There was a good hour or so after the announcement of the 2019 Emmy nominations where the only two Emmy related trends on the top 10 of twitter were “Emmy” at no. 1 and “Catherine O’Hara” at no. 10. When told of the euphoric response on social media over her Outstanding Lead Actress for her incredible performance as Moira on “Schitt’s Creek,” O’Hara’s response was one of feigned shock.
“Get out of here!”
Then there was a perfectly timed pause and she admitted, “I did look online. Of course, I did, on the handphone. I did look online after the nomination came out. There was one headline by an online journalist who said when our nominations were announced, they were crying. I love that.”
Created by Dan and Eugene Levy, the four nominations for “Schitt’s Creek” were one of the biggest surprises on Emmy nomination morning. Despite increasingly critical acclaim, the show had been passed over by the Television Academy for its first five seasons. This was mostly attributed to the CBC and POP TV co-production being distributed in the U.S. on a CBS owned network with a relatively small audience. But a few years ago complete seasons became available on Netflix and the show’s popularity in the states dramatically increased. So much show that a live, in-person tour featuring cast sold out in major cities across North America. And this Emmy season it led to many influential media members stanning for the show and, in particular, O’Hara. The Toronto native finds the growing fandom “crazy, but crazy in a good way.”
“I have to say it’s better than a kick in the head,” O’Hara says. “It’s great. People watch our show, and we notice from anyone who talks to us, but also from the live shows that we’ve done. People who watch our show are the kindest most loving people. They really are. When they come to the live shows that we do, they are happy to be with each other. It’s a lovely group of people that are drawn to our show.”
MOIRA GOT HER EMMY NOM AND I’M VERY EMOTIONAL ABOUT ALL OF THIS. @TheEmmys
— dan levy (@danjlevy) July 16, 2019
In case you were wondering, O’Hara was not watching the nominations announcement. She found out she had earned her fourth Emmy nomination (she won Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Show for “SCTV” in 1982) after the publicist for the series called her with the news. Her reaction?
“Shock and delight. Definitely shock and delight,” O’Hara says. “It was really a lovely surprise. First, she told me I was nominated. Then she told me Eugene was nominated. Then she told me the show was nominated, and that was really the most thrilling. Happy as I am for Eugene and me, just to hear the show was nominated was really, really great. Then the wardrobe* because you know I love our wardrobe on the show.”
*Debra Hanson and Darci Cheyne were nominated in the Outstanding Contemporary Costumes category.
It’s incredibly rare for any series to earn this much Emmy love so late in its creative run. And that’s clearly one reason O’Hara and her co-stars were so stunned by the response.
“I have loved being able to play this character of Moira,” O’Hara says. “We have great scripts. Just every day has been a joyful thing. Really, it’s been really fun and creative. I feel respected by Daniel and Eugene. I respect them and trust them. Just a really lovely working experience. Now, this will hopefully mean more people will get to see the show and force their friends to watch it.”
Sadly, “Schitt’s Creek” is about to come to an end. Dan Levy announced that the upcoming sixth season would be the show’s last strictly for creative reasons. Production wrapped just a few weeks ago and O’Hara says every day of the shoot “was sweet.”
“I know that word is bittersweet, but it more sad sweet, melancholy sweet,” She recalls. “Fortunately, we have another season to promote so we’ll get together for that, and we’ll do some more live shows and we’ll get together for that. We are actual friends. Hopefully, we’ll see each other. Yeah, especially at the table read because that’s when we got to see each other because we’re not in every scene together. That’s when we got to see each other, read the final scenes. That was a killer for us.”
As for the future of Moira, the former Soap star “stuck” in a small town motel with her family and living her own increasingly glamorous fantasy? Well, breathe easy, “Schitt’s Creek” fans. O’Hara has good news.
“The wigs are better than ever. The wardrobe is better than ever,” O’Hara says. “Daniel and his team of writers have really taken good care of all the characters. The stories are as beautifully wrapped up as they could be. I guess if you don’t want it to end you don’t want it to end. Whatever, but it’s a very satisfying good-bye I think. Who knows, maybe we’ll do a movie, or a special, or something in the future. I’m not saying we will, I’m up for it. It was sad to say good-bye to these characters, but it was a lovely good-bye.
Seasons 1-5 of “Schitt’s Creek” are available on POP’s streaming player. Seasons 1-4 are available on Netflix in the U.S.