Constance Zimmer on her new show UnReal and how it takes you through the ‘dark’ world of reality TV
If you’re curious to know how reality TV shows really work, a new series will fill you in. UnReal is set in the backdrop of a Bachelor-esque dating reality programme called Everlasting. It’s executive producer Quinn King, played by Constance Zimmer, and her team pull out all the stops to manipulate relationships to film outrageous footage. Zimmer shares more about being the demanding boss and coming to terms with ‘reality’.
Tell us about your character.
King’s job is to create good television. In order to do that she has to send her team out on a mission, which is to get contestants to do things the way she wants them to. She has to be strong, decisive and persuasive. In that world, there is no time to waste because most of the show (Everlasting) is shot in real time. So she has to be breathing down the neck of Rachel Goldberg (the show’s producer, played by Shiri Appleby).
How is King off the sets?
She has a heart, of course. She has her own sorrows and she is good at masking them. She is having an affair with the creator of the show for the last seven or eight years. Her entire life is about the show, and in believing that this guy will get divorced at some point, and be with her. But dealing with her personal life is last on her to-do list.
What did you learn about reality TV?
Every time we got a script, we would look at each other and say “Are you kidding me?” It’s a very dark world. Since UnReal is a TV show, everything is exaggerated. But there is truth within this exaggeration, and that’s what is terrifying about reality TV.
To me, the editing process is the most terrifying. On Everlasting, we can shoot an entire day and nothing happens that is good television. What do we do? Just take things that are out of context, loop all of them in and make it look like it happened on that day.
Have you been part of a reality show lately?
Shiri and I were invited on Project Runway as judges. This happened after UnReal. There were moments when we would say to each other “I think we just got produced.” We had become so aware of the way they were going to edit things.
If you had to create a reality show, what will it revolve around?
I want to follow the lives of extras—background artistes who work in TV and movies. They have a whole different view of people who are in front of cameras. My mom was an extra for a couple of years, and I was fascinated by the stories she would tell me.
Premieres on December 19-20. From noon, on Star World and Star World HD
— Barkha Kumari