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For UnREAL star Constance Zimmer, the positive response to the daring Lifetime series pulling back the curtain on reality TV was, well, unreal. The actress, who took home the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Sunday night, played über-producer Quinn, who ran a dating show similar to The Bachelor.
“Every day, I wake up in shock and awe, because the reviews that were coming in … your mom couldn’t write those reviews that good,” she tells EW. “It was kind of unbelievable, and they just kept coming.”
Still, the show has had one outspoken critic: Chris Harrison, host of The Bachelor, who called the series “really terrible” and added that the dramatized version of what goes on behind the scenes “wasn’t a sign of respect.” Zimmer, though, considers Harrison’s perspective a compliment.
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“We were really excited [when Chris Harrison slammed UnREAL], because it meant he was watching the show,” she says. “I loved it.”
Besides, she adds, UnREAL has helped viewers understand what happens in reality TV, whether Harrison likes it or not. “I think these kind of [reality] shows, [contestants] don’t realize what they’re being put through, and how they are being manipulated into what we think the audience wants to see and not really who they are,” Zimmer explains. “I think just raising awareness of it has been so fun, to watch people go, ‘Wait a minute, are you saying that those shows are not real?’ “
UnREAL is expected to return summer 2016.
With reporting by Mary Sollosi