Ew, David! The journey of Alexis Rose has unfolded in fascinating ways over the past four seasons of Schitt’s Creek, with the sassy materialistic heiress not only leaving her billionaire past behind, but downright thriving in her new boondock town. She’s finally a high-school graduate at the ripe age of 30, running her own one-woman public relations business, and all while serving such chic bohemian lewks! Ahead of the Schitt’s Creek season finale, which airs Wednesday night on Pop, Vulture hopped on the phone with actress Annie Murphy to discuss how she landed the role of Alexis, what it’s like to play around with Catherine O’Hara’s fabulous wigs, and the inspiration behind that great vocal fry accent.
I feel like Schitt’s Creek mania has swept across the U.S. over the past few months!
It’s so cool to watch it start snowballing. People are still coming out of the woodwork who haven’t heard about it. All of a sudden they binge it over a weekend, and they’re in. Keep bingeing, everyone!
I heard that you auditioned for Stevie because Abby Elliott, Chris Elliott’s real-life daughter, played Alexis in the original pilot. In those early stages, were you like, Jeez, this show is just a cesspool for nepotism?
[Laughs.] Abby did play Alexis in the pilot, and she was in the video of the pilot they sent around initially. But then she ended up booking something else and wasn’t available to play Alexis anymore. Thank God, let me just say. I auditioned for Alexis and I got a call from Dan [Levy] after my first audition, asking me to also audition for Stevie. So I ended up testing for both of those ladies, and it was super fun to be able to play different characters. But as soon as I met Emily [Hampshire, who plays Stevie], I was like, Why on earth would these people entertain the idea of anyone else playing this part? She blows it out of the water. I think a part of it was, I was a brunette when I auditioned. And Eugene was having a really, really hard time wrapping his head around the fact that Alexis is blonde and Annie Murphy is brunette. He couldn’t quite get there, so Dan had to tape pictures of blonde hair on my picture. It finally got through to him, thank goodness.
In an alternate universe, how do you think your Stevie would’ve compared to Emily Hampshire’s Stevie?
I couldn’t pull off that deadpan like Emily does, so who knows? Let’s not even think about this, girl! I don’t want to live in a world where Emily doesn’t play Stevie!
Your accent work is the highlight of the show for me. Was there an evolution of how you perfected it, and did you study anyone’s voice in particular?
Ah, that nasty old vocal fry. I couldn’t bring myself to watch full episodes of things, so I watched a lot of YouTube clips of certain reality shows about certain rich famous people. I popped my eyelids open with toothpicks and watched and watched and watched. It’s a level of comedy where it’s so beautifully unnatural and I had to bring that fry to the character. Alexis certainly has a voice and a tone to her. For the first couple of weeks every season, I end up bringing it home with me. I’ll talk to my husband, Can you turn the heat down? I’m cold! Luckily, it fades after two weeks and my husband is thrilled when it finally stops. This is the first role I’ve done where it’s a significant departure of me in real life, so it’s fun to strap on fancy shoes and a made-up face and be Alexis.
Did Catherine model her accent after someone as well?
There are a couple of people, friends of friends, who she’s met over the years at parties that had their particular way of speaking. But I’m not naming names! It’s so magical to watch her draw a one syllable out into five- or six-syllable word. It’s an art form.
Most importantly: Have you gotten to play around with all of her wigs?
I’m desperate to. Dan and I are drooling most of the time over those wigs. On occasion, we’ve maybe gone into the hair and makeup trailer and did a bit of a wig fashion show. Only a couple of times! Maybe Catherine doesn’t need to know about this. The wigs are just so much fun, and it’s hard to keep our grubby little paws off them.
Is there a quota on the amount of times you have to say “David” per episode?
It’s become a bit of an epidemic in the script. [Laughs.] In season two and three, it really started hitting its stride. It’s written in the script like, You’re gonna do this anyway, but we might as well just write in on paper. Sprinkling it in is similar to saying like all the time. It’s a crutch at this point.
