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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Here Now - Hoggard grad lives reality dream - StarNewsOnline.com

Evan Real covers reality stars, like Kim Kardashian for two publications in New York City. Photo submitted

Published: Saturday, June 9, 2012 at 12:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, June 9, 2012 at 8:20 a.m.

Evan Real leafed through a recent issue of Reality Weekly Magazine, looking for his Catching Up feature with Angelina Pivarnick, formerly of the reality TV show "Jersey Shore."

"I knocked out that Catching Up in a day," Real said.

The issue also contained quotes he'd gathered in a story headlined "Montel: My Diet Saved My Life," and in a piece on "The Bachelor" star Jake Pavelka, who said this about dating co-stars: "You can't help who your heart falls for."

At 21, the Hoggard High School graduate is living in New York City and hobnobbing with stars, particularly the ever-growing constellation of reality TV luminaries.

His mom is so proud.

"He always told me he was going to be famous," said Gloria Real in her home off George Anderson Drive, when Evan came for a visit.

Evan Real writes for OK! Magazine and its sister publication, Reality Weekly, and he's doing some freelancing for Glamour.

He has interviewed Madonna, Halle Berry and Kim Kardashian, and he's on friendly terms with stars of "The Real Housewives of New York City" and "Mob Wives."

"A lot of the reality stars are really nice," he said.

Real worked on the yearbook staff at Hoggard before graduating in 2009. He was an extra in "Bloodworth," which was filmed in Wilmington in 2009 under the working title of "Provinces of Night."

He is now studying communications at Marymount Manhattan College in New York.

Real considered a career in the fashion industry and did internships at Teen Vogue and Ralph Lauren. But his focus was elsewhere.

"I was always interested in celebrity news and Hollywood," he said.

In class one day, he overheard a classmate talking about interviewing Bono the night before. She gave him the contact info for OK! Magazine. He began interning there in the fall of 2010.

He started as a researcher.

"I didn't think I was going to meet a celebrity ever," he said.

Finally, he was sent to cover a book signing by Marlo Thomas, then he interviewed Tori Spelling, who was reading children's books at a library.

Madonna was launching a fragrance when he was ushered into her presence and allowed to ask three questions.

"I couldn't believe I was really having a conversation with Madonna," he said. "It could have been a train wreck, but it turned out really great."

His latest encounter with Kardashian came in Atlantic City over Memorial Day weekend. He'd quizzed her briefly with three or four other reporters as she walked into a swanky club called The Pool After Dark.

Later, they were standing in a VIP area when he began chatting with her about Beyoncé concerts they'd seen.

"She was really sweet," he said of Kardashian. "She seemed like real people." (Read about it at http://bit.ly/LF99Ft.)

Real has never met Jenelle Evans, the "Teen Mom 2" star from Oak Island, but he has interviewed former "One Tree Hill" stars Sophia Bush and Hilarie Burton.

"When I tell them I'm from Wilmington they get really excited," he said. "That softens them up."

Column idea? Contact Si Cantwell at 343-2364 or Si.Cantwell@StarNewsOnline.com, or follow him on Twitter.com: @SiCantwell.

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