Painting the Town Red
Concord’s Eva Marie on being a wrestling diva.
Even those who knew Eva Marie as a Northgate High soccer standout would be hard pressed to recognize her these days. With her fluorescent red ’do, the 30-year-old Concord native is a WWE Diva and also appears on E!’s Total Divas. Diablo caught up with Marie as she prepared for WrestleMania 31 to ask about her East Bay haunts, getting booed, and of course, that wild hair.
Q: How did you break into wrestling?
A: When I heard that the WWE was having a “Diva Search,” I thought it’d be my dream job: You have to be physical to handle everything in the ring, but you also get to entertain people and be glamorous and walk the red carpet. I got a callback, and three months later, they sent me to a training center in Florida.
Q: When did you realize you’d made it?
A: One of the most shocking moments was recognizing that fans in the crowd had dyed their hair the same color as mine. That was a huge “whoa” moment.
Q: OK, so what is the story behind your hair color?
A: I was auditioning to be on Total Divas, and I had jet-black hair. When they called to say I’d gotten it, they also asked if I’d dye my hair . . . being a diva is about being confident, strong, and empowered, so I made a decision—go big or go home—and went with this crazy red color.
Q: Is it hard to deal with?
A: Oh my God, everything of mine is red now. My shower looks like a murder scene. My towels, clothes—anything I encounter, I leave a red trail behind me.
Q: Did you know what to expect, going into Total Divas?
A: Being on Total Divas and performing live on WWE is really different. Total Divas just follows my life. Performing live, that’s a whole other kind of adrenaline. I look at it like game day, with those butterflies and not wanting to let my fans down.
Q: What’s it like playing the heel, or bad guy, in the ring?
A: My first match, I was getting booed out of the freaking house. But I’ve learned that we play characters. If they’re cheering or booing you, you’re doing something right. If they’re quiet, you’re not doing your job.
Q: WrestleMania’s coming to the Bay Area March 29. Are there any places you’ll be sure to hit while you’re home?
A: Mostly, I’m a homebody. But every time I come back to the Bay, I try to catch a ball game. I also love Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek, and Nation’s hamburgers in Concord. I’ve definitely got to grab one of those.