Dan Levy Q&A: ‘Schitt’s Creek’
“From a viewer’s perspective, there is something magnetic about their dynamic,” said “Schitt’s Creek” actor Dan Levy as we chat via chat (see above) about working with two comedy legends — his father Eugene Levy and Catharine O’Hara — who play his parents on this comedy series. The Levys created this laffer that airs on Pop, which follows the misadventures of a wealthy family forced to relocate to a small town when their fortune suddenly evaporates.
Comparisons with his famous dad kept Dan far away from the world of comedy for many years. “Nepotism is an area that a lot of people love to sort of throw out there prematurely,” he discloses. “It was really important to prove to myself that I had something to offer on camera, or behind the camera, before I involved him in anything creative that I did.” After a stint as a cohost on “MTV Live,” he believes “Schitt’s Creek” offered the perfect opportunity for collaboration because, “this premise, a wealthy family losing their money, had never been explored through his comedic lens before, which is a style of comedy that is rooted in something very real and very emotional.”
It also offered an opportunity for Eugene to reunite with O’Hara, a frequent collaborator from “Second City TV” (for which they both won a writing Emmy in 1982) and the Christopher Guest films “Best in Show” (2000) and “Waiting for Guffman” (1996). “I don’t think you can even articulate what it is. I think they just have something that works, so right off the bat we had a dynamic audiences would buy into.”
Dan plays David, whose life falls apart when his art gallery is seized by the IRS along with the rest of his family’s assets. “Every opportunity that’s come his way has been paid for,” he explains, “and yet he firmly believes that he’s had a strong hand in his life.” When he comes to Schitt’s Creek, however, “all of that falls away, and you’re dealing with a character who has no idea who he is, because everything he built his life around was a complete construct, and wasn’t solid in any way.”
As for the sophomore season, Levy admits, “you want to live up to the expectations that fans have formed for season one, and sort of take it one step further.” In doing so, “we take an even deeper look at who these people are, a family that has been disconnected for so long realizing that they need each other. There’s actually some lovely emotional moments that play out in our second season, which I think takes the audience by surprise.”