New ‘UnReal’ actor: More character exploration, humor in Season 2
Scandals and meltdowns enliven the onscreen and offscreen goings-on in the returning drama series, “UnReal,” about a “The Bachelor”-like reality show and its amoral showrunners.
Cunning characters Rachel (Shiri Appleby), Quinn (Constance Zimmer) and Chet (Craig Bierko) are back for more outrageous shenanigans this season (Tuesdays on Lifetime, 10 p.m.). They will be joined in the second episode by Coleman, a potential love interest for Rachel and a filmmaker played by Michael Rady.
“The big difference between Coleman and Rachel’s previous love interests from the first season is that he is more well-rounded as a person,” Rady told the Inquirer in a phone interview. “He has less baggage than [the others]. He’ll bring out a different side [to] Rachel that the audience has yet to see.”
The show heavily appeals to Rady, as both a viewer and an actor, he revealed: “I’ve never been in a show that I’m a fan of before this. But this time, I was 50-percent nervous and 50-percent excited. I was looking at my wife and I [went], ‘Gosh, I can’t believe I’m in the show! I hope they didn’t make a mistake hiring me.’ The show has such a blend of drama and comedy that is exciting and [dark]—you can’t quite nail down anyone’s character.”
The “UnReal” cast has been welcoming to Rady, 34, who debuted in 2005’s “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.” Behind the scene, it can get “very silly,” according to the actor. “We’re always laughing,” he said. “Constance and Shiri are always laughing. No one is being inappropriate or unprofessional; we’re just having a great time!”
Onscreen, there is an exploration of reality TV, but more so of the puppet masters running the cutthroat dating program “Everlasting.” Rady explained, “It’s about who these people are and, because we’re dissecting them, naturally, we get into what they do—and what they do is lie, cajole…It uses reality TV as a foil, a conduit to tell the story of these interesting, sometimes-depressing, often-powerful people.”
After the success of the show’s first season, Rady said that there will be more catty encounters and manipulations, but there will also be more answers this time: “Expect to uncover more things beneath the surface that make those characters tick…[things] that were hinted at in Season One. This season plays up the humor quite a bit, too. ”
The actor, who was in the second iteration of “Melrose Place,” and had parts in shows like “Greek” and “Jane the Virgin,” considers the current expansion of the television medium a “renaissance” for viewers and creators. “There’s just so much more television getting made now,” he said. “Because of that, everyone is upping the ante—
everyone is trying to one-up the next. So, the quality of stories is through the stratosphere—and that’s thrilling, as an actor. I think there’s over 400 television shows getting made right now. That’s a lot; it’s never been that way, and it’s changing so much every day. It’s all so exciting.”
Rady, whose favorite actors growing up included Paul Newman, Sam Rockwell, Mark Ruffalo and the actors of “The Godfather” and “Goodfellas,” said that acting for him is mainly “about telling great tales”—an ideal career that isn’t necessarily mapped: “It’s about having the opportunity to tell stories that mean something!”