Pasadena, Calif. — When Dan Levy came to his father Eugene with the idea for Schitt’s Creek, the new comedy premiering on Pop Feb. 11, the elder Levy’s initial thought was that it would be fun to work with his son since they had never worked together before.
“Through school, everything he had been associated with, every play, I would offer my help in whatever I could, and he would always say ‘No, I got it,’” Eugene said Friday at the TCA Winter Press Tour. “I always thought even if he ended up in show business, ‘I got it’ would have been the catch phrase.”
For the series about a wealthy family who lose all their money and are forced to move to the eponymous town they bought as a joke, Dan wanted his father to play his on-screen father. “I thought of my dad, his sensibility, the heart he brings to all his film and television roles.”
As for the matriarch of the family, they turned to Eugene’s frequent on-screen wife Catherine O’Hara.
“Catherine has an amazing ability to immerse herself into characters and find the funny bone of that character,” Eugene said. “She has a knack for finding funny moments that make her character funny without trying to be funny.”
Because Eugene and O’Hara have been acting opposite each other for decades, she has known Dan since he was a baby. That, however, did not stop the nerves for Dan during filming. “I remember shooting the first scene and sitting down thinking, ‘Oh my God, what am I doing here? I’m sitting opposite Catherine O’Hara,’” he said.
Other highlights from the panel included:
—Eugene joked about casting Chris Elliott in the series. “I went through the entire actors directory, and everybody else was working,” Eugene said. Elliott said he remembers Eugene called, but he was unable to do the first reading. “Somebody else did my part at the table reading, and I heard they were awful,” Elliott said. “I got another call from Eugene begging me to do the pilot.”
—According to the Levys, Schitt’s Creek could be anywhere. “I don’t think we’ll ever know where Schitt’s Creek is,” Dan said. “The reason we did that was to make it accessible for everyone.” Added Eugene, “we are the joke, not so much the town.”