The Truth About The Girl Who Plays Stevie In Schitt’s Creek
Schitt’s Creek would not be the same without Stevie, the wisecracking motel clerk in the fictional town of Schitt’s Creek, where the wealthy Rose family relocates after losing their fortune. Stevie and the son of the family, David, quickly become pals, and it soon becomes clear to viewers that Stevie’s tough exterior hides a heart of gold.
Stevie’s character arc is one of the most compelling on Schitt’s Creek, and the actress who plays her, Emily Hampshire, is no less interesting. Hampshire has had quite an illustrious career, with her resume dating back to the mid-’90s, but her personal life is also filled with a lot of intriguing details. You may know all there is to know about Stevie since the final episode of Schitt’s Creek aired in 2020, but there’s still a lot to learn about Hampshire — here’s everything you ever wanted to know about the actress who plays Stevie on Schitt’s Creek.
Emily Hampshire, who plays Stevie on Schitt's Creek, was rejected by commercials as a kid
Emily Hampshire, who plays Stevie on Schitt’s Creek, has starred in some pretty big ads, including a 2020 Super Bowl commercial for Tide. Interestingly, she didn’t foray into the world of commercials until she was already famous — but not for lack of trying. Hampshire explained her unusual career trajectory to Mental Floss. While many actors get their start by racking up credits in commercials, Hampshire auditioned for many but “just didn’t get them.”
The Tide commercial was Hampshire’s first-ever commercial, and she crushed it in spite of the fact that she thinks she is “just horrible at” that sort of acting. The reason she performed so well is that she actually liked the product she was selling in the commercial, something that wasn’t true of the other commercials she had auditioned for. “I’m just really bad at selling anything I don’t actually use or like,” she admitted. “It sounds like I’m trying to smuggle something at customs.”
Emily Hampshire, who plays Stevie on Schitt's Creek, has dipped her toes in the horror genre
Even though you probably know Emily Hampshire best as the cuttingly witty and sarcastic Stevie from Schitt’s Creek, her acting talents extend far beyond comedy. The star also has experience in the horror genre, having launched her acting career in two episodes of the ’90s Nickelodeon horror anthology Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Her time with Nickelodeon wasn’t exactly the most auspicious beginning, Hampshire told Mental Floss. “I played Girlfriend Number One,” she said. “My only scene was to go over to the boy’s house and make out with him.” Hampshire followed that first episode up with another in which she was cast as Girlfriend Number Two. “It was kind of a demotion,” she joked.
After Schitt’s Creek wrapped, Hampshire returned to her horror roots with Home, a project in which she both starred in and produced. Hampshire admitted that she’s not the biggest fan of horror, saying “when a horror script comes” she “expect[s] it to be the worst thing [she’s] ever read.” However, she was pleasantly surprised by Home, saying, “But this was good.”
Emily Hampshire was at a dark point in her life before landing the role of Stevie on Schitt's Creek
Emily Hampshire brightened a lot of lives as Stevie on Schitt’s Creek, but the role also proved to be a blessing for her in real life. Landing the gig came at a critical time not just in the actress’s career, but also in her personal life. Hampshire was struggling to book roles — she hadn’t acted in a year — and had just gone through a divorce when she auditioned for the now-iconic comedy. As the actress summed it up in an interview with PopSugar, “My pre-Schitt‘s life was s***.”
Hampshire told PopSugar that she was down to $800 in savings and was about to start sleeping in her friend’s closet (to be fair, it was a walk-in closet) when Schitt’s Creek changed her life forever. As difficult as the journey was, it’s also made Hampshire even more grateful for her success. “I feel like I can appreciate work now for having not had it instantly before,” she told Fajo.
Emily Hampshire's Schitt's Creek audition for the part of Stevie was super awkward
Emily Hampshire may have landed the role of Stevie on Schitt’s Creek, but her audition was no easy process. Hampshire was experiencing a lot of stress in her personal life during that time and would break out in hives whenever she tried out for a part. Because of this, she tried to send in a taped audition but ended up auditioning live for co-creator and star Dan Levy, whose inspiration for the series came from watching TV. “I really had no recollection of my audition,” she told PopSugar.
Levy remembers the audition, though, and, according to Hampshire, has shared it not just with her but also with delighted fans during press tours. Hampshire reportedly gave a great performance “but then … proceeded to get on the couch where they were sitting, and lift [her] shirt over [her] head and hide [her] head in [her] shirt, and rock back and forth.”
Fortunately, Levy found the whole thing “charming,” and Hampshire was awarded the role of Stevie.
