Selling Sunset's Christine Quinn Opens Up About Season 3, from Costar Drama to Death Threats
Since Selling Sunset premiered on Netflix last year, Christine Quinn has become one of the reality show's breakout stars.
Fans love her, or love to hate her — and she's okay with that.
Before season 3 of the celebrity real estate series dropped last week, Quinn, 31, caught up with PEOPLE, opening up about the onscreen drama, office catfights and more.
Early on, you were labeled Selling Sunset's villain.
I guess I am the quote-unquote "show villain," but I love it. I think it's funny and I think people enjoy it at the end of the day, people that love me really love me. When I'm on camera, I have fun with it. I understand that I'm being showcased in 100-plus countries across the world, and I have a background in comedy. I love to make people laugh, and my whole goal in life has just been to entertain people and make them feel something. Whether it's perceived well, I don't know, but I'm really just being myself. I do have a heart of gold underneath that, and I think sometimes with television, it's really hard to see all the elements of a human being on a television show.
What’s the biggest misconception about you?
I just think the misconception is that I'm just constantly this one-note bitch — and I am a bitch, don't get me wrong. But there's other elements to me. I'm super sweet and caring and empathetic, and I do a lot for people. I do give-aways on my Instagram where I just give away money to random people. I got a laptop for a 13-year-old girl the other day who runs all my fan accounts. I got an iPhone for one of the girls who runs another fan account, so I'm helping people go to school. I'm doing tons of stuff for girls, that people don't ever see.
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Let’s talk — not Instagram vs. Reality, but Reality TV vs. Reality. How do the show’s scenes in the office compares to what your actual day-to-day is like?
Well, very different. Obviously, the office is really small. We're not always all in there at the same time, and we have different hours to go in the office. We all had different time slots of when we popped in; it wasn't all the time, it wasn't every day. I found for myself, it was hard for me to go in the office because I like to socialize, and I like to go to lunch, and I would actually get no work done, so I would find myself going to the office just to socialize. I'm actually working at home a lot better now. A lot of us don't want to go to the office because we don't want to see each other, because we're like, "Yikes," after [seeing] the season.
Chrishell Stause had some words for you about what you said about her divorce. What’s your relationship like today?
Well, her and I are not on the best terms. I've definitely tried. I did my best effort. It's unfortunate. She just really didn't want to be friends. She made it apparent she only wanted to co-exist.
Some fans think you’re a scapegoat and Davina Potratz is the “real” villain of the show — what’s your take on that?
The thing with Davina is, she's German, and people don't even know that. She's got that very German vibe to her: She's not over the top and bubbly and crazy and wild. I told her she needs to work on it. She's, well, I think it's all about the delivery and your words and your voice cadence and how you're talking with people. You see me constantly in the show, I'm like, "Oh, sorry for my delivery." Not about what I said, because it's all about the way it comes across. With her, she really did get a bad edit. They never showed her smiling, they never showed her laughing. [I think] they did that on purpose. But on top of that, yeah, she does have a different personality. I feel like if I were to say some of the words that she said in a different way, it might not have been a big deal, but it's just the way that she comes across sometimes is hard for viewers.
It seems like Davina really upped her style this season.
Did you give her a makeover?
Yes, 100 percent, that was me. I take all credit. I told her, "Listen, Davina, stop with the mom blazers. Please, let me dress you." She started coming over to my house, and I was like, "Here, put this on." She was like, "I don't know, it's too sexy." I'm like, "Come on, just do it." Yes, that was all me, and I'm really happy that you noticed. She thought the show was about real estate, bless her heart. I can't say that without laughing. When she realized, she was like, "Oh, wow. I realize I didn't look good in season one." I'm like, "It's okay, it's fine. You learn." But it is a show, at the end of the day — so let's put on a show.
You and your husband Christian have been married for 8 months now — how are you two doing?
We're doing great. We're best friends. It's awesome. I just wish we could travel, obviously, but that's okay. I've been cooking. I've turned this hoe into a housewife, and I'm Martha Stewart-ing, every night, making homemade pasta and doing the stuff I never had the time to do before. It's actually really great. I do enjoy it.
Do you really cook? On the show, one of the girls made a crack about how you don’t actually use your kitchen.
I'm serving it up on screen, I'm serving it up on the kitchen, and I'm serving it up in the bedroom — everywhere, I'm serving it. But yes, I'm an amazing cook. I actually am, I promise.
Heather Rae Young caught the bouquet at your wedding—now she’s engaged!
