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The actress, who received an Emmy nomination for her role as the unscrupulous reality television producer Quinn King on the show, tells The Hollywood Reporter‘s Chris Gardner that fans can expect a very different season next year.
“We have a female ‘suitress’ and it’s changing the narrative within a formula that everybody loves,” she says. “It’s all these hot men, and now, not only do you have two strong women, but you have three, and it is a crazy trifecta of women wanting to help other women, but not knowing the best path.”
Zimmer teases that because of this new predicament, viewers can expect “incredible conversations” of “feminism and objectifying men.” Ultimately, she says she hopes every season is controversial in some way, explaining, “Otherwise, why are we making this show? This show is not a safe show.”
UnREAL is a behind-the-scenes look at the production of a dating competition program. The drama garnered a lot of social media attention when it featured a black suitor. Zimmer says she believes the conversation the show started is in some way to thank for ABC naming Rachel Lindsay its first black Bachelorette this season.
“Now, it’s sad that you have to do that to incite a conversation, but I believe that that is what our show is doing,” says the actress. “We can ask the questions. We can start the conversations. And that’s what it did.”
There also has been many a conversation about behind-the-scenes turmoil on UnREAL. The Peabody-winning show’s first season was a critical darling, but reviews for its sophomore season were mixed. Zimmer defended the show, saying, “They took super big swings, and I appreciated it for all of what they tried to do.”
Co-creator Marti Noxon, who left the show during season two, was replaced by Carol Barbee, who later left at the conclusion of the season. Noxon’s first hire on the series, Stacy Rukeyser, then took the reins as showrunner for season three.
Zimmer talks highly of Rukeyser, saying she “did an incredible job” on the upcoming season. “We all know what we want the show to be and it’s about who can step up and protect it, and Stacy is there to protect it.”
Lifetime recently announced that the premiere of the third season would be delayed and will likely air in early 2018, something Zimmer thinks will ultimately be good for the series. “Obviously I was sad, because I know we have gotten used to it being a summer show, but I think in the long run it’s actually much better for our show,” she says.
Zimmer explains that Lifetime has several new shows coming up that the network wants to pair with UnREAL, something she thinks is a good idea: “I think everyone needs a good partner in crime, and we didn’t really have a show to air with us.”
Although Zimmer says she knows waiting will be hard, she has a message for fans: “I’m very sorry, just hang in there. Go to the beach, drink some margaritas, and before you know it the summer will be over, it will be fall and we’ll all be cold — kind of — and all of a sudden it will be 2018.”
She adds: “2017, let’s be honest, has not been that great. So let’s just start 2018 better, with season three of UnREAL.”
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