If you’ve ever seen a little bit of Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian in the character of Alexis Rose on “Schitt’s Creek,” you’re not wrong in seeing the connection.
Actress Annie Murphy has been open about the fact that she took cues from Hilton and the Kardashians when it came to crafting her former-socialite character’s vocal delivery and physicality and, during her recent appearance at BUILD Series, she shared some insight into how that inspiration came to be.
“[I watched] short clips [of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and “The Simple Life”] because I couldn’t do full episodes,” Murphy laughed. “But, yeah, I watched those ladies do their thing, and I took their dulcet vocal fry, which is so fun and easy to do. It’s the laziest thing in the world.”
One of Alexis’ signature traits is the way that she holds her hands palms-up and limp at the wrist, echoing the way that Hilton and Kardashian used to carry their giant handbags in the mid-2000s.
“And the handbag thing,” she explained, demonstrating the look. “Late one night I was like, ‘What if there was no handbag and I just flipped my wrist over and then added another wrist and ended up with that situation.”
For Murphy, part of the joy in playing Alexis on the Pop TV hit came through the fact that, over the course of the series’ six seasons, she became less of a surface-level socialite and more of a fully-realized person who was able to occasionally let her guard down.
“When we started out, Alexis on paper was such a handful and such an unpleasant character, but it was really important to me,” she said. “Everyone is a multilayered person, and you’re a different person when you’re with [whoever] you’re with and people bring out different aspects of your personality, so it was really important to me to play Alexis as a fully fleshed-out human.”
“Schitt’s Creek” creator and co-star, Dan Levy, added that it was because of Murphy’s ability to bring more depth to Alexis that she got cast in the role to begin with.
“That was all part of the casting process, too, because we needed that. We didn’t want it to be a stereotype,” Levy said. “What Annie inherently brought into the room when she auditioned was this joyful likability and a warmth to the character that we didn’t see from anyone else. It was just abundantly clear that she was the right person to play it.”
“Schitt’s Creek” airs on Pop TV on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST
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