A Q&A With Schitt's Creek Star and Laundry Enthusiast Emily Hampshire

Vincent Sandoval, Getty Images
Vincent Sandoval, Getty Images

As Stevie Budd, the beleaguered manager of the Rosebud Hotel on the popular sitcom Schitt’s Creek, Emily Hampshire has perfected the art of looking exasperated. Budd is the local most often tasked with dealing with the Rose family (Eugene Levy, Dan Levy, Catherine O’Hara, and Annie Murphy), a once-wealthy clan forced to relocate to the small town of the title after going bust.

With the final season of Schitt’s currently airing on Pop and a Tide commercial airing during this year’s Super Bowl, Hampshire is experiencing a peak career moment in this peak TV era. We spoke with her about her Nickelodeon beginnings and what’s next after the Schitt’s family takes their final bow.

I did the lazy thing and looked at your filmography before getting on this call. I stopped as soon as I saw you were on two episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Then you didn’t get very far. That was the first thing I ever did. I remember it very well. I played Girlfriend Number One. My only scene was to go over to the boy’s house and make out with him. I wanted to be very professional, so I remember going up to the director and asking what he wanted. "Should it be full mouth? Open mouth? With tongue?" He must have been horrified, this 12-year-old describing different ways of kissing.

It must have gone well, since they asked you back. You wound up doing two episodes.

I played Girlfriend Number Two. It was kind of a demotion.

I would also add that one of the episode titles, “The Tale of the Vacant Lot,” does not sound all that intriguing. Not as much as “The Tale of Cutter’s Treasure.”

I would say it’s a lot more compelling!

Fair. You did a lot of series television as a child actor but the Super Bowl Tide Power Pods spot is your first commercial, which is surprising. It seems like kids go out for commercials all the time.

I auditioned. I just didn’t get them. It’s not a moral thing, I would gladly have taken the money. I was just horrible at it. I’m just really bad at selling anything I don’t actually use or like. It sounds like I’m trying to smuggle something at customs. But this commercial came along and they basically wanted me to be me, which [Schitt's Creek co-creator and co-star] Dan Levy calls “on brand.”

On brand?

Laziness and procrastination. Everyone knows the best time to do laundry is later. When I get something on me, everyone starts trying to stab me with a Tide to Go pen. Now I can tell them to wait and do it later. It’s my first commercial, and it happens to be a Super Bowl commercial, which is insane. And it’s with Charlie Day. He doesn’t know this, but I’m maybe the biggest Charlie Day fan of all time.

Schitt’s Creek is ending after the sixth and current season, which seems like something Charlie Day would consider a warm-up. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has gone 14 seasons and counting.

I hope it goes on forever. Most shows don’t know when they’re going to end. They just get canceled. Dan had the luxury of doing it right. I’ve seen the ending and I respect Dan’s decision to end it now and in a way that stays true to the characters. What Charlie’s show can do that our show can’t is they can do anything. It’s not really the same kind of show. They can go on adventures.

Schitt’s Creek seemed to follow the same trajectory as Breaking Bad. It aired on a network for a few seasons before getting picked up by Netflix and exploding in popularity. Was there a moment when you realized that was happening?

It was kind of overnight. The last season, when I came back to Los Angeles [from Canada, where the series is shot], it was a whole different experience at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I was recognized nonstop in there. Over Christmas, it seemed like everybody was watching Schitt’s.

It’s funny, because I loved doing the show and loved the characters. We all loved them in spite of no one really watching or caring. Then we’re suddenly at the SAG Awards and Nicole Kidman wants to take a picture with us.

Did you have any input into where Stevie ends up?

Dan knew how he wanted to end the show from the beginning. I didn’t have any input. I was as shocked as anyone when Stevie would up in Cabaret last season.

Aside from Stevie, is there a character you were the most curious about in terms of where they wind up?

Stevie was really the only one I was curious about. Everyone else, I could kind of imagine where they wound up. The Roses might go home, or they might learn to love the town and stay. Stevie is the only one I had no idea about. That’s her ultimate struggle. Who is she, and where does she fit in?

What shows have stuck the landing, in your opinion?

Honestly, the only television I watch is Forensic Files, Dateline, and murder mysteries. No, wait, that’s not true. Fleabag. Fleabag was great.

Post-Schitt’s, you’re doing a horror movie called Home.

We shot that, yes. It’s the first movie I’ve ever executive produced. We’re cutting it right now. It’s very cool. It’s a Hereditary kind of horror. The script came to me, and when a horror script comes to me, I expect it to be the worst thing I’ve ever read. But this was good. It’s about postpartum depression.

I imagine you went back to Are You Afraid of the Dark? for reference.

Oh, sure.

Wayfair’s Fourth of July Clearance Sale Takes Up to 60 Percent Off Grills and Outdoor Furniture


This Fourth of July, Wayfair is making sure you can turn your backyard into an oasis while keeping your bank account intact with a clearance sale that features savings of up to 60 percent on essentials like chairs, hammocks, games, and grills. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Outdoor Furniture

Brisbane bench from Wayfair

- Jericho 9-Foot Market Umbrella $92 (Save 15 percent)
- Woodstock Patio Chairs (Set of Two) $310 (Save 54 percent)
- Brisbane Wooden Storage Bench $243 (Save 62 percent)
- Kordell Nine-Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $1800 (Save 27 percent)
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Dyna-Glo electric smoker.

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Outdoor games

American flag cornhole game.

