Annie Murphy couldn’t help but laugh when I alerted her to the fact that, from now on, she will be referred to as “Emmy-nominated actor Annie Murphy.”
“It’s the highlight of quarantine, that’s for sure,” the 33-year-old giggled over the phone shortly after “Schitt’s Creek” received 15 Emmy Award nominations from the Television Academy on Tuesday, including one for Murphy’s hilarious portrayal of riches-to-rags socialite Alexis Rose.
If you’ve been isolating under a rock lately, “Schitt’s Creek” is a CBC comedy series created by father-son duo Eugene Levy and Dan Levy about the wealthy Rose family, who lose everything and are forced to move to a small town they once purchased as a joke. Although the series has always had a dedicated fan base, its reach has exploded over the last few years thanks to Netflix.
In Murphy’s eyes, the fact that the audience and Emmys recognition came for the show’s sixth and final season makes it all the sweeter. She chatted with HuffPost about her nomination, saying goodbye to “Schitt’s Creek” during a global pandemic, and what a virtual Emmys might look like.
How do you feel? This must be a really cool moment for you.
It’s crazy. I can’t believe it. All of the cliches are ringing uncomfortably true. I can’t think of any other ways to describe it other than surreal and an honour.
At this point, it’s so incredible just the fact that this is our last season and it’s not just the actors being recognized, it’s hair and makeup and the writers and directors and editors. All these people who are so talented and have been working so hard to succeed are being recognized, too.
I think that’s what’s so special about it. And the nominations come when even more people have fallen for “Schitt’s Creek” due to its availability on Netflix and the viewing habits of now-quarantined audiences.
I feel like we kind of caught people who were like, “Eh, I don’t really care to watch that show,” to all of a sudden they’re like, “I need content to watch,” and got sucked into the “Schitt’s Creek” void. I mean it’s really the perfect way to go out. This is a show that is so special to me and everyone that made it, and also has become really special to people ― I think, over the last two years in particular ― when the world needed more love and inclusivity and acceptance than usual. Yeah, I really couldn’t think of a better way to finish this up.
Your house had just burned down and you were about to give up acting when you booked the role of Alexis Rose on “Schitt’s Creek.” Considering the whole journey you’ve now been on, what are you taking away from the experience?
If I think about it too much, I need like a dark, soundproof closet immediately. I’ll have to go have a big cry. [Laughs] It’s been a truly life-changing experience in every sense. And to look back on the experiences that I’ve had and the people that I’ve met and the friends that I’ve made, I just feel so fucking lucky. I really, really do. This truly has been the best six years of my life and it’s always something that I’m going to look back on so fondly. And, don’t get me wrong, I’m going to be inviting myself over to Eugene [Levy]’s and Catherine [O’Hara]’s houses for dinner every time I’m in town. We’re all in touch, we have a text chain going on, so it’s nice that the only thing we really have to say goodbye to is our characters, because the people are sticking around.
Wow, what does that text thread look like today?
A lot of really excited, kind of flailing GIFs. And I had a good chat with Catherine who was at her cottage and very excited. I had a FaceTime with Sarah Levy. It was just before the nominations when I talked with Sarah and I was like, “Are you going to Zoom with your dad?” And she was like, “Um ... no? He’s out for his daily walk. I don’t even know if he really knows this is happening right now?” So yeah, Eugene was just out for a stroll. We’ve all been celebrating in our own way.
Dan [Levy] got a lot of love too with directing and writing, as well as acting. Have you talked to him?
Yeah, we’ve been texting too. I mean his workaholism has paid off in an incredible way. He has been all-in with this show for six years, and the fact that it is producer and actor and writer and director [nominations], that says it all. He really has done everything and has done a beautiful job, so I am really, really excited for him. I hope it’s awards for him, I really do. And for Eugene and Catherine, oh, my gosh! What a way to go out that would be.
You guys were able to say goodbye when you wrapped on set, but has it been a weird time ending a show in quarantine? You would have been on your goodbye tour and doing more in-person press, so how has it been to wrap things up during the coronavirus pandemic?
[Laughs] Yeah, it certainly did not go according to plan, but it has been kind of fun in a way. I do hope very much that we’ll be able to tour some time in the future, but it has been really interesting to see everyone’s Zoom behaviour and the way people look after long interviews and the way that their faces rest and how some people ― ahem, Eugene Levy ― are unable to figure out Zoom. So it has provided a lot of entertainment in its own very unique way.
True! We don’t even know what the Emmys are going to look like in terms of if it will be virtual or in person. Have you heard anything? And what are you looking forward to if it is a Zoom ceremony and you win?
If it’s a Zoom ceremony, I’m looking forward to dressing up from the waist up and being very comfortable from the waist down. And, you know, ordering, let’s be honest, probably pizza, and drinking, let’s be honest, probably beer. Being in the comfort of your own house is kind of my favourite thing in the whole world. So, if it does end up being over Zoom, so be it. That’s fine with me.