This is why Emily Hampshire, who plays Stevie, thinks Schitt's Creek ending is a good thing
Fans were disappointed when Schitt’s Creek came to an end in 2020 after six seasons — while the show came to a satisfying conclusion, many viewers would have happily continued watching for decades to come — but Emily Hampshire, who plays Stevie, pointed out to Mental Floss that things could have gone worse for Schitt’s Creek‘s loyal viewers. “Most shows don’t know when they’re going to end,” she said. “They just get canceled.”
Since it was Schitt’s Creek‘s creators who decided to end the series after six successful seasons, they were able to conclude it in a way that did the show justice. Hampshire hinted that she wouldn’t have minded continuing to portray Stevie, but she said she “respects Dan [Levy]’s decision to end it now and in a way that stays true to the characters.”
Emily Hampshire, who plays Stevie, was shocked by Schitt's Creek's "overnight" success
While Schitt’s Creek is beloved, the series took some time to get off the ground — the sleeper hit didn’t actually take off until it hit Netflix, shocking Emily Hampshire, who plays Stevie. “It was kind of overnight,” she told Mental Floss in February 2020, toward the end of the show’s run. “The last season, when I came back to Los Angeles [from Canada, where the series is shot], it was a whole different experience … Over Christmas, it seemed like everybody was watching Schitt’s.”
Suddenly, Hampshire was being noticed by fans in public, and Schitt’s Creek had become a cultural icon. Hampshire said she “loved doing the show” even before it made her famous, but once the show caught on with mainstream audiences, according to her, a switch flipped. “Then we’re suddenly at the SAG Awards and Nicole Kidman wants to take a picture with us,” she said.
Hampshire told Advocate that she thinks Schitt’s Creek suddenly soared in popularity because “it was after a s***** political time and … people wanted something good … with a good heart and not dumb and not easy good.”
Portraying Stevie on Schitt's Creek came with an unusual challenge for Emily Hampshire
Playing Stevie on Schitt’s Creek came naturally for Emily Hampshire. In fact, it came a little too easily for the actress. “I honestly feel like playing Stevie is easier than me being me in my regular life,” she told Harper’s Bazaar, explaining that hanging out in the real world was “more difficult than doing a scene and having [Stevie’s] dialogues and her relationships.”
Hampshire and Stevie have a lot in common, but the actress thinks there’s at least one major difference between them: “I’ve realized that I’m definitely not as cool as Stevie,” she said, adding that she’d “love to be.” In real life, Hampshire said she’s less “laid-back” than her Schitt’s Creek counterpart.
Hampshire’s sense of style is also pretty similar to Stevie’s, who prioritizes comfort and functionality in her clothing. Hampshire told Fajo, “When I’m not working, my standard is somebody’s big T-shirt and my grey jogging pants.”
Emily Hampshire, who plays Stevie, is super close with Schitt's Creek co-creator and star Dan Levy
Joining the cast of Schitt’s Creek playing the part of Stevie impacted Emily Hampshire’s life in more ways than one. While the role didn’t exactly make her rich (“We shot in Canada, we made Canadian dollars,” she told ComicBook), it did make her some new friends and help revive her career. Hampshire told Harper’s Bazaar that filming the show was “like being at camp” and that she became especially close to her on-screen BFF, Dan Levy.
Levy co-created Schitt’s Creek in addition to starring on the show as David, but that power dynamic didn’t prevent the two from bonding. “Dan changed my life in so many ways,” Hampshire told Advocate. “I feel that he’s changed my life in a very similar way to the way he’s changed the lives of the people who watch the show.”
In an interview with BuzzFeed News‘ AM to DM, she revealed that her real-life relationship with Levy is a lot like the friendship between their respective characters. “David and Stevie’s relationship … has been the greatest thing ever to me,” she shared.
This iconic Schitt's Creek scene provided a "dream role" for Emily Hampshire, who plays Stevie
One of the best moments in Schitt’s Creek is when we see Stevie transform into singer Sally Bowles when she takes on the lead in a community production of Cabaret. The role not only pushed Stevie out of her comfort zone and showed a new side to her, but it also was incredibly important to Emily Hampshire, who plays Stevie. She told Decider that Sally was her “dream role” and that she’s “obsessed with musicals.” The actress revealed that she even mentioned the possibility of the citizens of Schitt’s Creek performing Cabaret years earlier, but “never in a million years thought Stevie would be part of it or let alone play Sally Bowles.”
Hampshire performs a powerful rendition of “Maybe This Time” on the show, and she said that she “felt like Stevie got that magical moment” during the number. “I definitely wanted it to be how Stevie would emotionally connect to the song in a way that Stevie has never really let herself connect emotionally to anything or anyone,” she explained.
