Interview

“Schitt’s Creek” Star Annie Murphy Chats About Her Role In The New Comedy Series

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With new comedy series Schitt’s Creek set to air on CBC tonight at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) with a double episode for its premiere season, Real Style had the chance to chat with star Annie Murphy.

Toronto-based Murphy plays socialite Alexis Rose, the daughter of once-wealthy Johnny (Eugene Levy) and Moira (Catherine O’Hara) and sister of David (Dan Levy).

The actress shares her thoughts on  the biggest challenges of her role, her on-screen family, what to expect from the Canadian show and why the living just may be easier in a small town.

Real Style: What is the most challenging aspect of playing your character on Schitt’s Creek, Alexis Rose, and why?

Annie: Alexis is an incredibly spoiled, incredibly self-centred person. Because of that, she has a tendency to treat people in a not-so-nice way. For me on set, having to do things like throw muffins at people to get their attention and just be incredibly condescending, rude and flippant, that’s been the tricky part. To just be a real piece of work!

Real Style: You’ve had the opportunity to work with Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara and Dan Levy on the series. How has the experience of working with these stars been?

Annie: It’s been totally incredible. Especially Eugene and Catherine, I’ve looked up to those two for a very, very long time. Dan is absolutely a real, incredible hard worker and he’s become a dear friend of mine. It’s been a wonderful experience so far.

Real Style: What originally inspired you to pursue acting as a career and why?

Annie: That’s a good question. I started acting when I was really young, just doing school plays and things like that. I think being able to use your imagination all the time and to be able to step in to a different life. I think you only have one life and to be able to kind of take on different roles is a really special thing. That’s why I got into acting.

Real Style: Can you identify at all with your character on Schitt’s Creek? You’ve mentioned that she’s a spoiled socialite, but are there qualities that you and Alexis Rose share?

Annie: There is one quality about Alexis that I can identify with, and that is she has a really lovely ability to find the good in any situation she’s in, to try and find the silver lining and keep things more or less positive all the time. Not to say that I can accomplish that all the time, but it’s definitely something that I try to do, to stay positive.

Real Style: How are the two of you different from each other?

Annie: I rarely throw muffins at people to get their attention! (*laughs)

Real Style: That’s good to know! What would you like fans to know about Schitt’s Creek before they begin watching the series?

Annie: That they shouldn’t expect a sitcom, in the sense that it’s not the set-up and then the punchline. The humour in the show really stems from the characters honestly reacting to this very bizarre and miserable situation that they find themselves in.

Real Style: What has been your favourite part of working on a Canadian series?

Annie: Definitely the people involved and not only cast, but crew. Everyone is genuinely kind and enthusiastic, and it was a really warm set to be a part of.

Real Style: Also, what were some of the challenges of working on a Canadian set and production, as opposed to an American one?

Annie: No, it’s hard to distinguish between those two in this context. I think my biggest challenge for this production was just getting over my nerves on the first day of work, but I did! I got that first take out of my system and then it was great after that.

Real Style: Describe your dream cast and your ideal role.

Annie: That’s something that I need to do some more thinking on. I don’t think there is one particular role that I’ve always dreamed of, it’s just hopefully being able to play a whole bunch of them before my career’s over. There isn’t one particular one that really stands out for me.

For dream cast, I’m a big fan of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia and basically all of the HBO shows. I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan, so throw me in there and I’d be happy

Real Style: Anyone in particular who you’d absolutely love to work with, whether it’s a director, producer or actor?

Annie: There’s always Ryan Gosling, isn’t there? I think Woody Allen would be a blast, too. Hopefully one day! You can always hope.

Real Style: Last but not least, Schitt’s Creek is set in a small town which Alexis and her family can’t stand. Would you ever move to a small town yourself for a new role?

 Annie: Yeah, I would. Actually, my folks have a cottage that’s really more or less in the middle of nowhere. I spend as much time as I can there during the summer, although I do need to have a good balance of city and country. It’s certainly a really great change of pace, just to be in the middle of nowhere with a book. It’s a nice change of pace.

Real Style: You’re based in Toronto. It would be a major change to relocate to a small town for a role!

Annie: It would. As long as it’s not a permanent move, I would be a happy camper.



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