. Then I became extremely interested in the concept of using the method of her presenting her narrative to another person and how those two stories interestingly connect.

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Is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo an accurate depiction of events?

Reid is rumored to have loosely based the Evelyn Hugo character on Elizabeth Taylor, who wed seven different men, Ava Gardner, who opened up to British journalist and eventual biographer Peter Evans about her past, and Rita Hayworth, who was of Spanish descent but was persuaded to change her name and appearance—effectively erasing her ethnic heritage—to be more successful in Hollywood. Rita Hayworth also had secrets about her past revealed to her.

Hugo’s story has, however, drawn comparisons to (spoiler) those of the real-life Filipina actor Gina Pareo, who achieved renown in the 1960s and recently came out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community in an interview before talking about her strong friendship with fellow performer Nenita Vidal.

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Is a show or a movie planned for The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo?

who is evelyn hugo based on

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo will be made into a movie by Netflix, but many fans are upset with how it will be done. The book is divided into seven parts, one for each of Hugo’s husbands; the first two parts are essentially the introduction and the last portion. However, many have questioned the novel’s movie adaptation due to the sheer length of the book. Fans think that a miniseries is the only viable option for an adaptation because it can tell the entire plot.

In fact, a Freeform miniseries of the book was planned for 2019 with executive producers from The L Word, Ilene Chaiken, and Jennifer Beals, but it appears that Netflix snatched up the property soon after.

Who plays what part?

Although we are unsure, many book aficionados have already cast the adaptation with their best choices. Some fans have suggested Ana de Armas, citing her impending role as Marilyn Monroe, while others have called for stars like Sofia Vergara and Diane Guerrero to play the mythical Latina actress. There have also been rumors that Jessica Chastain and Sadie Sink could play older and younger versions of Celia St. James, another significant figure from the book.

More recently, after Mexican actor Eiza González and author Reid started following each other on Instagram, rumors surfaced suggesting that González would be a contender for Evelyn Hugo.

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Hugo’s story has, however, drawn comparisons to (spoiler) those of the real-life Filipina actor Gina Pareo, who achieved renown in the 1960s and recently came out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community in an interview before talking about her strong friendship with fellow performer Nenita Vidal.