The actress behind Alexis Rose on the hilarious yet unexpectedly heartfelt sitcom talks with Newsday ahead of the Season 5 premiere.
Annie Murphy knows a thing or two about loss — as in home-burning-down-and-losing-everything kind of loss.
Which must’ve prepared her well to play Alexis Rose, the spoiled little rich girl whose family hits the skids and winds up living in a rundown motel on “Schitt’s Creek,” Pop TV’s hilarious yet unexpectedly heartfelt Canadian sitcom, which launches a 14-episode fifth season (its longest season yet) on Jan. 16. (Fans can also catch the cast in a live tour that hits Manhattan’s Beacon Theatre on Feb. 18, Town Hall on Feb. 19.)
“American Pie’s” Eugene Levy and his son, Daniel Levy, co-created the series, and co-star as father and son, with Catherine O’Hara (Eugene’s partner-in-crime on “SCTV” and all those Christopher Guest flicks) as Moira Rose, a former soap star and wigged out mom — seriously, her wigs are hallucinogenic.
Murphy’s take on daughter Alexis (with a spot-on Kardashian-worthy vocal fry tone) is just one reason she’s a standout on the show. A Toronto native, Murphy, 32, spoke by phone with Newsday contributor Joseph V. Amodio.
When you first started shooting this series, it must’ve felt like you were invading a Levy family reunion, what with Eugene Levy, his son, and daughter, Sarah Levy (who plays Twyla the waitress), all working on the show. I presume it feels different now.
Yes, I feel very different from day one — and thank God. When I found out I got the part, I was over the moon. Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara are two of my favorite actors. And I was so excited to work with them that I totally forgot . . . I’d actually have to work with them. Be an actor, pretend to be professional with these people. That realization made me sick. I couldn’t sleep, wracking my brain for an excuse not to go into work the first day. The only thing I could think of was a dentist appointment. But, of course, could I call in and be like, “Hey guys, uh, I can’t believe I forgot, but I have this dental appointment and . . .” No. So I dragged my trembling corpse into the studio and focused on shooting those first few scenes, and after that I could breathe. Now, as cheesy as it sounds, everyone is such good buds.
Despite not being siblings, you and Dan certainly are convincing. Do you have sibs of your own?
I am sibless, actually.
I always wanted a sibling. I remember going to friends’ houses and being fascinated when they got into fights with their siblings. I’ve said this before, but it’s true — when I met Dan it was like we’d known each other, like we were this begrudging, bickering old married couple in a past life. Right off the bat, we knew how to push each other’s buttons, tease each other. It just sort of . . . happened. We have this rhythm, and it’s so much fun. We’re also aware how brothers and sisters share certain behaviors. The same way of reacting to things, or picking up something. So that was in our heads from the start.
Alexis has gotten a comeuppance — and her heart broken — in recent seasons. What’s up for her this year?
Well, what she comes to realize is because of what she’s put Ted (Alexis’ boyfriend, played by Dustin Milligan) through, she has to get out of her comfort zone a bit, to show Ted how she really feels. (She laughs.) Dan will be a disappointed dad if I reveal too much . . . but there are a couple of [musical] performances coming up and Alexis is definitely out of her comfort zone on those.
Do you sing in real life?
Only when I’m all by myself. Or in the back of an Uber headed home late at night.
So what’s it like having your apartment burn down?
We lost basically everything. My husband [Canadian indie rocker Menno Versteeg] and I had been at my parents’ cottage for the weekend . . . so we didn’t have much with us. We were like most people, thinking, oh, it’ll never happen to me. I should say at the outset — no one was hurt, which is the most important thing. But . . . it was a huge learning experience — in how lucky we are to have somewhere to go. We lived with my husband’s parents for months. But also we learned how stuff is just . . . stuff. It’s replaceable. There were a couple of heartbreakers, certain items that were tough to lose. So, yeah . . . it was surreal. But there was a lot of growth.
Was this before “Schitt’s Creek?”
Just before I auditioned. Ohhh, it was bad. My house had burned down, we had no money, I hadn’t booked a job in two years. So “Schitt’s Creek” really couldn’t have come at a better time.
Schitt’s Creek has returned in Canada! The season 5 premieres on January 24th. I’ve added screencaps from the new episode as well as stills. I won’t be posting any spoilers on here as the show airs differently on both countries. Enjoy!
“Schitt’s Creek” star Annie Murphy‘s yearly Christmas tradition includes underwear.
