We meet the humble star behind one of TV’s most iconic female characters

She's fierce and fiesty in her role as Quinn King, but Constance Zimmer actually turned down the iconic role several times. In an interview with Channel24's Graye Morkel the TV star reveals more about the much-talked-about UnREAL. 

Cape Town - Constance Zimmer plays the role of the unfiltered and unapologetic executive producer Quinn King on the Bachelor-inspired drama, UnREAL

Now in its third season the scripted "reality" show takes a look at all the unscripted drama that takes place behind-the-scenes of the fictional reality dating show, Everlasting.  

Constance was nominated for an Emmy and won a 2016 Critics' Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role on the show. 

Even though the star has been praised for her role on the "reality" type show, she admits to not watching much reality TV, and only watched a couple of episodes of The Bachelor when she agreed to the role. 

"Watching RuPaul's Drag Race, Cupcake Wars and Great British Bake Off with my daughter is as close as I'll get," she says.  


Talking about tackling the tough-talking character she says: "It has been an incredible road. I was afraid of her in season one and I really didn't know how people were going to react to her at first."

"Then coming into season two and seeing how people were looking at her in such an incredibly positive light, which I hadn't really seen at the time, made me embrace her, and made me proud of her unapologetic nature. Every single season I have been able to dig deeper into her character," she adds. 

Constance says: "I remember in season two saying: 'She can be meaner. We can really cross some lines,' and we've continued to do that. With her being even meaner now in season three, we've been able to show even more vulnerability. We've watched her build up all these walls, and we're starting to pick some of the bricks out."

Talking more about Quinn's growth throughout the three seasons, the Emmy nominated actress says: "You cannot become that strong and that vicious without there being some cracks." She adds: "I am very interested in the cracks. We can all pretend to be strong, but it's really what you feel like at night when you put your head on the pillow. And nobody is watching, and nobody is judging."

As the seasons progress the actress has really "enjoyed" being able to "breakdown" all of Quinn's emotions. She says: "She has been through a lot."


The 47-year-old mother says that she is "fascinated" that she got cast for the role. "I couldnt be further away from Quinn, we are complete opposites."

At the same time, she admires her ballsy character in many ways: "I wish I was as strong as Quinn. I wish I had the balls that she has. I still see myself as an insecure quirky actress who is more secure being funny and wacky."

But it's not all complete opposites she says: "The only thing that is similar between us is when we get to Quinn's vunerability. I would say that it's the only part where I draw a little bit more inspiration from myself. But otherwise complete opposites."



Speaking about the new season Constance says: "At the end of season two she [Quinn] gets hit with something that nobody could have anticipated. We see a whole new side of Quinn when we go into season three, which I really didn't know how to play. I grappled with how to depict all these new emotions, but still keep her strong and grounded. Also keeping her unfiltered when she has been hurt so much."

She says that it's been a challenge to keep Quinn true to the character we've all come to love, and hate at the same time, while not being afraid to feel. "At the core of every human there is a beating heart that feels pain," says Constance.

"We learn more about Quinn in every season and she has a lot of pain. That's why she has built up such an armour. And I like to see the armour being peeled away bit by bit. That is what we will watch over the seasons as they progress," she adds.

Constance Zimmer


In season three, Everlasting sees its very first bachelorette, which Constance says had made filming season three "the most fun." She says that seeing the men take on the role of the suitors was a real eye-opener, when it came to the men feeling "objectified."  

"Something as simple as being in bathing suits in the freezing cold weather, the men would complain. While the women have been doing that for two seasons on the show. The women on set would just laugh and say: 'Welcome to our world.'

"Every single day. It was fascinating watching them and for them to feel like they deserved to be treated differently," she says.


The actress laughingly admits that when she turned down the role the first time she hadn't even looked at the script. "I knew that it was shooting in Atlanta. And my daughter was only 4 or 5 at the time, and I didn't want to leave her to go and shoot a show in Atlanta."

constance zimmer

But after the show had already shot the pilot, and moved the location to Vancouver, she was approached by the team once more, and this time the creators of the show personally persuaded her to reconsider.

"After a three hour meeting, talking about ideas, collaboration and their commitment to the project, it just felt like a dream team. I had never been a part of something that felt like it was happening from the ground up. I agreed - having still not read the script - and it has been one of the best experienes.

To her South African fans and the show's viewers she says: "Enjoy watching back to beack seasons and stay with us through to season three, it will pay off in the end. Thank you, I love South Africa and can't wait to come visit one day." 

UnREAL season three starts on Monday, 16 April at 20:55 on Lifetime (DStv 131).

(Photos: Getty)