Constance Zimmer at the 2016 Critics’ Choice Award in a Tracy Reese Dress. Photo: Getty
UnREAL’s fictionalized version of reality TV made sizeable waves when its first season premiered last year. The series’ dark take on The Bachelor and the possible behind-the-scenes world of dating shows compelled critics and viewers alike. The cast is heading to shoot the second season in March, which will feature a black bachelor – TV’s first ever, even though he’s a fictional take. At the Critics’ Choice Awards, stars Constance Zimmer and Shiri Appleby spoke about how much further the second season, which will air in June, may go.
“We’re super excited because now we can do more and go darker and dig deeper into these characters,” Zimmer, who won the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for the show, told Yahoo Style. “I think we might have been a little afraid of how people were going to react but now that the reaction has been so great, it gives us the chance to do more. Let’s just be honest: I held back!”
“We didn’t really know what the show was that we were making,” Appleby added. “We didn’t know what the response was going to be. Now that we’ve actually been able to see it we understand the world. We can go darker like Constance is saying, but also take the story places that is making commentary without really commenting on things. I think that’s something that’s been really interesting to us.”
The second season will comment on the lack of diversity on reality TV shows like The Bachelor. A few days ago UnREAL announced the casting of African American actor B.J. Britt as their new fictional bachelor. “I think it’s already working,” Zimmer said of the show’s take on diversity. “People are talking about it. When we don’t have to talk about it and it’s not a big deal will be when we’re done. So we have a long way to go.”
Shiri Appleby in a burnt sienna Leanne Marshall gown at the 2016 Critics’ Choice Awards
“Both Sarah [Gertrude Shapiro] and I felt like one of the things that did emerge from the show is that we went at some topical areas,” co-creator Marti Noxton said. “We felt that it’s a little glaring that there’s never been an African-American bachelor. We don’t know how many seasons we’re getting so we might as well go hard. B.J. is such a special actor. He really just walked away with the role.”
Appleby took a break from her kids to come to the awards and said that being in the midst of an awards show felt strange when most of her time is spent taking care of her new baby. “He’s doing all the things newborn do – not sleeping, crying, eating,” she laughed. “But we’re having a ball.” The actress even convinced her significant other to accompany her. “He always said he wouldn’t come to an awards show unless I was nominated,” she noted. “And now here he is carrying the breast pump,” Zimmer interjected, mentioning that she had to be wary of Appleby’s breast when snapping photos together on the red carpet.
As for whether the actresses are actually watching the new seasons of The Bachelor? Not so much. “I just trying to survive each day,” Appleby said. “I’m not trying to think about TV too much!”