Speaking of David, how would you define the sibling dynamic between the two?
David and Alexis, although they would never, ever admit it, are best friends. They’ve formed such an incredible bond. Before they lived in the motel, they were on other ends of the earth most of the time with their fake friends, and this situation in the motel really formed a bond between them. They’re more similar than it seems and they care a lot more for each other than they let on. Even though they fight and bicker like an old married couple, they’re a proper brother and sister and always there for each other. It’s been such fun to play with Dan. I met him at the audition for the show, but it always felt like we’ve known each other for too long. Years and years and decades and centuries. Being able to bring the dynamic that we have in real life to the set has been so much fun.
Alexis’s slow transformation from a spoiled, bitter brat to a ambitious professional has also been lovely to see unfold. Was there a particular moment when this switch occurred?
I think it was when she had her heart broken for the very first time. With Mutt and Ted — what a lucky, lucky girl with those two — she’s come into this situation having broken a lot of hearts and not really caring about it. She never truly cared for another person before, or being in the position of not having what she wants. Having your first heartbreak is so significant and she’s having it at the age of 30, just after graduating high school. [Laughs.] I’m so proud of the way she deals with it, because we all know how nasty it can be.
Do you see this new Alexis as her true personality now, or do you think she’ll revert back to her old ways?
Irresponsible Alexis is never going anywhere! Let’s not kid ourselves. But I do think having this newfound independence and confidence is really appealing to her and she’s having a lot of fun being a bossy-boots and running her own business. I don’t think that drive isn’t going anywhere, but the old Alexis is still very much alive and well.
Have the writers explained why the show is always set during the summer? I feel there would be so many hijinks to mine during a Schitt’s Creek winter.
Have you painted yourself a vivid picture of what shooting in Canada is like in the middle of winter?
It could be … fun?
Not at all. It’s pretty damn bleak. [Laughs.] Also, the town in Ontario that we shoot is blossoming this time of year. The trees are turning green and the skies are blue and the air is fresh. There’s this bakery on the corners of an intersection where we shoot, and they have the best butter tarts. You don’t know what butter tarts are, you’re American! Think of the most delicious dessert from heaven. So we go to the bakery and we stand around outside in the sun, as opposed to crying tears of ice in the cold. That’s why we shoot in the summer. And also because we’re big babies.
At this point, if the Roses were to suddenly be reunited with their money, do you think they would leave the town?
This is only speculation, because if I give anything away, Dan will drop a bunch of locusts into my bedroom while I sleep. But I think Moira, no matter how comfortable she becomes in the town and no matter who she befriends, will get the fuck out of there tomorrow. In a heartbeat. Right now, she’d leave no matter what. Johnny will go with her because he’s such an adorable and loving husband. The kids have found their first true friends and true love, but still, both of them have this inherent worldly and travel-y wild side to them. I’m in the dark as much as you are. All I know for sure is that Moira would get the fuck out of there.
What would she do without her wigs?
She can fly them out when she misses them, wherever she is, whatever island she’s on, whatever part of Paris she’s in. She’ll find a way, don’t worry.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
“Schitt’s Creek” actress Annie Murphy was also a late-joiner, but says she’s made “great strides” online, thanks to help from co-star Daniel Levy. “Great strides. I think before the show, I had tweeted maybe three times and now look at me!” Murphy jokes. “Sometimes I retweet things twice a week!” “I’ve also, over the course of four seasons, been like, ‘Hey, you want to live tweet maybe tonight because the show is on? I don’t know? Could help.’ You’ve shown up. You’ve shown up,” says Levy. “Flourishing social media presence!” Murphy found social media “overwhelming.” “I think I just got quite overwhelmed by the constant bombardment of information and not necessarily information that I wanted to absorb,” she admits. “But it’s unavoidable.” Season four of “Schitt’s Creek” premiered Jan. 24 on the Pop Network in the U.S.
Welcome to actor Annie Murphy’s new sex and relationship column, Ask AnnieThing, where you, YES YOU, can ask her your most pressing life questions. In this column, she takes on dating in the #MeToo era.
