Written By: Hayley Bradbrook
Photo: Amanda Rosenthal Talent Agency
Annie Murphy’s road to success is anything but ordinary.
She hadn’t booked a job in over a year, and her house had just burned down. Maybe it was fate, timing, luck, or all of the above, but in 2015 Annie Murphy got the call that would shoot her to super stardom. She would star in one of the funniest Canadian TV comedy to date called Schitt’s Creek.
Murphy currently plays Alexis Rose, a former socialite who has to come to grips of her family losing their fortune and ends up living with her family in a motel in a town literally called Schitt’s Creek (we’re not joking there is actually a town with that name).
JossBecause sat down with the Canadian actress to talk about working with the living legends Eugene Levy, and Catherine O’Hara, her guilty pleasures reality TV shows, and her crazy run-in with Martin Short.
Schitt’s Creek is nominated for 13 Canadian Screen Awards this year including Best Comedy Series! How did you find out about the great news?
I found out in kind of a backwards way. The show’s publicist called me, and after about 25 minutes of us shooting the shit about the new Thai restaurant by her house, and about what night would be good for me to come over and eat ribs. I asked her if there was a reason for her call. She said there was a reason, but she didn’t want to tell me what it was. I then pried it out of her that she was calling to inform me that I hadn’t been nominated for a CSA, but the GOOD NEWS was that the show had been nominated for 13.
You work with Canadian icons Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara on a daily basis, what have you learned from them?
A ton of things. I’ve learned that Eugene does not enjoy eating ‘family style’ when out at a restaurant. I’ve learned that Catherine slowly swats your arm back and forth and says “no! no! no! no!” when you’re telling her something gross or gossipy.
I’ve also learned that though they are two of the most professional actors I’ve ever met. They have such a sense of fun and playfulness and enthusiasm and kindness (soo many nouns, I know, but they’re all true) that they bring with them to set every day. They’re both such great examples of actors who have been intelligent in their career choices – they take on work that makes them happy and that really means something to them.
Your show is currently airing it’s third season, what can fans expect on the upcoming episodes with your character and the Rose family?
Oh what CAN’T they expect?! Anything could happen. (I get scared that Dan will have me kidnapped and sent away to some remote non-tropical island if I give too much away.)
Alexis keeps on trucking with her independence and her high school education, which I’m very proud of her for doing. David may or may not have some sparks flying (I’m not saying in his love life necessarily, maybe he turns the general store into a welding studio, okay!?). Moira continues to take it upon herself to impress whoever she can with her vocal range and her political prowess. Johnny meets a new family who appreciates him for everything he is, and moves to Paris to pursue a career in taxidermy. *Some of this information is true.
Your character Alexis is constantly dressed to the nines and has impeccable style. How has your character influenced your own personal style?
I definitely wish I was as immersed in the fashion world as Alexis is. I love fashion, because there is SO MUCH FASHION and so many accessories, shoes, hats and ways to assemble all of the fashion things. I tend to get overwhelmed and resort to what I know, which is jeans and Chucks (no top). But, I will say that playing Alexis has taught me to take a little bit more pride in my appearance (like, brushing your hair is nice sometimes), and to try to carry myself with a little bit more confidence.
Dan Levy said in a past interview that the show came about when he was watching reality TV and wondered what would happen if a family like the Kardashians lost all their money, and if they would still act the same. What reality shows are your guilty pleasure?
I have been known to watch a six-hour Chopped marathon without realizing any time has gone by, and I’ve also been known to go through a box of Kleenex while watching Undercover Boss. I was also obsessed with America’s Next Top Model, and I guess I still am, but I’ve lost track of which season we’re on and where to find it. Is it even any good now without Tyra? Probably, who am I kidding.
We’re in such a wonderful time for television, especially for women in comedy. How does it feel to be apart of that?
It feels pretty effing lovely. I’m so lucky to be a part of a show that allows it’s comedy to rest so heavily on the shoulders of the female characters. I’m surrounded by a group of women who have such immense talent and energy and who I have watched breathe a whole lot of humanity into these characters. I feel like that’s still a rare opportunity in this industry, but it hopefully won’t be for long.
You have been on such a whirlwind since starting the show, has there been one particular experience that had you thinking “is this real life, and how did I end up here?!”
On our first press trip to New York (I should say, that in and of itself was like ?!?!?!?!), we stayed at the Waldorf Hotel and were taken out for this lovely steak dinner and lots of wine, and it was a blizzard outside. Just as I was crawling into bed, my phone rang and it was Dan [Levy], and he was like “come up to room whatever, we’re watching my dad and I on Seth Meyers.” So I went up, knocked on the door, and MARTIN SHORT ANSWERED THE DOOR WEARING A TUXEDO, CARRYING A TRAY OF CHAMPAGNE and said “Do come in, Miss. Murphy…” So that’s a memory that will be seared into my brain for a while, I hope.
Favourite Movie of 2016
It’s a toss-up between Deadpool and Moonlight. JUST KIDDING. Deadpool is a flaming heap of compost.
Stranger Things vs. The Crown
The Crown, but partially because I haven’t watched Stranger Things yet and I’m tired of hearing people say “80’s nostalgia”.
This is too hard!
You can catch Annie on the latest season of Schitt’s Creek Tuesdays at 9/9:30NT on CBC or if your in the states Wednesdays at 8/7c on PopTV.