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17 Facts About Airplane! On Its 40th Anniversary

Julie Hagerty and Robert Hays (with Otto) in Airplane! (1980).
Julie Hagerty and Robert Hays (with Otto) in Airplane! (1980).
Paramount Home Entertainment

Shot on a budget of $3.5 million, David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker wrote and directed Airplane!, a movie intended to parody the onslaught of disaster movies that graced movie theater screens in the 1970s. The comedy classic, which arrived in theaters on July 2, 1980, ended up making more than $83.4 million in theaters in the United States alone, and resurrecting a few acting careers in the process. Here are some things you might not have known about the comedy classic on its 40th anniversary.

1. Airplane! was almost a direct parody of the 1957 movie Zero Hour!

Shorewood, Wisconsin childhood friends Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker grew up and moved to Los Angeles, where they were responsible for the sketch comedy troupe Kentucky Fried Theater. The trio made a habit of recording late-night television, looking for commercials to make fun of for their video and film parodies, which is how they discovered Zero Hour!, which also featured a protagonist named Ted Stryker (in Airplane! it's Ted Striker). In order to make sure the camera angles and lighting on Airplane! were matching those of Zero Hour!, the trio always had the movie queued up on set. Yes, the three filmmakers did buy the rights to their semi source material.

2. Universal thought Airplane! was too similar to their Airport franchise.

Universal released four plane disaster movies in the seventies: Airport in 1970; Airport 1975 (confusingly in 1974); Airport ‘77; and The Concorde ... Airport ‘79. Helen Reddy portrayed Sister Ruth in Airport 1975 and was game to play Sister Angelina in Airplane! before Universal stepped in and threatened to sue. Instead, the role went to Maureen McGovern, who sang the Oscar-winning theme songs to The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno—two movies that were also “disaster” movies, albeit ones not involving a plane.

3. David Letterman, Sigourney Weaver, and other future stars auditioned for Airplane!

In early conversations regarding Airplane!, Paramount Studios suggested Dom DeLuise for what would eventually become Leslie Nielsen’s role, and Barry Manilow for the role of Ted Striker, but they were never asked to audition.

4. Chevy Chase was mistakenly announced as the star of Airplane!.

Chevy Chase was erroneously announced as the star of Airplane! in a 1979 news item in The Hollywood Reporter.

5. The role of Roger Murdock was written with Pete Rose in mind.

Pete Rose was busy playing baseball when Airplane! was shot in August, so they cast Kareem Abdul-Jabbar instead.

6. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar got a pretty swanky carpet out of his Airplane! gig.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Peter Graves, and Rossie Harris in Airplane! (1980)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Rossie Harris, and Peter Graves in Airplane! (1980).
Paramount Home Entertainment

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s agent insisted on an extra $5000 to the original offer of a $30,000 salary so that the basketball legend could purchase an oriental rug he'd had his eye on.

7. Peter Graves thought the Airplane! script was "tasteless trash."

Peter Graves eventually found the humor in the film, including the pedophilia jokes, and agreed to play Captain Oveur. Graves's wife was glad he took the role; she laughed throughout the premiere screening.

8. No, the child actor playing young Joey didn't know what Peter Graves was actually saying.

Rossie Harris was only 9 years old when he played the role of Joey, so did not understand the humor in Turkish prisons, gladiator movies, or any of Oveur’s other comments. But by the time he turned 10 and saw the movie, Harris had apparently figured it out.

9. Airplane! marked Ethel Merman's final film appearance.

"The undisputed First Lady of the musical comedy stage” played a disturbed soldier who believed he was Ethel Merman. Merman passed away in 1984.

10. Michael Ehrmantraut from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul was in Airplane!.

Jonathan Banks plays air traffic controller Gunderson.

11. Airplane!'s three-director setup caused legal problems.

The Directors Guild of America ruled that Abrahams and the two Zuckers couldn’t all be credited for directing a movie, nor be credited under the single “fictitious name of Abrahams N. Zuckers.” A DGA rep was on set to make sure that only Jerry Zucker spoke to the actors. What he saw was Jerry Zucker next to the camera, who would then go to a nearby trailer where the other two were watching the takes on a video feed, and come back to give notes to the actors after conferring with his partners. A DGA executive board eventually gave the three one-time rights to all share the credit.


Blind singer José Feliciano, and lookalikes of blind singers Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder, played Polish airline co-pilots. The Polish-American League protested, and it was determined by the writer-directors that the idea wasn’t funny enough to stay in the movie.

13. Robert Hays was starring in a TV show at the same time he was filming Airplane!

Robert Hays, the actor who played Ted Striker, had to race back and forth between the sets of Angie and Airplane! for two very busy weeks. The theme song to Angie was performed by the one and only Maureen McGovern.

14. Robert Hays was—and is—a licensed pilot.

He can even fly the ones with four engines.

15. Leslie Nielsen had a lot of fun with his fart machine.

Leslie Nielsen sold portable fart machines for $7 apiece on set, causing a brief epidemic of fart noises emanating from most of the cast and crew and delaying production. When they were shooting Hays’s close-up, Nielsen used the machine after every other word of his line, “Mr. Striker, can you land this plane?”

16. Stephen Stucker came up with all of Johnny's lines.

Lloyd Bridges and Stephen Stucker in Airplane! (1980)
Stephen Stucker and Lloyd Bridges in Airplane! (1980).
Paramount Home Entertainment

Stephen Stucker was a member of the Kentucky Fried Theater. His line “Me John, Big Tree” was part of an old riff he used to do, which continued with him going down on his knees and putting an ear to the ground to hear when a wagon train was arriving.

17. The original rough cut of Airplane! was 115 minutes long.

After screenings at three college campuses and two theaters, the film was cut down to 88 minutes.