Q: I’m casually dating, and the conversations on my most of dates frequently turn to #MeToo. Some dudes say super problematic things like “not all guys are like that” and “men are being attacked.” Explaining why these views are offensive and wrong is exhausting. What should I do? I feel like giving up dating.
FIRST OF ALL, let me begin by using up some of my 500 words to thank you for being my very first question-asker in my very first advice column. Thank you. My hands are uncomfortably clammy and I feel mildly ill, as opinions these days (no matter how tame) always seem to be met with very loud shouts of: “I say we KILL the beast!!!” but liiiiiike…it’s also very important to have said opinions, despite the threat of pitchforks and meanies. So here we go.
DO NOT GIVE UP DATING, PAL! Think about all of the interesting people, and weird family stories, and good (and bad) kisses, and potential trips to the aquarium you’ll miss out on if you do. No giving up. There are fish to be seen.
I do, however, totally understand your frustration with statements from guys like, “men are being attacked.” It’s hard to hear things like that and not have the impulse to break down a wall with your face. Or rest your face in your soup. Or at least face-palm your face. I get it, because I too have face-palmed my face.
It’s been a real struggle (especially over the past year or so) to react to inflammatory comments with articulate and thoughtful offerings, as opposed to a nice, simple, knee-jerky “Are you F-CKING kiddddiinnnnggg me.” BUT I challenge you (and me, and whoever else might be reading this) to give it a try. Sit down with yourself and a tea or a wine, or some f-ckin’ chips, or whatever you need, and try to latch onto some thoughts you’d feel really proud of yourself for saying next time you’re faced with a “I feel like men are being attacked.”
IMHO (trying IMHO out for the first time, not sure if I like it), a lot of guys who are saying things like this aren’t saying it to incur the wrath of billions of women over thousands of years. They’re saying these things because they’re confused and a little scared. Because they haven’t taken the time to sit down with a tea or a wine or some f-ckin’ chips to figure out exactly what they want to say and exactly how they want to say it. This incredible social shift is a new experience for women AND men, and with new experiences come new thoughts and feelings and emotions, and yes, a lot of the time, some very short-sighted questions.
It should not be up to women to educate men on all things #MeToo. It should be up to everybody to educate themselves. That said, much education comes from discussion. Some of those discussions happen in schools, or in the workplace, or on the internet. And fortunately/unfortunately, some of them happen on a date, when you’d rather be talking about that time your cousin choked on a hotdog at the Westminster Dog Show.
These conversations—#MeToo, not #hotdog—are so, so, so, important, and for the foreseeable future, no matter how frustrating, we have to have them. Hopefully your next (more thoughtful and patient? less annoyed?) conversations will lead to dinner, and then maybe another date. Where you can talk about dog shows, and tropical fish, and your favourite kind of f-ckin’ chips.
Got a question for Annie? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet at @FLAREfashion using the hashtag, #AskAnnieThing. She’s listening
The 14-episode season will begin in winter 2019.
Pop will continues its ride up Schitt’s Creek.
The cable network has renewed the Canadian comedy, created by and starring Eugene and Daniel Levy, for a fifth season. It’s expected to return in winter 2019, with a slightly larger 14-episode order. The news comes as the series’ fourth season is set to wrap April 11.
A signature series for the niche pop-culture network, a joint venture of CBS and Lionsgate, Schitt’s Creek follows a wealthy family who suddenly finds itself broke and forced to live in the aforementioned Creek, a small town the family once bought as a joke. Catherine O’Hara stars along with a cast that includes Annie Murphy and Chris Elliott.
“It is rare to find a television series that continues to deliver fanfare, critical acclaim and audience growth season after season,” Pop president Brad Schwartz said in a statement announcing the news Tuesday. “This gem of a show and its amazing ensemble cast, including the brilliant Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, bring Emmy-worthy performances to the screen that are both comedic and heartwarming.”
