Daniel Levy, co-creator and one of the stars in the TV series “Schitt’s Creek” poses for a portrait during the 2018 Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

Daniel Levy, co-creator and one of the stars in the TV series “Schitt’s Creek” poses for a portrait during the 2018 Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

Dan Levy exploring animation, thriller and rom-com worlds post-‘Schitt’s Creek’

Levy said he wants to use his platform to help create opportunities for others

Daniel Levy is navigating new waters post-“Schitt’s Creek.”

The Toronto-raised co-creator and star of the hit CBC sitcom, which is up for a leading 21 Canadian Screen Awards this week, is working under a three-year overall deal with ABC Studios, a part of Disney Television Studios. The gig announced in September 2019 has him developing and producing scripted projects for the studio.

Levy says he’s picking and pulling some ideas he used to jot down in a journal when he had rare downtime during the making of “Schitt’s Creek,” which ended its sixth and final season last year and swept the 2020 Emmys comedy categories with seven wins.

“Fortunately I’m now in a place where people are really interested in those ideas, which is a stark contrast to when I started and nobody cared. So it’s been fun to be able to actually see things move,” the actor-writer-producer, who was also the showrunner of “Schitt’s,” said with a laugh from Los Angeles.

“I’ve been dabbling in the animation world, I’ve been playing with the concept of what would a thriller look like, I’m hopefully going to be putting a rom-com together for myself. That’s always been a dream, to write a romantic comedy for me, because Hollywood certainly isn’t. And really exploring all the areas outside of what I had been doing on the show.”

Levy said he’s never considered himself to be a comedy writer but rather someone who just happened to write a story that was funny.

“So the idea of exploring different genres has always been of great interest,” he said. “But I think inevitably there will be some some humour and some heart to all of it.

“And I think when you’ve seen the kind of impact that some of the stories that we were telling on ‘Schitt’s Creek’ can have on the world, it does make you realize that it’s important to continue to tell those stories and to make sure that any project that I do from here on out is saying something constructive.”

“Schitt’s Creek,” which aired on Pop TV in the U.S., followed the formerly wealthy Rose family as they grew accustomed to a more humble life in a motel in a small town. Viewers and critics praised its inclusive and joyful storylines, including that of Levy’s character, David, who identified as pansexual (someone who is open to all sexual orientations or gender identities).

“‘Schitt’s Creek’ was never heavy-handed in the stories that we were telling about the LGBTQIA+ community, but they were meaningful because of that sort of ease,” said Levy, who is openly gay.

“And so I think it’s just about telling stories that mean something to people, that allow people to see themselves where they don’t often see themselves. And I think, at this point, it’s also been a real mandate for me to use whatever success I have to leverage the voices of other people around me who need to be heard.”

Many “Schitt’s Creek” fans are hoping for a film featuring the Roses, who are also played by co-creator Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara and Annie Murphy.

But “as of now, there’s nothing going on” on that front, said Levy.

“I think it’s important to take some space to allow people to kind of miss you,” he said. “I would hate to wrap up the show and then within a year come back with something else. That kind of feels oddly misleading.”

The Ontario-shot series “has been and continues to be the greatest experience of” Levy’s life, he said, adding that reuniting with the team “is obviously something that I would love to do.”

“But quality has always been paramount, and I simply won’t do anything that’s not as good as it can possibly be. So until that idea comes into my head about what to do next with these people, we’re just not going to do it.”

Levy is also getting the CSA’s Radius Award, which honours Canadians who are making waves globally.

The trophies are being presented this week in a series of livestreamed presentations on the website and social media channels of the Academy Of Canadian Cinema & Television. Levy said he recorded a video for Thursday’s main event.

The CSAs are “incredibly meaningful,” said Levy, because they’ve honoured every department of the “Schitt’s Creek” from the beginning, before the show blew up globally on Netflix.

“I’ve kind of made it my mission to make sure that everybody knows how Canadian this show is throughout the past year and a half of promoting it, and I’m incredibly proud of the efforts of our Canadian cast and crew and what they’ve managed to do with this show and how far they’ve managed to take it,” Levy said.

Levy, who recently made his hosting debut on “Saturday Night Live,” said he wants to use his platform to help create opportunities for others and “really pay it forward so that we can continue to open those doors for diverse storytelling and also opportunities.”

He also wants to use social media to help others, as he recently did with the University of Alberta’s Indigenous Studies Program. Levy encouraged fans to follow in his footsteps by enrolling in the school’s free online Indigenous Canada course and donating to the program.

“It does feel like at a point, if you’re not using a platform of that kind for something other than a selfie — which don’t get me wrong, I have done and will likely do in the future — it’s a waste,” Levy said. “It’s an incredibly isolating experience if you don’t use your success to help people.”

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

A tenant walks in front of her home on Boundary Road on Friday, June 18, 2021 after it was destroyed by fire the night before in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack family homeless after fire rips through house on Abbotsford border

Turtle rescued, no one seriously hurt following Boundary Road fire in Chilliwack

Wild rabbits are all over Chilliwack, but people often think they’re someone’s lost pet and try to ‘save’ them. But the owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room says good intentions can have bad consequences for wild animals. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room asks people to leave wild animals in the wild

Amber Quiring says people who think they’re helping are actually doing more harm than good

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Most Read