Interview With Constance Zimmer
What does Taylor bring to News Night's election coverage?
She was asked to join because of her experience as a Republican. You always want to have a mix of conservatives and liberals on a panel, especially on election night. Because she's not a typical Republican, it makes for a very interesting conversation with Will McAvoy, who himself is not a typical Republican.
Was she fired because of her unwillingness to toe the party line?
She got fired because she was asking questions that weren't being answered within her party. She's influenced by the people she respects – including Jim – and it makes her question things. Her animosity towards Jim is grounded in, "Why don't you just accept things as they are? These are our parties and this is what they represent." When he doesn't back down, it forces her to question things as well.
How would you characterize Taylor's relationship with Jim?
It's sweet and sour. They're a perfect match, in the sense that they force each other to stand their own ground. Those are the kind of people you want in your life personally and professionally because they constantly keep you on your toes. Taylor's so strong in her point of view that Jim can question it and also appreciate it.
Has Taylor's character evolved? What do you think is next for her?
As an actor, I got to know Taylor more as the season went on. She wasn't just a bitchy, bossy, conservative woman. She has heart; she's funny. I don't know if she needs to be in front of the camera, but she does need to be in control of people and situations.
Is she based on anyone real? What kind of research did you do for the role?
I don’t know if she's based on anyone real, but I'm sure parts of her are based on people who really exist. I didn't do much research aside from watching Bill Maher's show and panel discussions with Republicans and Democrats in which they don't really discuss anything. That was fun because I got to watch and say, "Oh my God, that's Taylor!" But when you work on shows that are this rich, everything is already on the page; you just have to embody it.
Sounds like you had a good time.
I loved it. I love playing a character who has an adversary she can go one-on-one with. She seems like she's such a tough cookie, but we were able to show that she has a heart and her own questions. Despite what Jim may have said to her, she's definitely not a robot.