Chrishell Stause's Evolution: From Soap Star to 'Selling Sunset' and Beyond
Quite the journey. Chrishell Stause wasn’t introduced to the world as an actress until 2005, two years after receiving her B.A. in theater, but had already been through quite a journey.
The actress, born in Missouri, had a very tough upbringing, something she’s detailed over her years on reality TV. Her mother was at a Shell gas station when she went into labor, and the attendant who helped her was named Chris, which explains her name.
After her family struggled with money and, at times, homelessness, Stause got her big break on All My Children. She’s since taken on many different careers — and admitted it’s not always easy to start fresh.
“You get to a point in your life when you feel like you’re successful and it feels great. [When you start new,] it reminds you how we get back into that,” she told Us Weekly exclusively in September 2020 competing on Dancing With the Stars season 29. “What makes you a success is that you push through those moments and [this] just reminds me of that. In those tough moments where you just kind of want to sit in your tulle and be like ‘This sucks.’ That’s not how I got to be where I’m at! I got here because I felt that, and I pushed through it.”
She continued: “The biggest thing I’ve learned is that I haven’t lost that. It’s something that you go through very early on in the beginning of your career and go through it again and again. At this point, it’s the third time in my life of a career moment where you’re like, ‘Oh, I know nothing. I’m starting over.’ I did it with acting, I did it with real estate and now, I’m doing it with dancing. So, it’s like, ‘OK. I know nothing. I feel like a failure but let me push through and try and succeed.’”
Scroll through the gallery below to see more from Stause over the years.
A Tough Start
Stause had a hard upbringing and at many times was homeless or living out of a car. “I’m not gonna sugarcoat it, it sucked. It sucks being the kid living in poverty. A lot of times you’re the smelly kid if you don’t have running water and there’s nothing you can do about it. it’s just a memory that still makes me sweat to this day. it’s not fun,” she revealed during an episode of Selling Sunset. “That stuff really does stay with you, no matter what event I’m at, what red carpet, what $40 million house I’m in, that is where I’m from and it won’t ever change. I just feel so happy to have gotten out of that situation.”
Becoming a Soap Star
In 2005, Stause landed her first onscreen role, portraying Amanda Dillon on All My Children. She played the character until the soap was canceled in September 2011. After the show’s end, she starred in a few movies, including Scaring the Flash and The Crimson Mask, and appeared in an episode of Body of Proof.
Stause met Matthew Morrison in 2006, and the pair got engaged in 2007. However, they split shortly after. The Glee alum later said in an interview that he “felt under pressure from society” to propose because he was 27 and thought he needed to start a family. Stause was 25 at the time.
“I didn’t know who I was at 25. And I didn’t know what I wanted because actually if I ended up with the person I was with when I was 25, I would want to kill myself,” the reality star later said on Selling Sunset. “Yeah, you can Google that! You were a d–k! Sorry!”
Back to Work
In 2013, Stause joined Days of Our Lives as Jordan Ridgeway. She was a series regular for two years. In 2016, she landed a recurring part on The Young and the Restless but came back to Days in 2019.
Meeting and Falling for Justin Hartley
Also in 2013, she began dating Justin Hartley, who she had met in passing over the years since they both were soap stars. However, it wasn’t until a friend set them up that they began a relationship. The pair announced their engagement in July 2016 and married on October 28, 2017.
A New Career
In addition to acting, Stause has been working in real estate since 2016. She was a licensed agent when she was approached by The Oppenheim Group in 2018. Her work is chronicled on Netflix’s Selling Sunset.
In November 2019, the This Is Us actor filed for divorce from Stause. The news played out during season 3 of Selling Sunset, with Stause being “blindsided” by his filing and claiming that she found out he filed via text message.
In April 2020, ABC announced that Stause joined season 29 cast of Dancing With the Stars. “Listen, I’ve already fallen flat on my face in front of America already, so I really got that out of the way. I don’t have anything else to lose, so it’s only going up from here,” she told Entertainment Tonight at the time. “I’m hoping this will be a new chapter, something positive — an experience I can kind of throw myself into and just kind of learn a new skill and have fun at the same time. I have no dance experience, so it’s going to at least be a laugh for all of us.”
Freezing Her Eggs
In September 2020, Stause shared in an interview that she has “taken the steps” to freeze her eggs. “I definitely had a different idea for where I would be at this age and stage in my life,” she said at the time. “There’s a family aspect that I’m missing that I hope is still a possibility for me.”