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Money. Dick. Power. Emmys. Constance Zimmer has just landed her first ever Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama category for her ruthless portrayal of UnREAL‘s cutting producer, Quinn King. We caught up with the 45-year-old, who learned of the news while vacationing with her family in the South of France — with barely any cell service.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Congratulations! Where were you when you learned the fantastic — and extremely well deserved — news?
CONSTANCE ZIMMER: I’m in the South of France in a crazy medieval town and I’m having the hardest time with my WiFi, so I found out on Twitter because nobody could get in touch with me! I had no cell service in the house so my husband said, “You know, maybe you didn’t get nominated because they would’ve called you already.”
What was the first thing you said when you found out?
I screamed! I’m here with my husband, daughter, sister, and her kid, and we all just started screaming. But I wouldn’t believe it until I actually read the news in print, so it took another 5-10 more minutes until anything would download. That’s when I started getting texts, emails, and failed phone calls. Then I realized that maybe it was true.
How are you celebrating?
I’m drinking a cocktail right now that my husband made for me! He made a honey lavender bourbon cocktail with a little sprig of fresh lavender from our hike today. He’s so funny. It’s exciting, but I’m in a state of shock and am super surprised. But tonight, we’ll get on the roof, have an amazing dinner, and celebrate, and celebrate and celebrate some more.
How do you think Quinn would celebrate if Everlasting was nominated for an Emmy?
Probably the same way — with a cocktail in the South of France! But she probably wouldn’t be talking to as many people as I’m talking to. She’d be like, “Yes, thank you. I deserve it.” Whereas with me, I’m still giddy and kind of not believing it yet.
Well, believe it! What do you think it is about Quinn that makes her so compelling?
It’s so hard for me to answer that because when I first started playing the role, I thought people were going to hate her. I didn’t think they would get her and that they’d think she’d too mean. But she’s a strong woman who doesn’t let society dictate whether she’s good, bad, or otherwise. She’s incredibly good at what she does and has worked very hard to get to where she is. I think people love that she’s a strong woman who’s complicated and flawed, and who doesn’t really care if people like her or not. It’s super empowering, specifically for a woman, to be represented that way on television. But it’s really two women — I really do believe that the ying and the yang of Rachel and Quinn is all encompassing.
You should bust out Quinn’s “Money. Dick. Power.” tattoo for the big night.
Somebody on social media said the tattoo should now say, “Money. Dick. Power. Emmy.” And then cross out the word “Emmy.” I’m like, I was only nominated, people!
The 2016 Emmy Awards air on Sept. 18 on ABC. Watch UnREAL on Mondays at 10 p.m. on Lifetime.