Schitt’s Creek: Emily Hampshire On Delving Into Stevie’s Backstory

CBC
CBC

Emily Hampshire has one of the best jobs out there. According to the Montreal born actress, “it’s insane how ridiculous it is that we get paid to go to that job,” she says of playing Stevie Budd on CBC’s Schitt’s Creek. The hotel clerk, who recently found out she’s actually the owner of the hotel where the Rose family has been living, is an especially great role for Hampshire for many reasons. “I feel like I have it particularly good because Annie [Murphy] and Catherine [O’Hara] have to spend all day in heels and crazy outfits,” she says while “I get to sit behind a desk in my jeans, Converse and a little hoodie and play Sudoku all day. It does not get any better!”

In the comedy series’ third season, Hampshire’s Stevie is on the verge of some major changes in her life. She’s perfectly fine being firmly in the friend-zone with David (Dan Levy) after their attempt at a throuple failed, but may soon be getting closer to another Rose man as she seeks guidance from Johnny (Eugene Levy) in running the hotel she just inherited from her aunt. How will this major, life-changing news affect Stevie? Is this good news for her character? To get those answers, The TV Junkies recently caught up with Hampshire, who is also busy currently filming Season 3 of Syfy’s 12 Monkeys where she plays Jennifer Goings.

 

The TV Junkies: Ultimately the throuple between Stevie, David and Jake (Steve Lund) didn’t work. What effect did that leave on Stevie and David’s relationship?

Emily Hampshire: It is the beginning of bringing somebody else into their duo. It seems like it’s them against the world in Season 1 and at the end of that David broke Stevie’s heart a bit. She got swept up in this fantasy and in Season 2 Stevie was a bit on the sidelines while he did other things. Season 3 is where we start to see Stevie as her own person, independently of David, and the beginning of that is inserting someone in that relationship.

TTVJ: Do you want to see Stevie and David ever give it a try again romantically or are they better as just friends?

EH: I don’t know! I think their love is beyond that. It’s more than that. If they were to date and go in that direction romantically it would be undercutting what they actually have. For me, in my own life, I just realized this year that I had been married, divorced and all that, but your friends are such a long lasting and deeper relationship than anything else because you don’t let fleeting things get in the middle of it. So I think they are best as the best of friends. I do still think it’s a “friendlationship,” but they don’t need the romantic aspect because I think it’s fun to see them do it with other people and complain to each other.

TTVJ: So Stevie owns a hotel now! Beyond not knowing what she’s doing business-wise, why did finding out her aunt left her the hotel scare her so much?

EH: My first curiosity about Stevie from the beginning was ‘why is this girl who is clearly intelligent and can do so much more, why is she here and needing to be rescued by David to go to New York and escape?’ I realized this is Stevie’s choice. She’s choosing to stay here and to aspire to less than she’s capable of. That led to questions about her past, who are Stevie’s parents and more.

This year we do get to delve into Stevie’s personal life and it begins with this aunt leaving her the hotel. It’s scary to Stevie in the way that any kind of success and responsibility is scary. When you don’t have anything to lose, you don’t have anything to lose and you don’t have to live up to any expectations. Taking this over means committing to Schitt’s Creek and she just doesn’t know. On one hand it’s a great opportunity and she should take it on, but on the other it’s all those things with becoming an adult.

I think it was such a great thing to give Stevie story wise because it really shows that while we think she’s the put together one in her and David’s relationship, she actually has a bunch of issues herself. I think that’s why she does feel such a connection to him because they both have these insecurities they see in each other.

CBC
CBC

TTVJ: A new dynamic the show is giving us in Season 3 is between Stevie and Johnny. What was fun about that for you and can you give any idea as to how Johnny helping Stevie run the hotel will go?

EH: For Stevie it brings up those questions again about where she came from and what is she lacking? I know it’s a comedy, but the reasons Schitt’s Creek works so well is that it takes moments from true humanity. I think there’s no doubt that we’ll come to see Johnny become a father figure to her, and you can see where Stevie maybe needed that. The year before was really about the family, but now we see other characters having their familial and parental needs met by the Roses.

TTVJ: Switching gears to 12 Monkeys, what can you hint at regarding where Jennifer ended up and how she might make her way back to the others?

EH: Oh my gosh it is so good this season! I was worried because Season 2 was so good and so good for Jennifer. I feel like I got to do the most amazing things and how could you top that? Well did they ever top it in like the first two episodes! We know she’s in France and now where do we go from there? How is Jennifer going to get back? Nobody knows she’s there so it’s amazing, even though I obviously can’t tell you. But even if I gave you all the clues in the world you wouldn’t guess it! The show is just so good and it’s amazing.

TTVJ: You have portrayed so many versions of Jennifer on 12 Monkeys, so what is the biggest difference playing Jennifer in Season 3?

EH: Now that she has time-traveled that’s the major difference. We know she’s gone to the 1920s so that’s been the biggest difference for me is getting to go to different time periods. It’s amazing because I was so jealous of everyone last year.

TTVJ: After three seasons do you think you have the time travel stuff down or do you still get confused trying to follow it?

EH: I did not understand it at all. Now I have a grasp on parts of it, but when it comes to the exceptions or paradoxes or things like ‘I’ve met him before but he hasn’t met me,’ that I can’t follow! But your Time Travel 101 I can now understand.

 

What do you think of Season 3 of Schitt’s Creek? Sound off with your Stevie-related issues in the comments below!

Schitt’s Creek airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on CBC and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on Pop.