Genevieve Buechner’s character on Lifetime’s UnREAL has had quite the evolutionary arc. In two seasons, Madison, once a painfully awkward assistant turned manipulative junior producer, has climbed up from the lowest rung on the ladder to become a real player in the ethically and morally mixed-up world of UnREAL.
UnREAL tells the story of the behind the scenes scheming that goes on in the production of a Bachelor/Bachelorette type of reality show called Everlasting. The show deals with some fairly dark topics such as mental health, exploitation, and blackmail. Although the themes of UnREAL can be heavy, it makes for an ideal medium for Buechner to really flex her acting muscles. Here, we caught up with the Vancouver resident to discuss her role on the show.
Cliché: What got you into acting?
Genevieve Buechner: I wanted to do a million things: be a dancer, be in the circus, be some sort of artist, and since I couldn’t do everything at once, I chose acting. I always had a very active imagination—and still do—which had a big impact on my choice to start acting. I also love movies. Labyrinth is a favorite, and I wanted to be part of the magic. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else really.
Do you and your character Madison on UnREAL share any similar personality traits?
Madison and I share an awkwardness for sure. She sort of bumbles around a lot, and I am a very clumsy person. She is super ambitious, and so am I, but in a very different way. She is much more zealous with her ambitions and I tend to be a little more calculated with what I want.
What’s the biggest difference between you and Madison?
I think one of the biggest differences is how manipulative she can be. She gets a thrill out of manipulation and control. I’ve been manipulative before—I think everyone has at some point in his or her lives—but those aren’t moments I’m proud of. Madison is proud of it. She doesn’t seem to have a lot of empathy because she is just so focused on getting the job done, no matter how cruel it sometimes is.
How do you feel about your character’s evolution in the series?
I am absolutely in love with her arch and the changes she has gone through. I feel very honored that the show has trusted me with so much. She is super fun to play, and it’s always exciting to find out what crazy thing she’s going to do next.
You have been a Vancouver resident most of your life, which is where the show is filmed. Has being from the area been beneficial to you in any way?
So many series and films are made here in Vancouver. It’s definitely been beneficial in the sense that I’ve had a ton of opportunities to work on and audition for many different shows and genres. I think I’ve learned a lot from all the people who come to Vancouver from other cities. Plus, the set is never too far away from home for me!
I believe it’s very important for shows to push boundaries and talk about things people won’t talk about or think of as taboo.
UnREAL delves deep into the dark side of social psychology and ethics in the workplace. What’s it like to work on a show that pushes the envelope in many ways?
I believe it’s very important for shows to push boundaries and talk about things people won’t talk about or think of as taboo. There are so many important things that need to be brought forward and rarely are. I’m very glad to be a part of a show that does do this. Where’s the fun in no risks?
What do you hope viewers take away or learn from UnREAL?
I hope people will not be so quick to judge what they see on TV or social media. There is always so much that happens that we don’t see. People seem to jump to conclusions and judgment, even if all they have is a photo or a clip these days.
Do you have any dream roles?
So many. I would LOVE to work on something in a fantasy world or a period piece, mostly because I never have before. I grew up reading The Lord of the Rings and the fantasy genre is very special to me, as is sci-fi. I would be so excited if I got to do more sci-fi or something like Shameless. It’s just very real and raw. I want to try everything.
Who is your biggest role model?
Can I say my family, collectively? They are all so supportive and strong. I have a huge family and they all inspire me in different ways. There are so many amazing actors that I look up to, but it’s hard to say if they would be role models because I don’t spend time with them. I feel like role models are people I’m around. Some of the actors that inspire me are Maggie Smith, Paul Dano, Rooney Mara, Lakeith Stanfield, Kim Min-hee, Brie Larson, Oscar Isaac, and Lupita Nyong’o.
What do you do to unwind after shooting?
I get all cozy in pajamas and a fluffy sweater, make some tea, and either read or watch something in bed.
Do you have any shows you love to binge?
The shows I have recently been binging are Shameless, Game Of Thrones, Please Like Me, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Daredevil, and Battlestar Galactica. All over the place! I have a huge list of shows to watch, so I shouldn’t run out for a long while.
Read more Entertainment Interviews on ClicheMag.com
Genevieve Buechner Talks ‘UnREAL,’ Role Models, and More: Photographed by Matthew Burditt