Gullible Mick Riva 

Evelyn, Green is Not Your Color  

This 1960 article in Sub Rosa speculates that Evelyn is snubbing Celia because she’s jealous of her success. 

Chapter 24 

Ditched by her studio and forced to do two movies that predictably flop, Evelyn finds herself on the outs in Hollywood while watching Don and Celia rise to success. She has avoided being seen at all with Celia to hide their romantic relationship from public scrutiny. Blacklisted, Evelyn isn’t even attending the Academy Awards. But she helps a nervous Celia get ready for the award ceremony and watches the broadcast from home. When Celia wins the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Beth in Little Women, Evelyn is so excited for her that she kisses the television screen and chips her tooth. Instead of celebrating out on the town, Celia comes home to celebrate with Evelyn. She’s touched that Evelyn chipped her tooth kissing her image. With her American film career in the tank, Evelyn decides to visit Paris. 

Chapter 25 

With Harry’s introductions, Evelyn meets with bigwigs of French film, including Max Girard, a rising New Wave film director. Max is charmed by Evelyn and fires the actress who is already cast in his upcoming film so that he can offer the role to Evelyn. Max requires that Evelyn be topless in the film, Boute-en-Train, which means “life of the party.” Evelyn orchestrates what will be the most famous scene of the film, in which she emerges topless from the water, the screen cutting to black before the audience can see her breasts. Evelyn says she knew how to create desire in the scene because she knew what it was like to want a woman.  

Singer Mick Riva Sweet for Evelyn Hugo 

This 1961 article in PhotoMoment discusses how, after seeing Boute-en-Train, rockstar Mick Riva decided he wants to marry Evelyn Hugo, whom he has never met. 

Evelyn Hugo to Play Anna Karenina 

This 1961 article in Hollywood Digest notes that Harry has left Sunset and moved to Fox Studios. Also, Evelyn will be starring in Fox’s Anna Karenina.  

Don Adler and Ruby Reilly, Engaged? 

This 1961 article in Sub Rosa announces that Don and Ruby are engaged and wonders if Don is jealous of Evelyn, who has recaptured the spotlight.  

Chapter 26 

Evelyn, Harry, and Celia attend a Mick Riva concert. Evelyn is so happy to be with them that she loses herself and grabs Celia’s hand in public. A woman in the audience sees the gesture and appears to tell the man she’s with. Afraid that Evelyn and Celia’s romantic relationship will be discovered, Evelyn gets Mick’s attention from the stage to create a diversion. 

Evelyn Hugo and Celia St. James Slumber Parties 

This 1961 article in Sub Rosa reveals that Celia has been spending the night at Evelyn’s house and wonders what Evelyn and Celia are doing. It intimates that their relationship may be romantic. 

Chapter 27 

Evelyn, concerned about the press beginning to out her romantic relationship with Celia, tells Celia that she plans to go on a date with Mick, get him to elope with her, and then get an annulment. She wants to attract as much press attention as possible to take the scrutiny off of her relationship with Celia. Celia is heartbroken and angry at the idea, and she accuses Evelyn of caring more about fame than she does about her. Evelyn insists that she’s trying to save both of their careers and that Celia is being naïve. Celia relents and reluctantly agrees to the plan on the condition that Evelyn moves in with her after the annulment.  

Chapter 28 

This chapter is told from Evelyn’s perspective but is written in the second person. She discusses how she tricked Mick into marrying her, got him to take her to Las Vegas, and refused to sleep with him outside of marriage. She makes Mick think that she wants him badly but is held back by her morals. After drinking and gambling, Evelyn is tired and wants to leave but thinks that Mick is a ticket to a more normal life with Celia. Mick says he loves Evelyn and proposes, and they get married. Evelyn is intentionally a bad lover and makes herself as undesirable as possible so that Mick ends the marriage. Evelyn thinks her performance with Mick was Oscar-worthy. 

Riva and Hugo Lose Their Minds 

This 1961 article in PhotoMoment covers Evelyn and Mick’s day-long marriage and the quick annulment.  

Evelyn Hugo’s Heartbreak 

This 1961 article in Sub Rosa reports that Evelyn is heartbroken that Mick left her. 

