She had to wait until the final season of “Schitt’s Creek,” but Annie Murphy finally scored her first individual SAG Award nomination. Her portrayal of Alexis Rose on the Pop TV comedy won over viewers thanks to her pitch perfect send-up of vapid Hollywood socialites. Murphy has already collected an Emmy Award for her performance in the farewell season, and SAG voters could provide her with one final triumph on the “Schitt’s Creek” victory lap.
At the upcoming ceremony, Murphy is nominated for Best TV Comedy Actress alongside Christina Applegate, Linda Cardellini (both of “Dead to Me”), Kaley Cuoco (“The Flight Attendant”) and her TV mom Catherine O’Hara (“Schitt’s Creek”). All of these women are also nominated in Comedy Ensemble, which Murphy was cited in last year as well. Despite racking up previous SAG nominations, none of these nominees has ever won with the acting guild.
Alexis’ vocal fry and “ew, David” catchphrase launched the character into pop culture icon status as “Schitt’s Creek” grew in popularity. Murphy incorporated a surprising amount of growth for the character as the series continued. In the final season, the actress showcases Alexis’ good-natured soul underneath the self-centered exterior. In one of the season’s most emotional moments, she chooses to say goodbye to her longtime boyfriend Ted (Dustin Milligan) when she realizes the pair are on two different paths in life.
The SAG Awards do not divide their TV categories into lead and supporting, and Murphy is the only nominee in this combined Comedy Actress race who competes in a supporting field at other awards shows. While the trophy usually goes to an actress with a lead performance, major exceptions have been made. Uzo Aduba claimed back to back wins for “Orange is the New Black,” as did Betty White for “Hot in Cleveland.” And Megan Mullally scored three consecutive wins for playing Karen on “Will & Grace.” Murphy is a major focus of “Schitt’s Creek,” so screen time should not prohibit her from joining these past supporting players in the winners circle.
A bigger hurdle for Murphy is competition from her own co-star Catherine O’Hara. Only two women have been able to win this category when nominated alongside an actress from the same series: Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) bested Alex Borstein in 2018, and Mullally defeated Debra Messing in 2003. But with passion for “Schitt’s Creek” still running high (and the lyrics to “A Little Bit Alexis” still bopping along in everyone’s head), Murphy could easily overcome this statistic.
This article is a part of Gold Derby’s “SAG Awards nominee profile” series spotlighting the 2021 contenders in film and TV.
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