Warning: The following contains spoilers from the season 3 finale of UnREAL. Read at your own risk!
“Quinning,” indeed. In the season 3 finale of Lifetime’s UnREAL, Quinn (Constance Zimmer) successfully took down Gary (Christopher Cousins) with a class-action sexual harassment lawsuit, wrapped a season of Everlasting, and brought Fiona (Tracie Thoms) back to her side — but at a price. After Rachel (Shiri Appleby) finally expresses how much she needs to leave Everlasting, Quinn relents and lets her go. And in her final scene, Quinn heads for Chet (Craig Bierko), going back to the man who broke her heart but finally embraced her in season 3.
But was that the right choice to make? Below, Zimmer talks about why Quinn went back to her ex-fiancé and teases the “sh— show” to come in season 4.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The last thing we see of Quinn is her knocking on Chet’s door. What did you think of that decision, for her to seek him out?
CONSTANCE ZIMMER: A lot of this season for Quinn has been about rediscovering who she is, and what she wants, and where she’s putting her focus in her life. Realizing that maybe she has been keeping Rachel back, I think made her face the fact that maybe Chet is the best person for her… If she’s going to be big enough to let Rachel go, I think she has to be big enough to understand that Chet is the right person for her.
So do you agree with her choice to go back to Chet?
It was a hard decision for me to wrap myself around when I read it in the script and when they told me, but then when I look at everything they go through in season 3 and where Rachel and Quinn are… I do agree with the decision in that moment, I will say that much. It doesn’t mean that there’s not still some questions about it in her mind, that we get to play into in season 4. I don’t know. I think there’s a part of me that wants Quinn to be allowed to make that decision, and know that it’s the right decision for her.
I think everybody’s going to have an opinion. Some people will be like, “Oh my God, I’m so glad she finally just gave in to the fact that that’s her person.” There’s going to be a lot of people that are going to say, “What the —? No. She should never go with that guy.” But look, Quinn, she is a damaged soul, and I think there’s something to be said about realizing that the person that gets you to your core is the person.
Let’s talk about Quinn and Rachel’s final scene, which felt hopeful even though they were saying goodbye to each other. But is Quinn 100 percent comfortable with letting Rachel go?
No, absolutely not. Just as much as parents are never okay with their kids all of a sudden going off to college. I think you’re excited and all you want is for them to succeed, but they’re leaving you. That’s a lot of what we struggle with in season 4, which was so fun to explore. At the end of this season, they are now definitely at a new impasse. They made choices and now they’re going to say, “These are the choices we’re making. Now let’s move forward with these choices and see where they take us.” You live with that choice, and now you see living with that choice and making that commitment, where does that now take you next? That’s season 4.
At least Quinn won’t have to deal with Gary. How do you feel about what Quinn did? She comes out on top by using Gary’s past indiscretions against him.
Yeah, wasn’t that crazy? We shot all that last year, before the whole #MeToo movement. I mean, it’s insane. If you can imagine, when we were shooting it, we all were more worried about how many people were going to believe it or just go, “Ugh, this is just a television show over-exaggerating the truth.”
I mean, look, I don’t think the way Quinn does things are necessarily correct. That’s why she gets to be a character on television. I do think there’s always a through line of truth to what she does and how she does it, being a woman in the business and fighting for her own power and her own rights, just as a person, not female or male. It was probably the only way she was going to take him down. It would have to be big, and it would have to be flashy, and there would have to be no way that anybody could say, “But was he really wrong?”
How has working on the show this season affected your view of the movement?
We definitely were a little nervous about when we shot it, because it felt so far-fetched. It felt like, “Wow, this is a big concept. This is kind of throwing somebody under the bus. Could you imagine somebody having twelve counts against them?” It felt big and it felt exaggerated for television and all that stuff. The fact that now you look at it and it’s like, “Oh, that’s nothing”— that changed all within six months.
I think one of the reasons why I’m so proud of the show is they do take big swings. Sometimes those swings don’t follow through, and other times they end up telling stories that nobody had any idea how relevant they were. That’s interesting, because it means that people have experienced it before people were talking about it, and they weren’t afraid to talk about it. I give the writers a lot of credit for that.
You directed an episode this season and next. What did you take away from the experience of stepping behind the camera?
Right away I loved it, and I thought, “Uh oh, this is going to be a problem. What if I like doing this more than I like acting?” [Laughs] You learn so much, not just from the perspectives of technique, and how things are shot, and how you tell a story, but you learn a lot being an actor, of the things that you don’t give to a director, without even realizing you’re not giving it to them. It was a great lesson in that, and seeing things that I’ve done in myself as an actor, like, “Oh, now I know why that director was like, ‘Could you give me a little more?'”… I loved it. I have no problem admitting I am definitely a control freak in my own life, so being able to bring it into my career was really fun.
As previously announced, season 4 is going to be Everlasting: All Stars. Anything you can tease about where we’ll find Quinn at the very start of the next season?
Quinn and Rachel come back at the start of season 4 completely different people, which is, I know, very hard to believe. It was very hard to act, I will tell you that much. I didn’t even know what to do with who this new version of Quinn was, let alone this new version of Rachel. Everybody was confused on the set. Everybody was like, “I don’t know who you are.” I was like, “I don’t know who I am either. I’m really trying to piece this together.” [Laughs]
It’s fun because with All Stars, you’re dealing with couples, with two people at a time. And you’re dealing with personalities who have been on the show before. They all know the manipulation, so now you have to double down with your deception in a way that you’ve never done before. It’s a sh— show, I’ll tell you that much.