Schitt's Creek star Annie Murphy spills behind-the-scenes secrets and stories
After recapping Schitt’s Creek over 5 seasons with Dan Levy on our EW’s Binge podcast, Annie Murphy joined us for a special bonus episode all about Alexis. Murphy, who plays the youngest Rose on the beloved Canadian comedy, sat down with us to talk about her favorite episodes and spill behind-the-scenes secrets.
Here is some of what Murphy revealed:
Moira and Alexis’ painful lunch is one of her favorite scenes
While the extraordinarily uncomfortable mother-daughter lunch in season 3 was hard to watch, it was fun to shoot, according to Murphy. Both women are used to pretending everything is fine when things are anything but, yet that was not the case that afternoon at the diner. “They do this all the time, and why wouldn’t this be just a walk in the park?” Murphy joked.
Also, it was one of the first scenes featuring only the two actresses. Imagine sitting opposite the iconic Catherine O’Hara. “She’s so much fun to work with, and it’s a schooling every single day. She does a scene flawlessly, start to finish, and then does it again, completely differently but flawlessly, start to finish,” Murphy shared.
Going back to school intimidated Annie
Alexis Rose was ready to take over when she went back to finish high school, but she was alone on that front. While Schitt’s Creek has put Murphy in situations with a variety of actors from the cast, standing in front of a classroom of teenagers was uncharted territory.
“I was actually shooting in front of a huge classroom of teenagers, and they are so intimidating. I was actually feeling like that wasn’t all acting,” Murphy explains, “Me, Annie Murphy, my heart was beating. The sound people came over and were like, ‘Are you okay?’ I was like, ‘No, I’m very nervous right now.’”
The powerful ‘Singles Week’ speech was a doozy
Fans of the comedy will remember Alexis’ incredible, long “Singles Week” speech, but Murphy shares the difficulties she had with the scene. “I would get 75% of the way there and forget my line, or I’d get an eighth of the way there and then forget all my lines or just start saying the complete wrong thing and then riffing,” she explains.
“I don’t think I did one proper pass at it, to be honest. I think it was just the magic of editing,” she adds.
The height of the matter
All of those lovely Alexis and Ted moments had to overcome one obstacle: height. Dustin Milligan is the same height as Murphy without her four-inch heels on, the actress shares, so “Dustin’s always kind of making fun of himself for giraffing to get up to me, and I’m always kind of cracking my vertebrae down to get to him to make it look like we’re the same height.”
She really hoped ‘A Little Bit Alexis’ would be a banger
For the moment Murphy got the okay from Levy to write “A Little Bit Alexis,” she was ready to create a banger. Teaming up with her musician friends, Murphy went into the studio and channeled artists like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton to write “a song that people would put on for real.”
We made sure to ask Murphy about her favorite line from the iconic song: “Everybody’s got a horse. Neigh.”
She added choreographer to her resume
Part of the magic of “A Little Bit Alexis” is the fantastic – and hilarious – choreography that went along with it. “I know it may look like Beyoncé’s choreographer had a hand in it, but that was all me,” she said, “I did that intense, very complex, and detailed choreography, and I brought it in.”
Murphy practiced in front of the mirror in her trailer and didn’t really show anyone what she was going to do before the rehearsal. “I kept my fingers crossed that it would be sufficient and then I went in and did it,” she explains. As viewers know, the end result was comedic magic, so funny that O’Hara, Jennifer Robertson, and Murphy had a hard time keeping it together while shooting.
The line for a Twyla spin-off starts behind Murphy
Twyla was crucial in resolving the misunderstanding Alexis and Ted have about going to the Galapagos Islands, and Murphy has only wonderful things to say about the character when she discusses the pivotal moment in the couple’s relationship. “She’s such a beautiful, wise, old soul trapped in the body of this bizarre, sweet, wonderful creature,” Murphy explains.
She even thinks Twyla deserves a spin-off: Just Twyla.
She loves that everyone thinks Alexis is a spy
Alexis’ many stories about her wild, adventurous life resulted in a Twitter theory about Alexis being a spy. We can confirm that Murphy knows fans think Schitt’s Creek is her cover story. Not only does she love it, but she’s absolutely up for the mission.
When Murphy saw the theory she shares that she thought “I need to go back and reshoot everything because this is such a good conspiracy theory that it can’t be wrong. It makes so much sense to me, and I’m mad that I didn’t think about it myself.” She even has a title to go with this wild covert life: A Little Bit Spy-Lexis.
To hear the full interview, 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.