Dan Levy talks to Kieran Culkin about coming up with the idea for 'Schitt's Creek'

By Heather Cichowski

Dan Levy talks to Kieran Culkin about coming up with the idea for 'Schitt's Creek'

Fans sadly might not be treated to new episodes of Schitt's Creek, but we were able to hear more about the beloved series thanks to Dan Levy's recent interview with Kieran Culkin.

The pair appeared in Variety's latest episode of "Actors on Actors" and they discussed playing characters from wealthy families. Dan talked about Schitt's Creek and playing David Rose, plus, he sang the praises of co-star Catherine O'Hara while Kieran opened up about playing Roman Roy on Succession.

Dan told Kieran in the video call about how he came up with the concept of Schitt's Creek and presented it to his father and co-star, Eugene Levy.

“Well, I brought him the idea, which at the time was kind of a grain of a concept about a wealthy family who loses their money, and an exploration of what happens to this wealthy family,” Dan explained.

MORE: 'Schitt's Creek' receives seven nominations for LGBTQ TV awards

"And a lot of that for me was playing on this collective consciousness we have now about how wealthy people live. It’s all over reality TV, and we have this kind of intimacy into the lives of very wealthy people that I thought was sort of worth exploring in a sort of satirical way.

He continued, "You know, what do these people look like when they have nothing? And that became, the grain, the seedling that grew into the show.”

After conducting research on being able to buy towns in North America for "virtually no money," Eugene and Dan both realized they were on to something special.

"The fact that my dad thought it was funny to buy a town called Schitt's Creek for my 16th birthday and then have our family end up there because it's our only asset left, the minute that came into play, my dad and I both kind of looked at each other and said, 'I think we have an idea here that might stick.'"

The Canadian star also revealed that the budget of Schitt's Creek didn't really change from the start of the show to the end, despite award nominations and strong viewership.

Eugene Levy, Dan Levy, Annie Murphy and Catherine O'Hara at a Schitt's Creek screening and conversation in New York on January 17, 2020. Photo: © Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Dan explained about offering to pay for the rights to music himself so it could be included in the show and laughed, "No, it never got better."

"Particularly in the last season, there was a pressure in that I knew that people were watching, I knew that I wanted the show to have a certain quality to it, you always want to improve season after season.

"So, how do you stretch a budget that really hasn't changed since season one into a show that people are now watching en masse, on Netflix, on Pop, or whatever, and expecting the kind of calibre show you get in a fifth or sixth season?

"When you don't have that kind of budget," Dan laughed. "It was a lot of grey hairs growing for me, and hopefully no one noticed."

The actors also discussed their co-stars and Dan praised fellow Torontonian Catherine for her portrayal of Moira Rose and how her comedic chops shone during the less-scripted parts when filming the show.

"I don't think that Catherine has done a single take the same in the six years that we shot the show," revealed Dan.

"Every. Single. Take. was different, and you never knew what you were going to get.

He referenced one particularly funny scene during filming, and stated, "...You realize that you are part of something special and I get to watch the best of the best."

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