Dustin Milligan spills Schitt's Creek behind-the-scenes stories
It’s Ted’s turn!
After recapping five seasons of Schitt’s Creek with showrunner, co-creator, and star Dan Levy for EW’s BINGE podcast, we invited fellow Canadian darling Dustin Milligan to join us for a special bonus episode.
Milligan, who plays veterinarian Ted Mullens on the sleeper hit CBC/Pop TV series, gleefully spilled behind-the-scenes secrets from his own favorite episodes of the show.
Here are some of his biggest reveals:
He first met Dan Levy while auditioning — alongside Martin Starr — for a role none of them got.
“I just remember I saw his name down [on the list], and then I looked over at him, and I was like, ‘Oh, you’re Dan Levy. My sister loves you on The Hills after-show,’” Milligan says. “I also said something about his eyebrows, because it’s all about mind games in auditions.”
He can ride a motorcycle “in theory” — but Hot Ted is actually a stunt double.
In season 2’s “Milk Money,” Alexis is shocked to discover the hot guy riding a motorcycle is actually a very tan and fit Ted, who has returned to Schitt’s Creek after taking — solo — the honeymoon trip he and Alexis had planned before she broke off their engagement.
“Believe it or not, it wasn’t me driving up on the motorcycle,” Milligan says. “They had a professional do it. You sort of see the operator… of the motorcycle getting off, but there’s this thing where he kind of like… he’s enjoying the ride. I don’t know what was going on, but there was definitely some thrusting going on against that leather seat, and Annie and I were dying watching it.”
He loves puns so much he kept making them until the show’s writers eventually let that become a regular part of his character.
“Generally on Schitt’s Creek, we do not improvise,” Milligan explains. “So I didn’t ask anybody if I could start doing these puns, I just started doing it. But I got the crew to laugh a little bit… I don’t know why Dan decided to let me keep doing it, but he did.”
He says a fan group sent dog treats to the set — and Dan Levy unknowingly ate one.
In the season 4 finale, “Singles Week,” Ted and David have a sweet but incredibly awkward heart-to-heart about Ted’s feelings for Alexis. As David leaves the vet’s office, he takes a bite out of what turns out to be a dog treat. Milligan says there was a moment when life imitated art.
“This Facebook group sent us a bunch of cupcakes to the set,” Milligan recalls. “I posted a photo of this cupcake that looks like my dog, Darrell, and the Facebook group reached out to me being like, ‘I hope you know that those were for dogs.’ I was just like, ‘I didn’t know that,’ I didn’t actually get to eat them, but I know for a fact that Dan did take a big bite — I think out of one of the ones that were intended for a dog.”
Milligan adds, “I don’t think he knows. I was also like, there’ll be an appropriate time to reveal this information publicly — and this must be it.”
He might be Annie Murphy’s biggest fan — even though it’s extra-awkward kissing her on camera.
“Any time I watch myself kissing somebody, I’m always like, ‘Why are you stretching your neck out so far?’” Milligan says. “Alexis is always wearing like super-tall platform shoes… so she’s usually taller than me by the time it all works out. Several of those, you can kind of see it where it’s like, I’m actually looking up at her, and then some of them I’m actually on… an apple box. So, not only am I craning my neck forward like some kind of ungodly giraffe trying to kiss her, but also I’m propped up because, not actually tall enough for that to be even.” But, he says with a punny grin, “While I was falling for her, I didn’t actually fall.”
Dan Levy was his first kiss with a guy — and despite many, many takes, he’s still not happy with how it came out.
In “Housewarming,” Patrick throws a pajama party at his new apartment, and after at first declining, Ted shows up — already drunk — and ready to play a game of Spin the Bottle. “That was a lot of fun to shoot, because it was also all the kids on the show, all in one scene together,” Milligan says. “That’s the first time all of us had all been together.”
It was also the first time Milligan kissed a man. “I just remember being like, ‘Wow, this scruff f—ing hurts.’ The Levys — Dan and Eugene, I should say; Sarah is not — but they’re a hairy bunch. It almost felt like it punctured my skin. I was just like, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to be bleeding from this kiss.’”
Though he says they did “four or five” takes, “and then Dan was like, ‘Let’s do another four or five’ — which, it’s his show,” Milligan was still unsatisfied with the final cut. “I was bummed because the one that ended up making it, if you look at it, it’s like, both of my lips are kissing just his upper lip. So I kind of f—ed it. It could have been better. We should have had more takes.”
To hear the full interview (including even more puns than in the video above!), you can download EW’s BINGE from Apple or Spotify — or listen below. Be sure you’re subscribed to feed, wherever you get your podcasts, so you can be the first to hear another bonus episode with Annie Murphy, and to get a sneak peek of our season 6 companion series, EW On Set, coming in January.