“I can say, with 100 percent certainty, that people will be satisfied with how the show ends,” says Hampshire, who’s in her late-30s. “It’s not one of those finales where you watch it and are disappointed by the ending. People might be sad the show is ending, but it ends so perfectly.
“And a fun bit of trivia,” she says of the finale, airing 8 p.m. on Pop TV and sister networks Comedy Central and Logo. “There’s an Easter egg you can watch for: our very final scene was our last scene together with all of us — the very last scene we shot — so there’s a lot going on for us, not just on the show but in saying goodbye to each other.”
The ensemble, Emmy-nominated comedy series — about a once-wealthy family living in the podunk town of Schitt’s Creek in a rundown motel after losing their millions — was co-created by father-and-son team Eugene Levy (“SCTV”) and Daniel Levy. They play father-and-son Johnny and David Rose, with Catherine O’Hara as affected soap opera-actress mother Moira and Annie Murphy as David’s sister, Alexis, who’s grown from spoiled-brat to responsible citizen since the show’s 2015 premiere.
The series derives much of its charm from the inhabitants of Schitt’s Creek, particularly flannel-wearing Stevie (Hampshire), who owns the Rosebud Motel into which the Rose clan moves (she eventually goes into business with Johnny). At first abrasive and cynical, she’s evolved over the course of six seasons into a more fully-rounded and, dare we say, sensitive person. “A lot of times fans do these mashups from all the seasons and whenever they put something from Season 1 of me and Dan we’re like, ‘Oh my God, we were such babies,” says Hampshire, who’s been acting since her early teens and shot the first few seasons of “Schitt’s Creek” concurrently with Syfy’s “12 Monkeys” (she played Jennifer Goines).
“I find it remarkable with Stevie, as opposed to most characters who grow and evolve and change, I think Stevie is like one of those Russian [nesting] dolls — she opened up more like an onion,” she says. “She was this hard shell at the beginning and through the seasons she’s peeled back these layers to reveal who she really is without all the walls up. I think she’s grown inwardly to outwardly, if that makes sense. She got more vulnerable … when Mr. Rose came into her life as a father figure and started helping her run the motel.”
Hampshire points to a Season 5 episode as a turning point for her character. “The ‘Cabaret’ episode when Stevie sings ‘Maybe This Time,’ ” she says. “There’s a lot of meta going on there. I’ve been an actor since I was 12 and my dream role is Sally Bowles in ‘Cabaret.’ What’s crazy is that I’m not a great singer or dancer but I’ll commit. When I read that episode, I died. Not only did I get to play Sally Bowles, but I got to do it as Stevie. ‘Maybe This Time’ is such a self-empowering song … and when David [Rose] says, ‘That’s my best friend,’ that moment just kills me. He’s so proud of her and I think she cracked right open during that song.”
That episode (as were many others) was written by Dan Levy, with whom Hampshire bonded the most closely, both on the “Schitt’s Creek” set and in real life. “Dan and I definitely had a David and Stevie thing going on and we still do,” she says. “We definitely have that dynamic. Stevie taught me to be a better friend, and that comes from Dan, who created this amazing human being.”
The friendship between the “Schitt’s Creek” actors continued after the series wrapped last July, Hampshire says. “We’ve had a lot of time to mourn this. As a wrap gift, Dan rented a villa in Tuscany for us to say goodbye to each other and we spent two weeks there — me, Annie (Murphy), Noah Reid (Patrick), Sarah (Levy, Dan’s sister, who played Twyla), Dan and Jenn Robertson (Jocelyn Schitt). We did a lot of Karaoke. It was great.”
Next up for Hampshire is a guest-starring role in the Quibi series “50 States of Fright” and a lead role in “Chapelwaite,” an Epix series based on a Stephen King short story that will shoot in Nova Scotia. “It’s with Adrien Brody and is set in 1850, so I was excited to go from ‘Schitt’s Creek’ to 1850 wearing a corset,” she says. My character is very much a female Stephen King of that era — she’s a writer and very educated and went to Mount Holyoke, a very progressive school. I love that my character went there.”
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