“We usually have a beautiful, sparkling Christmas tree and my dad reads us ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales‘ in front of the fire and it’s all very cozy,” she told Page Six via email recently. “Then we pack up and head to meet my extended family, where we live out our yearly tradition of everyone gifting everyone underwear in their stockings.
Murphy and her family then take a family photo wearing the new underwear on their heads.
“I … I just don’t know,” she said.
The 31-year-old actress also shared her holiday wish list, which includes some pretty tall orders as far as gifts go.
“World peace. I know it’s a big ask, but I really really really want it,” she said, jokingly adding, “World peas. Actually, no. If I get the gift of food for all the world it would not be peas. Peas are terrible and a joke food.”
Murphy also said she’s asking for a house elf from “Harry Potter.”
“I have yet to hear if those things officially exist or not, but if they do, and if they’re happy in their line of work, I want one,” she said. Murphy would also settle for a little brother or sister too.
“I’ve been asking for one since I was a little kid, and my mean parents never coughed one up. Tick-tock, guys,” she told us. “I WILL take EITHER a house elf OR a sibling, as I feel like they can perform similar tasks.”
The “Schitt’s Creek” holiday special premieres Dec. 19 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Pop TV.
— ET Canada (@ETCanada) December 17, 2018
Congratulations to the cast of Schitt’s Creek on this well deserved Critic’s Choice award nomination. The winners will be revealed at the star-studded Critics’ Choice Awards gala, broadcast live January 13 on the CW at 7 PM ET/PT.
BEST COMEDY SERIES
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You can view the full list of nominees here.
Schitt’s Creek‘s David is going to liven up his ho-hum relationship with Patrick even if it literally kills him.
In this exclusive sneak peek at the riotous Pop comedy’s Season 5 premiere (Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 10/9c), Alexis — faux concerned that her brother’s romance with Patrick is on a collision course with “snoozetown” — invites her sib and his other half to accompany her and Ted on their latest intimacy-boosting “adventure date.”
For his part, David is too perturbed by the mere accusation that his love life has hit a repetitive patch to even consider such an overture. But Alexis has the receipts, courtesy of a decades-old issue of Major Lady magazine.
Press PLAY above to watch David and Alexis do their supremely entertaining brother-sister dance, and then scroll down for a first look at the somewhat dangerous looking double date that results. And programming reminder: As a pre-Season 5 appetizer (or is it a Season 4 dessert?), Schitt’s Creek will air a standalone Christmas special on Wednesday, Dec. 19, at 10/9c.
Annie and the cast of Schitt’s Creek attended Vulture Festival this weekend. I’ve added a bunch of photos from the event as well as new promotional images of the cast promoting the Schitt’s Creek Christmas Special. Enjoy all the pretties. I can’t wait for the Christmas special and season five.
— Schitt's Creek (@SchittsCreek) November 7, 2018
I’ve added some public appearance additions of Annie as well as a couple magazine scans. I’ll be working on adding season 4 extras of Schitt’s Creek soon. Enjoy!
Schitt’s Creek fans, it’s time to brush up on your Tina Turner: The quirky comedy will be back for a fifth season on Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 10/9c, Pop TV announced Monday.
Season 5 will span 14 episodes, making it the series’ longest run yet. Read on for the official season description:
The Roses are finally thriving in Schitt’s Creek and find themselves ready to take their personal relationships and business pursuits to the next level. Moira returns from a breakthrough film shoot in Bosnia with a clear exit strategy and a renewed sense of purpose, and with that newfound energy, she is inspired to leave her mark on the town by launching her most ambitious artistic endeavor yet. Meanwhile, the reputation of the Rosebud Motel is steadily building under Johnny’s leadership, but managing the individual needs of his staff, Stevie and Roland, proves to be a greater challenge. With Rose Apothecary running smoothly, David is now focusing on nurturing his relationship with Patrick, and from apartment hunting to joining a baseball team, he proves he’s willing to go the extra mile. Alexis, having finally achieved some stability in both romance and career, isn’t one to let things get stale, so she tries to spice things up with Ted while contemplating a next step that could take her beyond Schitt’s Creek.
Pop also announced an airdate for the Schitt’s Christmas special, which technically serves as the Season 4 finale: Wednesday, Dec. 19, at 10/9c. The installment will find Johnny hoping to celebrate the holidays with an old-fashioned Rose family Christmas party, but getting everyone on board at the last minute will take serious effort.