The series is produced in association with Canada’s CBC and Pop TV and is distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global. On Pop’s schedule, it joins a slate that includes Big Brother After Dark as well as reruns of Goldbergs, E.R. and Without a Trace.
This isn’t particularly about Annie, but Dan has made it to round 2 and is a top 10 finalist for the Audience Choice Award. Please take a moment and vote for him and share the link with friends. Our favorite tv genius deserves this! Tune in to see the winner accept the award LIVE on Sunday, March 11 at 8pm (9PM AT / 9:30 NT) on CBC.
I’ve added a ton of new images to the gallery from all the recent Schitt’s Creek press and interviews as well as some additions to appearances earlier this month. Check out an interview I came across from earlier this month. Enjoy!
January 23 – AOL Build: Panel
January 22 – 92Y An Evening With Schitt’s Creek
January 16 – Schitt’s Creek Premiere (Los Angeles)
January 14 – Winter TCA Tour: Panel
Photo Session #027
Photo Session #028
Things are about to get real in Schitt’s Creek. The Pop TV hit comedy returns for its fourth season starring Eugene Levy, Katherine O’Hara, Annie Murphy and Dan Levy. Centered around a family that went from being outrageously wealthy to broke, this season of the show is already being talked about as the funniest and most emotional to date.
Murphy and Dan Levy chatted with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith about their careers, the new season of the program and why this show has no egos.
DJ Sixsmith: Annie, who inspired you the most when you were first beginning your career as an actress?
Annie Murphy: Oh, heavy hitting questions right out of the gate. As cliché as it is, I was a huge Audrey Hepburn girl growing up. I would also say John Cleese. I was really crazy about “Fawlty Towers” growing up. Those were two inspirations and I also love anything Jimmy Stewart was in. Katherine O’Hara also, who I’m in this show with. I’ve been so full of admiration for her since I was in my early teens. I have a weird and eclectic handful of people.
DS: Dan, what’s the biggest difference between the person you are now in your career and the person you were as a host for MTV in Canada?
Dan Levy: I was 19 or 20 when I got the job at MTV. You’re just grateful for employment at that point. What was cool about the job was it was a brand new network out of Canada. My co-host and I at the time had a lot freedom to build our own show. It helped me realize that I had a passion to put something together from scratch. I love the all-encompassing job of show running. We had a lot of room to play and test at MTV. I think you learn from every experience. Now I have much larger responsibility and it’s one that has been informed and shaped by my experience growing up as a TV host. I knew at that time that I didn’t want to host for the rest of my life. It never came naturally to me.
DS: “Schitt’s Creek” is going into its fourth season. Why has the show worked so far?
AM: I think the show has worked so far because it is about a group of people who are trying their best and it’s set in a town that’s based on love, respect and inclusivity. I think especially in this insane political time that we’re living in, a place like that is a really wonderful place for people to be able to escape to. Even for just 22 minutes at a time. It’s not slapdick comedy, it’s just people being put in ridiculous and uncomfortable situations that bring humor to the show.
DL: I turned to my Dad when we first started out because I felt like his comedic sensibility really lent itself to this idea. Ever since, we’ve really been on the same page more or less when it came to decision making and ultimately what the show should look and feel like. We’ve had a really easy go of it. We have a great team that works with us. I hear horror stories of friends who are working on other productions that are not quite as ego-less as ours. You really get the sense that we are working on something special. All of us are sucking the marrow out of that experience, knowing it will likely never be the same once the show is done.
DS: Annie, how has your character Alexis Rose grown since the show first started?
AM: She’s come such a long way. I’m actually really grateful to the writers for taking her on the odyssey she’s gone on because right out of the gates on paper, Alexis is such a nasty handful and spoiled brat. She’s a self-absorbed rich girl and she’s grown so much in the writing. In Season 4, we see her pursuing self-betterment and education. She’s no longer defined by which man’s arm she’s hanging off or her possessions. You will also see her with a broken heart for the first time and I think it’s generally the first time she’s ever experienced that. It was really fun to play because Alexis is usually so silver linings driven and is always trying to make the best of everything.