Chapter 29 

Celia and Evelyn enjoy a period of romantic bliss until Evelyn realizes that she is pregnant. Celia didn’t understand that Evelyn was going to sleep with Mick. They get into a tremendous fight in which Celia says that Evelyn is a prostitute who sleeps with men for fame. She suggests that she loves fame more than she loves her. Evelyn says that Celia did it all for her. She says that, while she could be with a man, have children, and be happy, Celia could not. Celia leaves Evelyn, and they don’t speak to each other for five years. 

Chapter 30 

Back in the interview, Monique presses and asks Evelyn if she regrets not contacting Celia. Evelyn gets upset and says that she regrets every moment she didn’t spend with Celia, especially now that Celia is dead. Evelyn says she knew that Celia would come back to her and that they both knew that their time together wasn’t over. She says that after Celia left, in order ensure Anna Karenina would be a success, Evelyn married her costar Rex North. He played the character of Count Vronsky in the film. 

In the middle of their conversation, David, Monique’s estranged husband, texts Monique and says they should talk. 


These chapters illustrate that as fervently as Evelyn tries to control her public image, there are moments when she is transformed by the intensity of her love for Celia. When Evelyn is blacklisted and unable to attend the Academy Awards, she chooses to celebrate Celia’s Oscar win rather than mourn her losses, kissing the TV screen and chipping her tooth in a rare moment of reckless happiness. The chipped tooth symbolizes the hit that Evelyn's public image has taken as a result of her leaving Don and being with Celia, and it also damages her physical appearance, which she usually prizes above everything else. But in this instance, Evelyn is too overwhelmed with love and pride to care.

At the concert, Evelyn loses control of herself again, grabbing Celia’s hand in a moment of genuine joy. As a woman who has spent her life carefully crafting her image and presenting a false, publicly appealing front, these moments of abandon are rare and illustrate the depth of Evelyn’s love for Celia. 

Evelyn’s role in Boute-en-Train parallels Evelyn’s attempts to manipulate other people's perception of her. Through her work in Boute-en-Train, Evelyn takes control of her image, and she has a hand in editing what the audience sees. Informed by her desire for Celia, she stops short of showing her breasts to the audience; it is Evelyn’s talent for understanding desire and her own allure that creates the iconic final scene that revitalizes her career. Evelyn has walked a tightrope all her life, and she gives enough of herself to keep her audience captivated while simultaneously holding back enough to protect who she truly is.  

Evelyn’s role as Anna Karenina parallels her life choices and illustrates the punishment that women endure for rebelling against expectations. Like Evelyn, Anna Karenina attempts to live life on her own terms and defy convention. She gives in to her passions and has an affair with Count Vronsky. This directly results in society shunning her. Similarly, Evelyn defies conventions by refusing to have children with Don and divorcing him for his infidelity. That decision results in Hollywood blackballing her. It is fitting, then, that Anna Karenina is Evelyn’s first successful American film after her divorce. It becomes the role that solidifies her return as a Hollywood star. Furthermore, after losing Celia because of her own infidelity, Evelyn marries the man who plays Count Vronsky. Evelyn and Anna are both unfaithful, and they both suffer for defying societal expectations of women. Both Anna and Evelyn will eventually take their own lives, but Evelyn is more successful in reclaiming her life on her own terms before her time runs out. 

The use of the second person in Chapter 28 is significant in that it emphasizes that Evelyn plays yet another role with Mick Riva, a role wholly divorced from herself. Though the story is told from Evelyn’s point of view and describes Evelyn actions, it is told using "you" instead of "I." This technique is used throughout the novel when Evelyn describes painful experiences, a narrative strategy that creates a sense of disconnection between Evelyn and her own story which parallels the dissociation inherent in experiencing a traumatic event. Though Evelyn chooses to play-act her way into a 24-hour marriage with Mick, she does so because she feels there is no other way to save herself and the woman she loves. As a result, the events still harm her just as any other unwanted sexual encounter would. The second-person point of view also emphasizes how difficult it is for Evelyn to tell her story. Even decades later, in relaying the events to Monique, she needs to create distance from herself and her actions because they caused her pain and cost her years with Celia.