September 18, 2016 07:40 PM

Shiri Appleby has come a long way from her first Emmys trip: As she shared Sunday, the UnREAL star first attended the award show as a seat filler, in college.

So to come back with an actual invitation?

“It feels like I really amounted to something,” Appleby, 37, said during PEOPLE & EW’s Red Carpet Live Sunday, before the show.

“I’m so happy to be here, it feels like Hollywood’s prom,” Appleby said. And her prom date this year is her husband, John Shook.

“It’s just great to put on a dress and support the show,” Appleby said. Lifetime’s critically acclaimed and bruise-black dramedy is up for three awards, including for costar Constance Zimmer.

But Appleby said she doesn’t let the darkness of her day job weigh her down.

Watch the full Emmy Awards pre-show now at People/Entertainment Weekly Network. It’s free! Available on connected and mobile devices or just download the PEN app on your iOS or Android. Watch now at people.com/PEN.

RELATED VIDEO: How Did Samantha Bee Celebrate Her Emmy Nomination?

“I don’t think I’m that uptight or stressed out or conflicted with myself, and it’s a job,” Appleby said. “I do what I need to do to relax.”

Namely, she will “take a bath” to de-stress.

Does that mean she’s above indulging in some of the same reality TV that UnREAL skewers so effectively? Not at all.

“I mean, I’d definitely seen them,” Appleby said. In fact, she said, that’s been one of the revelations of the conversation around the series.

“It’s interesting about how many people watch them.”

You May Like

EDIT POST