Dan Levy spills Schitt's Creek season 5 secrets: Cabaret, that hike, 'A Little Bit Alexis,' and more
It's showtime, bébé!
For season 3 of EW's BINGE podcast, we're talking to Schitt's Creek showrunner, co-creator, and star Dan Levy all about the Emmy-nominated CBC and Pop TV sleeper hit. Each week we recap a season of the comedy and Levy shares behind-the-scenes secrets about many of the show's biggest moments. Follow along and you'll be ready when the final season premieres in January.
In this week's episode, which you can hear below, we cover season 5, which starts with Moira on a movie set in Bosnia and ends with an incredible performance of Cabaret. Levy discusses giving Moira the win she deserves, how Stevie's story led to Cabaret, ‘A Little Bit Alexis,' and much more. Here are just a few highlights from this week's BINGE, which you can subscribe to on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Return of the Crows
Viewers already knew about Moira's work on The Crows Have Eyes franchise, so it was great to see her back on set in Bosnia working on another installment in season 5.
When faced with an unenthused director, Moira fought for her movie by suggesting changes and inspiring him to get behind the project. "I wanted her to have a big win. I wanted Moira to finally be validated," Levy says, "I wanted there to be a legitimacy to her career."
The new film also gave us that unforgettable crow costume — prosthetic beak and all — and voice. "I remember her coming out of the hair and makeup truck in that wig and the prosthetic beak and being like, ‘Okay, great, this is exactly what I wanted,'" Levy adds. "Her impulses are so unique and there will never be anyone like her. You write something and she takes that and makes magic out of it."
The confidence and sense of hope Moira brought back to Schitt's Creek from Bosnia gave new energy to her character and the storylines of season 5. "It's so new for Moira because she's been so beaten down by the experience that to give her that sense of hope was crucial," Levy shares, "it was a really fun season to play and a really fun season to write because it was very hopeful and excitable."
Patrick's Big Steps Forward
Happy in his relationship with David, Patrick went through a lot of personal growth in season 5. He moved into his own apartment and finally came out to his parents, developments that allowed viewers to get to know the character better.
Getting the apartment was important for Patrick and it also created an opportunity for an epic — and eventful — housewarming party. The high school slumber party-themed event got wild after a very drunk Ted plants a big, enthusiastic kiss on David during a game of spin the bottle.
"He knows deep down that he probably shouldn't be because it really does mean nothing," Levy says about Patrick's reaction to the kiss. "To show a little bit of the cracks in the veneer of Patrick I think is really valuable in building him up to what becomes of his character over in the second half of the show."
Another crack in his veneer came when David invites Patrick's parents to a surprise birthday only to learn they don't know he's gay. "I knew that I wanted there to be a side of Patrick that we hadn't seen yet. I wanted there to be a skeleton in the closet," Levy shares. "With a character that's so confident, it's so important, especially knowing what I wanted to end with in terms of their relationship."
To add to Patrick's stress, David was taken aback to learn his boyfriend had been keeping his sexuality a secret. "I felt heartbroken for David that he's like, ‘Wait, you didn't tell them?' to then immediately having so much empathy for Patrick who is struggling so much to figure out how to do this and then kind of back again when David's like willing to basically go back into the closet if necessary to get his boyfriend through this," Levy says.
A Little Bit Alexis
One of the season's biggest stories was the town musical. The audition process for Cabaret gave us one of the show's most iconic and viral moments, thanks to Alexis.
Searching for a lead actress turned out to be a difficult task, so Alexis graciously offered her services. And who could turn down the trained singer and star of critically reviewed limited reality series "A Little Bit Alexis," which actress Annie Murphy actually wrote.
"She has always sort of been surrounded by musicians and new people and producers and said, ‘Yeah, let me see what I can do," and came back to us with a banger," Levy shares. "Now, I'll get tweets from predominately gay men who are in clubs and the song will play. I think gay bars and clubs are like playing it, which to me is the greatest compliment."
Unfortunately for Alexis, she didn't get the part.
From David's lack of interest in hiking to a branch going straight through Patrick's shoe, this couple's trip was a mess from the start. A mess that stressed out a typically-laid back Patrick, a change of pace that Levy enjoyed because it showed Patrick being "extra" for once as the frustration slowly built up.
Speaking of that branch, that painful development came from an incident from Levy's own life. "I was taking my dog for a walk and stepped on a branch that went right through my shoe. I'm fine…but it was a strange thing."
This seemingly-doomed adventure allowed for a role reversal, where David is the one to salvage the hike by literally carrying Patrick the rest of the way on his back. "Then for David to be rewarded with what happens, I thought was a really nice turn and twist," Levy adds, referencing Patrick's marriage proposal.
The choice of four rings to replace the four David always wear is both a romantic touch and testament to how well Patrick knows his finacé.
"It was an easy way of adding like an extra sucker punch to the emotionality of that scene by saying, ‘Oh, he really sees this person and knows what he wants and is thoughtful and caring and has taken the time to really know who this person is,'" Levy adds.
Stevie Goes to the Cabaret
The reason Levy landed on Cabaret for the musical had a lot to do with Stevie. "Because I knew … what Stevie was going to do at the end of it. And I knew how that song could service that character," Levy shares, adding that actress Emily Hampshire has always dreamed of playing Cabaret‘s Sally Bowles. "As she said, ‘I could never have dreamed that playing Stevie playing Sally would be how I did it and I wouldn't have it any other way,'" he says.
With that incredible performance, Schitt's Creek season 5 ends without a dry eye in the house.
Thank you so much for going on this journey with us as we revisit five great seasons of Schitt's Creek, but we're not done just yet. We have some amazing bonus episodes of BINGE where we sit down with stars Annie Murphy and Dustin Milligan AND we have the upcoming EW On Set podcast when Schitt's Creek returns for its final season in January.
A Schitt's Creek immersive experience is coming to New York City and Los Angeles in November, and Dan Levy is hosting a charity fundraiser through Omaze and flying one lucky fan out to N.Y.C. to visit the pop-up with him! Get all the details here.