Unreal Actress Shiri Appleby Discusses The Series And Her Character Rachel Goldberg

If you have yet to see it, you may want to check out UnReal, which Forbes is calling “One of the best new shows of the summer.” The Lifetime drama is a fictitious look at the production of a dating reality show called Everlasting, and it stars Shiri Appleby as producer Rachel Goldberg. We got a chance to talk to Shiri about the series, and her character.

Real Style: Tell us a little about your character.

Shiri Appleby: I think she is a person that is still a work in progress. I feel like she’s a character that’s at a crossroads in her life and is trying to figure it out. The crazy thing about her is that she is really good at doing something that drives her crazy. And she wants to be a writer, she fancies herself a writer and she doesn’t have a way to do that or to make an income.

RS: If she is so miserable there then why doesn’t she leave and get a job in broadcasting?

SA: Because of last season, because of the crash and the lawsuit against her, Quinn basically has her and is like her conservator and can’t actually leave. She is working off her debt that she owes the show.

RS: How did you prepare for the role?

SA: I got together with some reality show producers before the show started just to talk to them about the job and how certain things made them feel. But as the story unfolded you really create these characters and the other relationships on the show.

RS: Is she changing?

SA: She is constantly changing. As the season progresses you start to see that she is really one of those people that is attracted to what is in front of her. She kind of blows with the wind. You know? She is not committed to a certain idea because she really hasn’t figured herself out yet.

RS: Did you ever watch the Bachelor or Bachelorette?

SA: I have seen the show in the past but I didn’t really feel like I needed to watch it. I had been so familiar with it, but I think it was more about talking to the producers, the people who actually had the job that was more important to me.


RS: Has there been any feedback from reality television saying how you guys are getting a little too close?

SA: I think a lot of reality show contestants are vocal and saying that their experience are very similar to our show. Snooki has been vocal and a lot of publications have sat down with some reality show contestants and made them watch the show to ask them what is real and what is not real. For the most part they are saying what we are doing is pretty spot on and really exciting.


RS: What about Quinn and her? Is there a big blowout that is going to happen?

SA: I can’t really speak to much about what happens because I want people to watch it, but I think they definitely have moments where they go head to head towards the end.

RS: Yeah, because they almost have this co-dependent relationship. So yes she has kind of got her, kind of blackmailed her at the same time, Rachel seems to have almost another relationship going on there even though she hates a lot of what Quinn is doing.

SA: Exactly, I think she looks at Quinn and thinks “I could be her and a powerful woman and call my own shots and run the show, be very successful” and at the same time she looks at her and thinks that I can also be alone and have no life and have no love and no family. Which part of Quinn do I want to be? And do I even want to be either part of her? Like some moments I think she wants to get out and have a really safe life which is why Jeremy becomes really attractive to her. The other times, she thinks like no I want to be more successful than Quinn and follow in her footsteps and keep charging forward. I think it’s a very much a mother daughter realationship. She is constantly trying to make her proud and at the same time she wants nothing to do with her.

RS: And her own mother oh my god! Does that get a little more explored?

SA: Unfortunately we only have 10 episodes this year but I know it is something that we are planning on developing further into next year.

RS: Do you find when you are playing Rachel that it is something you almost have to psych yourself into?

SA: I found it really fun to play to be honest with you. I feel like once you are in her skin it is kind of fun and I found a lot of her challenges exciting to play.

Unreal airs Mondays at 10pm ET on Lifetime, Showcase, and Slice.

Photo: Startraks

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