UnREAL’s Shiri Appleby on Rachel’s Struggles And That Crazy Love Triangle

James Dittiger/Lifetime
James Dittiger/Lifetime

Every few years a new TV show comes along that really catches your attention. It delves into new territory, surprises you and includes a few key performances that really blow you away. For many of us here at The TV Junkies that’s just what happened this summer with Lifetime’s UnREAL.

We’ve not been able to turn away from UnREAL all summer and one of the reasons why is the performances from its amazing cast. Perhaps standing out above the rest has been lead character Rachel, played by Shiri Appleby. Appleby has been through a lot this season with Rachel. She’s come back from a mental break down, proven herself to be the best at her job, manipulated a few “Everlasting” contestants and put herself in the middle of a rather interesting love triangle.

Going in to the Season 1 finale Monday night we thought it would be the perfect time to get Appleby’s view on what’s been going on with Rachel this season. Read on to see what she had to say about Rachel’s love life, what she thinks happened in Mexico, and her thoughts on the season finale.


The TV Junkies: Did you know a show about the making of something like The Bachelor could be so empowering for females? We’ve got a female lead AND a female boss driving the whole thing.

Shiri Appleby: No I had no idea. It’s been really interesting to see what has happened once it got out there and to see where people have taken it. We filmed it up in Canada and were working with a network (Lifetime) that has never done anything like this before, so we had no idea how it would be received.

TTVJ: What is Rachel’s ambivalence towards becoming the new Quinn? Is this something that she wants or does she want out of the business like she keeps saying?

SA: I think the thing with Rachel is that she doesn’t really have anywhere else to go. She doesn’t have a lot of friends or family in her life so really this job is all she has. She sees Quinn as a sort of role model for her, but she also sees how miserable and unhappy she is. She’s not sure that she wants to become that person.

TTVJ: With the finale coming up we have to ask–are we going to find out what actually went down in Mexico? Can you give us any hints?

SA: No the show didn’t include that. The finale is action packed and full of great stuff but it doesn’t include what happened in Mexico

James Dittiger/Lifetime
James Dittiger/Lifetime

TTVJ: What do you think happened?

SA: I think that they spent 5 or 6 days on location just being together. They were happy, having sex, drinking. Just being together in this sort of idealized situation.

TTVJ: Do you think that this is what lead to Rachel’s breakdown or was it something else?

SA: No, not really. There were certainly a lot of feelings and alcohol involved, but I think Rachel’s breakdown was more about her feeling bad that she has manipulated so many of these women into something that they’re not.

TTVJ: Rachel seems to have gotten herself into this weird love triangle. Can you tease anything about this heading into the finale? Who do you think Rachel wants to be with?

SA: I don’t think that Rachel is really in to either of these guys. They are two completely different people and she is kind of just trying them both out to see which type of guy she might want to be with. Jeremy is the safe choice. With him she’d have the happy, small town life. Not very much excitement but it would be comfortable. And with Adam I think her life would be more interesting. They could sort of build on what he’s already created and make a new life together. But I’m not sure if she’d choose either of them.

James Dittiger/Lifetime
James Dittiger/Lifetime

TTVJ: Jeremy loves Rachel so you’d think if she chose him they could have something real. But do you think the same could be said with Adam? Do you think that they could actually make a long term relationship work?

SA: Yeah I do. There is definitely something there and I think you can make any relationship work if you try right? So yeah I think if she chose Adam they could make it work.

TTVJ: If Rachel does want to be with Adam is there really any value to Quinn’s threat?

SA: No, I guess not really is there? They would just have to put it out there and deal with the consequences.

TTVJ: When I spoke with Josh Kelly he said that the finale was going to blow us away and that we would not see anything coming. Can you give us any hints as to what he was talking about?

SA: No, I don’t want to say anything. I don’t want to give anything away. It’s so great. I don’t want to ruin it.

TTVJ: We know the show is returning for a second season, do you know anything at this point?

SA: No, I don’t know anything. I don’t think they are even going to start writing until November so I won’t hear anything until then.

TTVJ: Do you have any ideas?

SA: Well I know that they are going to stay inside the world of “Everlasting,” but exactly how? I don’t know.

TTVJ: Do you know who from the cast will be back?

SA: No, I don’t want to say. That will give too much away. The behind the scenes people will be back but beyond that I’m not saying.

James Dittiger/Lifetime
James Dittiger/Lifetime

TTVJ: What are you most looking forward to in Season 2?

SA: I just think it’s great that they are portraying this girl, who’s kind of strange and different or maybe even has a bit of a psychiatric disorder, as someone that can still be very successful and very good at what she does. So I’m looking forward to showing more of that.

TTVJ: I’ve always seen Rachel to be more struggling with her morals and not really someone that has a psychiatric disorder. Is that how you see her?

SA: Yeah, I don’t think she’s crazy.

TTVJ: Chris Harrison’s comments about the show really took the Internet by storm. Were you surprised to hear about his adverse reaction?

SA: I think we all just love that it’s getting all of this attention. Any press is good press right?

TTVJ: Is there anything else that you would like to add?

SA: Just to thank everyone for watching and for all the positive attention that we are getting now. You never know going in to a show that it is going to become something like this one has and it’s great to see what it has become.


Are you loving UnREAL as much as us? Do you think Rachel should become the new Quinn? Who do you think Rachel should end up with, Jeremy or Adam? What are you hoping to see in the finale and in Season 2? Sound off in the comments section below.


UnREAL’s Season 1 finale airs Monday, August 3 at 10 p.m. ET on Lifetime.