'It's overwhelming to say goodbye': Dan Levy reflects on the success of 'Schitt's Creek' ahead of its finale

By Bianca Teixeira

When Schitt’s Creek first premiered on CBC in 2015, it was hard to imagine it would become the beloved cultural behemoth it has, with multiple Canadian Screen Awards wins and a fan club that includes Mariah Carey and Paul Rudd under its Moira Rose-approved belt

For six seasons, dedicated fans have watched the Rose family reconnect and find redemption after losing their fortune and being forced to move to the tiny town of Schitt’s Creek. In that time, creator and star Dan Levy has seen his sweet Canadian show attract praise from the likes of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Entertainment Weekly, as well as Emmy Award and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for co-stars Catherine O’Hara, Annie Murphy and co-creator (and Dan’s father) Eugene Levy.

Eugene, Dan, Emily Hampshire and Annie show off their hilarious senses of humour at an event in New York in 2018. Photo: © Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

HELLO!Canada spoke to Dan about his feelings heading into the series finale and saying goodbye to a truly life-changing experience.

Schitt’s Creek airs April 7 on CBC, followed by BEST WISHES, WARMEST REGARDS: A SCHITT'S CREEK FAREWELL, an original, one-hour special at 8:30 p.m. (9 NT) on CBC and the free CBC Gem streaming service.

HELLO! Canada: Congratulations on such a wonderful show! How does it feel?

Dan Levy: It's overwhelming to say goodbye to something you love so much and also take a step back and to see how much the show has grown and how wide the audience has expanded to be. Ultimately, I'm just really proud of our team. I can't say it enough. This is truly a joint effort between the cast and the crew and everybody in between. So the show's success, it's really a team success, and that I think it's why I'm so emotional these days, because I'm just so, so proud of everybody.

What was the process of writing the last season?

I think with the last season of the show, we really wanted to take a little bit more of fan expectations into consideration. Previously, we really hadn't paid a lot of attention to it, because I think it's important to tell the stories you want to tell. Fans love the show because we've been telling the stories we've been telling, not because we've been telling stories for them necessarily. So it was a challenge. It was the hardest season I think we've ever written, because you have that kind of pressure that you'd never had before. In a great way, we ended up writing most of our last season before the show broke internationally. So we didn't have to deal with the kind of press that we had recently got, which I think would have only made things even more stressful.

Dustin Milligan, Anni, Jennifer Robertson, Sarah Levy, Eugene, Emily, Dan, Noah Reid and Catherine attend the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on Jan. 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: © Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Did you keep any mementos from set?

I kept so many things from set, I need a storage unit! I don't like saying goodbye to things, so when it came time to actually say goodbye I just put a lot of things in a suitcase and hoped for the best. I took a lot of the wardrobe home. I plan to just live with it, because it's not something I ever want to forget. I also took a wig that we just never ended up finding an opportunity for. And sometimes when I feel like it, I put it on and it brings me joy.

The show has been enjoying international acclaim and love from around the world, but you’ve said that you still find it hard to process that.

I think it's a good thing that I'm not processing it. I don't think it's a normal thing to process success. I don't think it really does a lot of good for your brain. But the response from people, that's been what I’ve really taken away from the show. The stories [from] people about how the show has changed their lives, changed conversations with their family in terms of sexuality, those are the people that have really made this whole thing worthwhile. As a gay person, to know that the show has made people feel seen, or changed conversations in the home about sexuality, that is something that I never expected from this show, and something that I will really cherish.

Where do you see these characters in ten years?

I hope that they're all happy, ultimately. I hope that they're successful and that they've continued to develop the kinds of relationships that they have had, not just with each other, but with the new people that they meet. I think they've managed to come out of this situation much stronger and much happier and much healthier than they ever were before. So I wish them joy.

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