‘UnREAL’ Stars Constance Zimmer And Shiri Appleby On How They Fight For Equal Pay In Hollywood

Constance Zimmer and Shiri Appleby star on the hit Lifetime series “UnREAL” as two cutthroat producers who will manipulate anyone (including each other) for power and money. In reality, the two actresses have a completely different approach when it comes to negotiating their salaries as women in Hollywood.

“We’re a team,” the actresses told HuffPost Live host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani, discussing how they prove their value each season when negotiating their contracts together.

“I don’t know if it’s especially being a woman, I can only speak from being a woman myself, but I think it’s a very important thing when you’re going out there and getting a job to say, ‘This is my value,’ because people will then look at you differently and start to believe you are worth that,” added Appleby. 

When asked about the recent conversations about women’s pay in Hollywood that were sparked by leading ladies like Jennifer Lawrence, the actresses said they think it’s great to bring attention to the issue, but just talking about it won’t bring substantial change. 

“I don’t think it helps change any sort of negotiations. I think it helps in terms of, ‘Hey, am I not getting paid as much because I’m a woman? Are they treating me differently because I’m a woman?’ I think it just puts questions in your head,” said Appleby.

“Any time people are putting any kind of story out into the forefront, you’re becoming aware of it, and any time you become of aware of it, people will talk about it more and then more people will ask for [equal pay] and another person will ask for it,” added Zimmer.

As far as advancing that conversation beyond the headlines, the actresses think that women need to start discussing money with each other, however uncomfortable it may be.

“Women, we’re always very conscientious about hurting somebody’s feelings. I think, right away, we just came in and were like, ‘Let’s just talk about it, let’s get on the same page, and let’s create what our value is.’ It’s just about having confidence in what you bring to the table, and I think that’s a really strong way to have a conversation with anybody,” said Appleby.

Watch the full interview with Zimmer and Appleby here. 

“UnREAL” airs Monday nights at 10 p.m. ET on Lifetime.