DS: Annie, what’s the best part of working with Eugene and Dan Levy?
AM: Eugene Levy is such an incredible legend. He’s truly Jim’s dad from “American Pie.” He’s the kindest, most fatherly man, who is just concerned about everyone and making sure they’re comfortable on set. Dan truly takes a page out of Eugene’s book when he’s running the show. One of my favorite things to watch is Eugene watching Dan in a scene behind the monitors. Eugene is kind of a dance mom. Dance moms stand in the back of the room and make these strange and vague movements imitating their kids. Eugene stands behind the monitors watching Dan do a scene and he’s mouthing the lines and his face is doing what Dan’s face is doing on camera. Through all of this, he has the sweetest and most loving smile on his face. He is so proud of all of Dan. Watching that is interesting.
DS: Dan, what’s the coolest thing about working with your Dad every day?
DL: You can’t ask for a more supportive and professional person to work with. That was only something that I found out from working with him in a professional capacity. I think he and Patrick McKenna have set a tone that is about the work. They show up every day prepared and there is absolutely no ego to be found, which is such a rare thing in entertainment. As a result, the trickle down from that has really impacted the rest of the cast and the crew. We all have the same goal of wanting to make a great TV show and have fun.
DS: What can people expect this season when they tune in?
AM: I always get really scared that I’m going to get murdered in my sleep by Dan if I reveal too much. This season is the funniest one by far and it’s also has the most heart. There are a couple of little tear jerky scenes in there. I don’t want to say anything else for fear of losing my life.
DL: Our fourth season picks up the very next day from where we left off in season three. We are just taking it one step further. Everything that everyone loved in the third season will be there in spades this season. Relationships we’ve never seen before, characters being pushed way outside their comfort zones and it’s a really fun season. It’s also the most emotional season as well. We’re now four seasons in and I think we’ve peeled back the layers of these characters enough to be able to tell slightly more emotional stories. I think it’s personally our funniest season yet.
“Schitt’s Creek” returns to Pop TV on Wednesday, Jan 24 at 8pm EST/PST. Pop is a joint venture of CBS Corporation and Lionsgate.
When outrageously wealthy video-store magnate Johnny Rose, his soap-star wife Moira and their two twenty-something children—hipster gallerist David and career socialite Alexis—suddenly find themselves broke, they have no choice but to move to Schitt’s Creek, a small backwoods town Johnny once bought as a joke. With their pampered lives a memory, the Roses must face their humiliating hardship and figure out what it means to be a family, all within the unfamiliar environs of their new home. Daniel Levy, Eugene Levy, Annie Murphy & Emily Hampshire stopped by to tell us all about their series, “Schitt’s Creek.”
The hit series Schitt’s Creek is back for a fourth season on Pop (premieres January 24 at 8 pm), and its creators and stars — father and son Eugene and Daniel Levy — are back at 92Y with co-stars Annie Murphy, and Emily Hampshire. Moderated by Mandi Bierly, Deputy Editor of Yahoo Entertainment.
The hilarious series follows the travails of a wealthy video-store magnate, his soap-star wife, and their two twentysomething children when they lose all their money and wind up in the backwoods town of Schitt’s Creek. What misadventures will Season 4 bring? Join this team of brilliant funny people as they dish about their show and about playing one of TV’s most delightfully dysfunctional families.
The Canadian Screen Awards announced their nominations and our favorite show and cast made the list with 11 nominations! No show deserves this more. Check out all 11 nominations below:
Best Direction, Comedy
T.W. Peacocke for Schitt’s Creek: Grad Night
Paul Fox for Schitt’s Creek: New Car
Best Photography, Comedy
Gerald Packer for Schitt’s Creek: Grad Night
Best Writing, Comedy
Daniel Levy for Schitt’s Creek: Opening Night
Best Lead Actor, Comedy
Best Supporting or Guest Actor, Comedy
Best Lead Actress, Comedy
Best Supporting or Guest Actress, Comedy