I'm so excited for her. It was funny, because on the dance floor, I was like, "Come on, get up," and no one wanted to get up, even my sister, who's single. Heather was like, "I'm here, it's me, it's me." That just describes her: She's all about love. She just loves love, and she was just meant to be a wife and she's going to be so fantastic. I was talking with her the other day. I'm all excited for her now because I went through it.
This season you called out Heather for setting up paparazzi set-ups.
At the end of the day, we all have press. We all, we pay someone on retainer to put our names out there. This is why I'm talking with you right now. The difference is, I own up to it. I can understand that paparazzi don't come out of the bushes. I have a whole team for this.
She was in denial a little bit about how the situation works. She was like, "It's weird, we go to places and paparazzi are just randomly in Costa Mesa CVS." They're not just at the CVS in Costa Mesa, two and a half hours away from Los Angeles. It was just really more coming from that position, because we're like, "Okay, is she being fooled, or does she really not know?" We were trying to figure that out all season. She says she was never told anything. We realized after filming, because she got so upset, like, "Okay, maybe she doesn't know, then." It's like when you ruin Christmas Day and you're like, "There's no such thing as Santa."
It seemed like you didn’t really like Heather in season one, but now you guys are getting along now.
Season one was funny, because we didn't really know each other very well. We didn't really get a lot of time one on one with each other, so when we were shooting, we did have that little tiff about a client, and that's really all that I knew about her, but we got to know each other and I was like, "Oh, she's actually really nice. Maybe it was a misunderstanding." I think she's really sweet, and her and Davina and Maya and I have a really nice relationship.
Your style is insane this season. How long are you in glam every day?
It's quite a process, I'll tell you that much. For interviews and certain events, other people do my makeup, but I actually do my own makeup because I love putting on my make-up. My hair takes a minimum about two hours, depending on what I'm doing to it. I give myself a four-hour window from when I have to leave my house. It's a good four hours, just putting the outfits together and wardrobe, and stuff like that. It's really tedious. It's a production. I'm not just throwing on a T-shirt: I'm planning everything. I'm like, "Okay, what's the scene, what's the background? What are we doing? Am I going to be walking? Am I going to be sitting? Is this outfit going to be wasted? Is it being showcased?" I take all of that into account
Adam DiVello is a producer on Selling Sunset, and he of course worked on Laguna Beach and The Hills. Were you a fan before?
I absolutely knew the show. I know exactly who Lauren Conrad is, I know exactly who Heidi Montag is. I've seen clips. I wasn't religious. They're older than me, so that wasn't quite my time.
I know you aspire to be a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills. Are you Team Brandi or Team Denise?
I’m team Brandi all the way. I don't believe Denise for two seconds. The season prior was such an interesting dynamic, because we see Denise being this wild girl, Charlie Sheen's ex-wife, talking about hand-jobs, right? Then, she watches herself and season one — similar to what I did — and you go, "Oh s—. This isn't the acting I've done before." I feel like she saw that so she reeled it in, and so season two was just damage control. Girls were piling it on, but you have to understand. They're forced to talk about that over and over. I hate to say, that's what you signed up for. It's hard. I do have empathy, but it's so hard.
What was your experience watching yourself on TV in season 1? Did that change how you acted in the following seasons?
Yeah, season two, we definitely went into it a lot more careful. We kind of realized that chronological order is really just a messy thing in reality television. I was thinking, "Oh, this will go after this," and so, we did our best in season two, but we noticed it still didn't matter sometimes. We still couldn't win, but you do your best. we definitely were a little more reserved going into season two. I was scared. I was a little scared. The first few episodes of season two, the editors were like, "Where's the other Christine? Where's Christine?" I'm like, "Well, that Christine gets death threats.”
Death threats, really?
People are so invested in the show, and they see what they see and just think I'm this crazy person. It's just unfortunate. People are weird.
How did you get into real estate?
I was originally a model and an actress, but weren't we all? I was getting cast in the same roles. I wanted to do comedy, and I was only being showcased in dumb-girl roles, so I got really tired of it. I got into real estate with Jason [Oppenheim], who's a friend of mine, and I've been in real estate for about five and a half years. I really love it. I've had properties all across the board, in Orange County, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, and I've really had it all. I've sold million-dollar condos, done leases, to 20 million dollar homes. It's just all really across the board, and I think it's a great job for someone that wants to work for themselves, and has the motivation to do it, because you don't get a paycheck unless you sell something. You've got to be your own boss, but I'm great at that. I love my boss, she's fabulous.
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