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[Warning: This story contains spoilers from UnREAL’s season two premiere, “War.”]
UnREAL is ready to go to war. During Monday’s season two premiere, Chet’s (Craig Bierko) scheming forced Quinn (Constance Zimmer) to take back the showrunner role from Rachel (Shiri Appleby), but that’s only a temporary shift.
Star Constance Zimmer tells The Hollywood Reporter that Quinn is “100 percent behind Rachel and is not on Chet’s team at all,” even if she did compromise with him to get their suitor Darius (B.J. Britt) back.
This dose of drama is tame compared with the rest of the season, which Zimmer called a “jump into the darkness” as everyone is “out for blood.” Although Quinn will get a new romantic interest with Ioan Gruffudd joining the cast, Zimmer admits that Chet is “still that deep, dark-rooted love that you get once in a lifetime.”
Below, Zimmer breaks down the Chet vs. Rachel vs. Quinn dynamic, why scheming producer Jay (Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman) and innocent Madison (Genevieve Buechner) will work to climb the ladder, and how they’ll show the “creation of another monster” this season.
Quinn seems to betray Rachel by agreeing to Chet’s bikini plan. Is she more loyal to Rachel, or does she still fall for her toxic relationship with Chet?
Quinn doesn’t betray Rachel. What happens is he has us by the balls — literally, because he has our suitor — and the only way to get Darius back on our terms is to compromise. Because Quinn in her heart of hearts knows she can compromise just to get her suitor back, but it doesn’t mean that Chet will have control of the show. She’s definitely 100 percent behind Rachel and is not on Chet’s team at all. She has no allegiance to him. She has no reason why she would give back this show after she earned it by proving that he was incompetent. They’re constantly compromising themselves. They’re constantly manipulating people and in that scene, to me it’s a manipulation of Chet because I’m saying, “Sure, OK, fine. You bring our suitor here and I will give you the bikinis,” but in the back of her mind she’s saying, “I’m going to shoot the show I want to shoot.”
Quinn is falling back into old habits as she cleans up Chet’s mess. Will she struggle with giving the power to Rachel as showrunner? Does she trust her completely?
I think that she was ready and willing and able to hand it over, but the second the smallest thing goes wrong she’s also more than happy to take it back. This is to prove to Rachel that this is not a job that anybody can do. You have to be on the ball 24/7, and I think it’s a huge disappointment and makes Quinn angrier. She was looking forward to just relaxing a little bit, but now she can’t even relax because Rachel messed things up and Chet got looped in. The power struggle now is between the three of them, which is not good because it means that none of them are really on the same team … She’s definitely going to put Rachel through the ringer a little bit in hopes that this would never happen again, but will she ever really let the show go? That’s the big question, for sure.
Now that she has a bigger role within the network, will Quinn branch off into other shows, or will she always feel tied to Everlasting?
She could absolutely go to a different reality show, but she can’t do anything without Rachel and I think that’s the bigger draw that’s going to keep her in that world. If that’s where Rachel stays, Quinn will have to stay there come hell or high water, but I definitely think they could both exist on a different reality show. They’re just very good at their jobs, as long as there are people to manipulate … she and Rachel are the team that make it happen together. When they’re apart and when they’re not working together, you see a team that is fractured, that is not working correctly. It’s like a broken spoke or there’s that one thing that’s off that is making everything else off.
You said at PaleyFest that Rachel and Quinn are at odds again this season. How will that tension build and their relationship become more fractured?
Whenever we’re together we’re at odds, and two super strong women at odds is exhausting because they’re probably both right and neither one of them would admit. Quinn has been put in the position of trying to make sure that everything good is happening to Rachel and that the choices that she’s making are the right choices so that she doesn’t end up like Quinn later in life. The struggle between them is once again Quinn feeling like she knows what’s right for Rachel and Rachel trying to get away from the co-dependency of the relationship of Quinn, but ultimately, they do come back together in the end. It makes for an incredible ending: The realization just that they are so much better when they are together. The message is about women supporting women and that tearing each other down doesn’t get anybody anywhere.
How does Quinn handle Darius differently than the last suitor, Adam?
I pretty much am constantly just picking up the pieces. I definitely get my fingers in there a little bit more than I did last season, just enough to help the show progress. Darius is pretty much Rachel’s toy this year and I’m still watching all of it happen. I only step in when I feel it’s absolutely necessary when things are not going the way that they should.
Chet 2.0 is definitely worse than he was before. Could you see Quinn giving him a second chance? She also has a new love interest coming in…
He is worse this season and we’re all kind of worse this season for the wear. They’re definitely done for now because Quinn gets to be distracted by this new love interest, which is very exciting and a color that we’ve never got to see Quinn actually enjoy or even emote last season. The problem with Chet and Quinn is that Chet is still that deep, dark-rooted love that you get once in a lifetime. I think ultimately that they will always be together by heart and it’s their minds that mess it up a lot. If they’re ever on the same page again, it doesn’t mean that they couldn’t come back together again in 10 years when they’ve gotten over all of their tossing of their feathers and Chet’s not cheating.
Jay is going behind people’s backs, and Madison is becoming the new Rachel. How does Quinn handle disloyal employees?
This season, you are going to see the climbing of the ladder of the other producers. It’s going to allow you to see why I’ve grabbed on to Rachel, because Rachel is so above and beyond good at her job. Jay and Madison are doing it their way and they are trying to climb the ladder. There’s a part of Quinn that actually appreciates someone getting the job done no matter what the risks are, but she also has no problem with bringing them all the way back down to the bottom of the ladder the second that they mess up. You do get to see that a little bit this season because of how far Jay goes and crosses lines and Madison, there’s this great quote that she’s kind of like Bambi stumbling through the woods. She wants it so bad, but she’s just not that good — not everybody can be really good at this job. It’s a hard job and you have to have this craziness about you. It’s like we’re either going to create it within her as she climbs up the ladder or she’s going to do it to herself. It’s fun watching the creation of another monster.
Overall, how is season two crazier or more dramatic than season one?
Oh, my god — it’s crazier, it’s darker, it’s dirtier, it’s nastier. They’re out for blood because there are a lot of people trying to prove that they can make the best show … a lot of new characters coming in trying to prove themselves. The contestants are a little bit more at each other’s throats this year and the competition feels super fierce because they’re trying to get with a pro football player. He’s a celebrity, so there’s more to play with as opposed to just being a rich, cute guy. We weren’t as afraid this year to jump into the darkness that we kind of teetered on in season one. We teetered and had somebody jump off a roof. This kind of dirty nastiness is a different level.
UnREAL airs on Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on Lifetime.
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