Stevie on Schitt's Creek isn't Emily Hampshire's only major TV role to date
What makes Emily Hampshire’s portrayal of Stevie on Schitt’s Creek even more impressive is the fact that she was starring on another big show while filming it; Hampshire played Jennifer on 12 Monkeys from 2015 to 2018.
Starring on two series allowed Hampshire to show off her range. While Schitt’s Creek is a comedy, 12 Monkeys is a time-travel drama, and the character of Jennifer is very different from Stevie. Hampshire admitted to Harper’s Bazaar that this posed a bit of a challenge. “Coming off of filming the first season of Schitt’s, where I’d been playing the person with the laziest job in the world, I had no idea the energy that would be required to do an hour-long sci-fi drama, and play a crazy person in it,” she said.
Filming both shows also took a toll on Hampshire, who told Town & Country that she found herself “working on one during the daytime and then sleeping in a van in order to do night shoots for the other.” Still, it was a good experience that left her feeling “fully satisfied.”
Emily Hampshire, who plays Stevie, stole a bunch of Schitt's Creek memorabilia
Schitt’s Creek was a big part of Emily Hampshire’s life, so it stands to reason that she’d want something to remember her time playing Stevie on the show. Along with some other fellow cast members, Hampshire swiped a lot of mementos from the set. Among the many things she told BuzzFeed she took were some pretty random things like a brochure from the fictional airline Stevie briefly works for, Larry Air, and a Tamagotchi. She also took the massive stag painting from the motel, which is so big it barely fits in her home. “So, in my 500 square foot apartment, there is a life size of a deer that takes up the entire room,” she told PureWow. “It’s amazing.”
Hampshire also has a lot of Stevie’s flannel shirts in her wardrobe, but she didn’t wait until Schitt’s Creek wrapped to begin pilfering Stevie’s clothes. “I always take her stuff,” she admitted to Mental Floss while the show was still airing. She added, “But for some reason, the wardrobe women, they just find the perfect hoodie or the perfect jean — so I take those.”
This is what the girl who plays Stevie thinks of potentially starring in a Schitt's Creek spin-off
While it’s unlikely that Schitt’s Creek will get a reboot anytime soon, it could get a spin-off some day — we do live in an era of reboots and revivals after all – and Emily Hampshire has a lot of thoughts on portraying Stevie again. “I would be down for all of that!” she said in an online discussion hosted by Cutwater Spirits, a distillery she starred in a commercial for at the 2021 Super Bowl (via Hollywood Life).
It’s not just the opportunity to revisit Stevie that Hampshire would enjoy about reprising the role. She’d also love to get the Schitt’s Creek cast back together. Everyone really bonded during their five years on the show and “actually all like each other,” according to Hampshire.
For the record, co-creator Dan Levy is open to the idea of a spinoff, telling Oprah Daily, “There’s a thousand different avenues I just think it’s about, is it the right time?” Only time will tell whether a Schitt’s Creek spin-off becomes a reality, but we personally love the idea.
Emily Hampshire, who plays Stevie on Schitt's Creek, wants to play this superhero
Emily Hampshire, who’s known for playing Stevie on Schitt’s Creek, has acted in a variety of projects including comedy, horror, and drama, but there’s one major genre that she’d love to check off her bucket list. The actress wants to dive into the world of superheroes, and she talked to ComicBook about which costumed hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe she could see herself playing. “I’d be very into playing She-Hulk,” she said, adding, “You think of She-Hulk and muscles and stuff, but the person who’s behind it is just such a cool character.”
Hampshire also said she would be on board when fans on Twitter called for her to be cast as Spider-Woman. “I’m going to second this,” she tweeted in response.
The star would be just as content to play someone without superpowers, though, telling ComicBook, “I’d just love to play a comic book character,” calling the idea of bringing such a character to life “the coolest thing.”
The girl who plays Stevie in Schitt's Creek was once engaged to singer Teddy Geiger
Emily Hampshire’s life may have changed after starring in Schitt’s Creek as Stevie, but it didn’t make her impervious to heartbreak. The actress went public with her relationship with singer Teddy Geiger in September 2018. A couple of months later they were engaged, but the two never tied the knot. The end of their engagement was confirmed in June 2019 (via Page Six).
While the relationship might not have worked out, falling for Geiger — and starring on Schitt’s Creek — helped Hampshire realize something about her sexuality. Dan Levy’s character, David, is pansexual on the show, and Hampshire admitted to Passport that she “had no idea what pansexuality was” before it came up in a scene. “Then … I found myself falling in love with a trans woman,” she said. “I had previously been married to a man, so … I was very confused.”
It was Levy who helped her realized that, like David, she is pansexual. As the actress put it, “I don’t fall for people because of their bodies, I fall for them because of who they are.” And, we have to say, we love who Emily Hampshire is.
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