Eugene Levy Interview: ‘Schitt’s Creek’
“It turned out to be the best thing I’ve been involved with in my entire career,” claims Eugene Levy of “Schitt’s Creek.” The actor received an Emmy nomination for Comedy Actor for playing Johnny Rose and is nominated for Comedy Series as a producer. The final season of the hit comedy gave the actor plenty to be thankful for. Watch the exclusive video interview above.
Levy describes Johnny as operating in “CEO mode” in order to guide his family through their time in Schitt’s Creek. This leads to Johnny being the comedic straight man among the wildly flamboyant characters which compose his family. “It was an exciting choice for me to play straight,” reveals Levy, who played more over-the-top characters earlier in his career thanks to “SCTV” and the films of Christopher Guest. It was sometimes a conscious choice to go for wacky roles. “I’ve always found the closer I get to playing a character that looks like me, the less confidence I had,” admits Levy. But the actor rose to the challenge in playing Johnny, noting “I got comfortable playing someone who looked like me.”
Some of the comfort was undoubtedly aided by the people who surrounded him on the cast and creative team. The actor’s son Dan Levy pitched the idea to him and the pair play father and son on the series. “I was delighted and thrilled that he came to me for the first time,” says Levy, explaining that his son previously wanted to accomplish his artistic pursuits on his own accord.
It has also been a joy for Levy to play opposite Catherine O’Hara, one of his longest standing collaborators of over forty years. “It’s so comfortable,” Levy says of their working relationship, “I think the history comes through…we don’t have to do that much acting to give people the sense that these people have been married for forty years.” Though he and O’Hara are a match made in comedy heaven on the series, he jokes that “we’ve spent our lives in comedy and yet innately we’re not funny people.”
Levy has two Emmy wins under his belt for writing “SCTV.” However, he was never nominated for an acting Emmy until last year. He admits that the repeated recognition for his acting chops on “Schitt’s Creek” feels “pretty damn good!” Ultimately though, it is getting to create alongside his children and close friends that “made this experience of ‘Schitt’s Creek’ all the sweeter.”