The untold truth of Christina Hendricks
Christina Hendricks is one of Tinseltown’s most recognizable celebrities. Thanks to her fiery red hair and old Hollywood glam appeal, Hendricks has stood out from the crowd ever since she first stepped onto the scene.
While Hendricks got her Hollywood start with parts in fast food commercials and music videos, it didn’t take long for the entertainment industry to see the actress for the giant star she’d inevitably become. After landing her first big starring role on the Showtime series Beggars and Choosers, Hendricks went on to score recurring roles on shows like ER and the one-season wonder/cult-favorite Firefly. Following Firefly‘s cancellation, Hendricks made appearances on additional short-lived television series before eventually getting her big break with the critically acclaimed AMC drama Mad Men.
Now, with multiple films and television series under her belt, Hendricks is showing no signs of slowing her success. However, there’s much more to the Mad Men star than what’s shown on the small screen. Here’s the untold truth of Christina Hendricks.
High school was hard for Christina Hendricks
It’s safe to say that a person’s high school years are often some of their most formative. However, as seen throughout the countless number of movies and television shows dedicated to the high school experience, those four years before entering the real world can be downright traumatizing for some students. This was the case for Christina Hendricks, who revealed to The Guardian in an August 2014 interview that she detested her time as a high schooler.
According to Hendricks, she felt “uprooted” as a teen, as her father’s job with the United States Forest Service moved her family from Twin Falls, Idaho to Fairfax, Va. As if starting school as the new girl wasn’t difficult enough, Hendricks often found herself the target of high school bullies who spit on her whenever she tried to access her locker.
“I felt scared in high school,” Hendricks revealed to The Guardian. She continued, “It was like Lord of the Flies. There was always some kid getting pummeled and people cheering.”
Christina Hendricks was a total goth as a teenager
To cope with how out of place and fearful she felt as a student at her high school, Christina Hendricks threw herself into the dramatic arts. According to an August 2014 profile in The Guardian, her high school’s drama department provided a safe place for Hendricks to properly express the rage she felt inside. The future Hollywood star even drastically changed her appearance by cutting her hair short and coloring it shades of jet black and purple, while also crafting a wardrobe consisting largely of leather jackets and knee-high Doc Marten boots.
Unsurprisingly, Hendricks’ parents weren’t fans of their daughter’s new look. “My parents would say, ‘You’re just alienating everyone. You’ll never make any friends looking like that,'” Hendricks revealed to The Guardian. She continued, telling the publication, “I would say, ‘I don’t want those people to be my friends. I’m never going to be friends with the people who beat up a kid while everyone is cheering them on. I hate them.'”
Christina Hendricks is not a natural-born redhead
It’s nearly impossible to imagine Christina Hendricks without her signature auburn mane. Hendricks has sported multiple shades of red hair throughout her time in Hollywood, ranging from a fiery, orangey-red to a light, strawberry blonde. Considering the Mad Men star has proven herself capable of totally pulling off any shade of red she chooses, one might find it hard to believe that Hendricks isn’t a natural-born redhead.
In a 2011 interview with Elle, Hendricks revealed, “I’m naturally a dark blonde. I couldn’t tell you what shade, because I haven’t seen it in ages.” The actress continued, telling the publication that she started “playing with red hair” at the age of 10, drawing inspiration from one of her favorite literary heroines and one of television’s most famous redheads.
“I recognize how odd it is now, but my mom let me [color my hair],” Hendricks told Elle. She added, “I was obsessed with Anne of Green Gables and Ginger of Gilligan’s Island, and lusted for that red hair.”
Christina Hendricks was once an international model
Despite being bullied throughout high school, Christina Hendricks grew up to become one of her generation’s most celebrated actresses, praised for both her talent and her beauty. As the actress revealed to Marc Maron on his WTF podcast, her mega-successful career spawned from a Seventeen magazine modeling contest for which her mother convinced her to pursue. While she didn’t win the contest, Hendricks did take up an interest in modeling, working mostly for a “husband and wife team” in Virginia and modeling for bridal magazines.
After a year of modeling locally, Hendricks decided to try her luck in New York City. At 5’8″, Hendricks revealed to Maron that she was “a little short” for high fashion runway shows. However, that didn’t stop the up-and-coming star from being booked for photoshoots and various other modeling gigs all over the world — and even strutting down a few catwalks in New York City and London.
“I loved [modeling] because I was traveling for the first time, [and] I was going out of the country,” Hendricks told Maron, revealing that her first overseas modeling adventure took her all the way to Japan.
Christina Hendricks' hands are stars themselves
Christina Hendricks is a household name today, thanks to her critically acclaimed performance in Mad Men and subsequent Hollywood career. However, while Mad Men is widely considered to be the show that solidified Hendricks’ place in pop culture, the star’s hands landed their breakout role long before Hendricks brought Joan Holloway to life on the small screen.
According to an August 2019 Instagram post from Hendricks, her hands got their big break when they were chosen to be featured on the now-iconic poster for the 1999 drama American Beauty. “Fun fact … I used to be a model and sometimes a hand model,” Hendricks captioned a photo of the American Beauty poster. She continued, writing, “This is my hand and another model’s stomach. [I’m] proud to be a part if this film in ANY WAY!!!”
Of course, fans had plenty to say about the revelation. One Instagram follower commented, “I swear I recognized that hand!”
Christina Hendricks still has a loyal Firefly fan following today
Before being cast as Joan Holloway in the award-winning AMC drama Mad Men, Christina Hendricks gained a fan following for her appearance on the short-lived 2002 Fox series Firefly. While the space-based, futuristic Western came to an end after only one season, Firefly still has a dedicated fanbase today. And, while Hendricks only appeared in two episodes of the show, her performance as the sultry femme-fatale con artist Saffron earned the star quite a dedicated fanbase, as well.
In fact, as Hendricks revealed to MTV News, the fan following she gained from the cult-favorite series is just as passionate as the one she earned throughout Mad Men‘s seven seasons. “I think sci-fi fans are some of the most loyal and passionate fans and I think fans of Mad Men are also incredibly passionate,” Hendricks gushed. She continued, “You don’t just like the show, you love the show. And I think that’s similar in both.”
Christina Hendricks' agency dropped her for taking this role
Considering how her portrayal of Joan Holloway on AMC’s Mad Men solidified Christina Hendricks’ place in Hollywood, it may seem a bit unbelievable that she was initially discouraged from accepting the role that made her a star.
According to The Guardian‘s 2014 profile of Hendricks, the starlet had been trying to carve out an acting career with roles on ER and Without a Trace when the pilot script for Mad Men made its way into her hands. Hendricks was immediately enamored with the idea of being part of the series, but her acting agency was vehemently against it. “They said, ‘It’s a period piece, it’s never going to go anywhere. We need you to make money and this isn’t going to make money,'” Hendricks revealed. She continued, “They ended up dropping me.”
Still, Hendricks was unbothered by the possibility of the series being a flop. The star told The Guardian, “I had been on several shows that were meant to be the big ones … I’d already taken a chance on them and I felt, why not do the one you’re in love with and take a chance on that?”
This Mad Men star played matchmaker for Christina Hendricks
Not only did her role as Joan Holloway on Mad Men introduce Christina Hendricks to millions of people across the globe, but the show also played a part in introducing the actress to the man she’d go on to marry. According to The Guardian, Hendricks’ friend and Mad Men co-star Vincent Kartheiser, who played Pete Campbell on the hit AMC series, introduced the actress to his friend, actor Geoffrey Arend.
Hendricks and Arend, who is most famous for his roles in movies like (500) Days of Summer and the M. Night Shyamalan-penned Devil, quickly hit it off, and the couple married two years after their initial meeting. Speaking with The Guardian, Hendricks gushed about Arend’s steadiness throughout the ebb and flow of her career. “He has been on this journey with me, during which our lives have changed entirely,” Hendricks told the publication. She continued, saying, “He’s been amazing.”
Christina Hendricks thought this role seemed "too good to be true"
Toy Story fans across the globe were delighted when Disney announced in November 2014 that a fourth installment of Pixar’s iconic series was underway. While Toy Story 4 was originally slated for a 2017 release, the flick ultimately didn’t hit theaters until June 2019. However, if box office numbers are any indication, Toy Story 4 was well worth the wait.
Also worth the wait was Christina Hendricks’ Toy Story universe debut. In March 2019, fans got a first look at the “vintage villain” voiced by Hendricks — a creepy, antique store-dwelling baby doll by the name of Gabby Gabby (via Entertainment Weekly).
When Collider asked Hendricks how it felt to be welcomed into such an iconic and beloved franchise, the star replied, “I was so thrilled. I kept pinching myself and going, ‘Wait, do they really want me, or are they auditioning me?'” Gushing about her experience, Hendricks revealed, “I just thought it seemed too good to be true.”
Christina Hendricks considers these actresses her best friends
In April 2019, Deadline reported that NBC had renewed Christina Hendricks’ television project, the crime comedy-drama Good Girls, for a third season. Starring Hendricks, Mae Whitman, and Retta, the NBC series had proven itself to be a hit with fans since its 2018 premiere. “We’re so excited to continue following the friendship and adventures of these three incredible women while also exploring relatable issues in both funny and surprising ways,” said Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta, co-presidents of scripted programming at NBC Entertainment (via Deadline).
As excited as fans and NBC executives might have been for the show’s renewal, it’s safe to say that no one was more thrilled than the Good Girls stars themselves, whose onscreen friendships are far from forced. “We’ve been texting each other all day long,” Hendricks revealed in a February 2019 interview with Seth Meyers. The star continued, gushing about her love for Whitman and Retta, saying, “They are two of my best friends, and amazing actresses. I couldn’t be luckier.”
According to Hendricks, the three pals will even sometimes text until two o’clock in the morning. Get some rest, gals!
Christina Hendricks wasn't originally supposed to play this popular role
Considering how open Christina Hendricks has been about the close bond she shares with her Good Girls co-stars, Mae Whitman and Retta, it’s a bit upsetting to think the Mad Men star almost didn’t get the role on the hit crime dramedy.
Good Girls creator and showrunner Jenna Bans revealed to The Hollywood Reporter in January 2018 that actress Kathleen Rose Perkins, not Hendricks, was originally slated to play Beth Boland. In fact, Perkins even played the character in the series pilot, only to be replaced by Hendricks once the show was picked up by NBC.
According to Bans, there were no underlying negative feelings behind the decision to recast the part. The showrunner told The Hollywood Reporter, “Christina’s version of Beth is more put together … more efficient and runs her life with this maniacal efficiency. And the Kathleen version was a little more frazzled and haphazard.” Bans continued, saying that Perkins “absolutely” played Beth as the character was originally intended to be portrayed — however, Bans and her team decided to take Beth’s character in a new direction for “various creative reasons.”
Christina Hendricks announced her divorce
In October 2019, only a few days after the couple’s ten-year wedding anniversary, Christina Hendricks and her husband, Geoffrey Arend, announced their decision to end their marriage.
Hendricks took to Instagram to post a sweet and sentimental message about the split, writing, “Twelve years ago we fell in love and became partners. … Today we take our next step together, but on separate paths.” The star continued, writing, “We will always be grateful for the love we’ve shared and will always work together to raise our two beautiful dogs.” The statement ended with the former couple thanking fans for their “patience and support” in giving them time and space to rediscover themselves, and Arend posted the message to his personal Instagram account, as well.
Despite their marriage coming to an end, Hendricks posted a creepy-cute Halloween throwback photo with Arend just one day before announcing the split. While break-ups are never easy — and divorce is downright heartbreaking — it seems these two have a rock-solid friendship that will remain intact as they navigate their lives post-divorce. We’re definitely rooting for them both!
Motherhood isn't in the cards for Christina Hendricks
On NBC’s Good Girls, Christina Hendricks plays the role of Beth Boland — a housewife and mother of four who, along with her sister and best friend, finds herself living a double life as a criminal. However, despite her convincing performance as a loving (if dangerous) mother, Hendricks has no plans of ever becoming a mom herself.
In an August 2014 interview with The Guardian, Hendricks opened up about her decision to not have children, revealing that she and then-husband Geoffrey Arend had “a million conversations” on the topic before getting married and were very much on the same page. Still, as the star revealed to the publication, there was a time in her life when she did consider becoming a parent. “I think in my mid-20s I [wanted kids] because I was moving around a lot and didn’t have that sense of community, of being rooted,” Hendricks admitted.
The actress also revealed that, while some fans have expressed disappointment in Hendrick’s decision to remain childless, others have thanked her for speaking out and giving a voice to those who have made the choice to not have children.
Christina Hendricks wants to expand her career
Christina Hendricks has definitely proven herself capable of excelling in portraying all types of various characters in both film and television. However, the Good Girls star has her eyes set on expanding her career by utilizing her creative talents in places other than in front of a camera.
When asked in a 2016 interview with IndieWire if there were things she wanted to do but hadn’t yet been able, Hendricks replied, “I mean, I want to do everything. I would like to go back and do some more theater.” She added, “I’m spending a lot of time in New York right now, so that’s something that I’ve been talking a lot about.”
In 2018, Hendricks revealed that the long hours on the Good Girls set inspired a desire to someday work behind the camera as a producer and/or director. “I got pretty excited about problem solving and storytelling,” Hendricks told Deadline. She continued, saying, “I may pursue shadowing some directors this year and see if it’s for me.”
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