MIPCOM: Eugene Levy on Celebrity Overkill Inspiring 'Schitt's Creek' Comedy
"I've never seen so much style and money and fashion in your face"
Everywhere Eugene Levy looks, Kim Kardashian, her family and other Hollywood royalty reign.
"Now there's so much red carpet coverage at every event. All you're seeing is people asking, 'What are you wearing, who are you wearing.' I've never seen so much style and money and fashion in your face," the American Pie star told The Hollywood Reporter from MIPCOM.
So Levy partnered with his son, Daniel Levy, to co-create and star in the Canadian-made comedy Schitt's Creek. Their goal was to explore what would happen if the Kardashians' fast-expanding media empire suddenly fell apart and went bust.
"Now more than ever we know far too much about how the Kardashian family live their lives," Daniel added as he and his father helped ITV Studios Global Entertainment promote the single-camera comedy to international buyers in Cannes.
"I thought it would be interesting to explore the dynamic of what would happen if that level of wealthy family were to lose it all and how they would react and act, and whether the family relationships would remain intact or whether they would have to rebuild from the beginning," he said.
Schitt's Creek portrays video store billionaire Johnny Rose (Eugene Levy), his soap star wife Moira, played by Catherine O'Hara, and their two kids after they go broke and are forced to move to a small, depressing town they once bought as a joke.
The comedy portraying a billionaire family no longer living pampered lives even adopts the documentary-reality TV style of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. "We did take a fly-on the-wall approach to the show, in the same way when you're watching the Kardashians you're a fly on the wall in their house, watching them work," Eugene said.
But on Schitt's Creek, the Rose family face newfound poverty. "The approach is the same, the tone is the same, the style of shooting is very real, constantly keeping your frame dirty and not making it presentational," he added.
Besides his son Daniel, who plays hipster David Rose, and co-star Chris Elliott, Eugene Levy also reunites with SCTV alumni O'Hara with whom he appeared in Christopher Guest films like Waiting for Guffman, For Your Consideration, Best in Show and A Mighty Wind.
"It's a real comfort factor working with Catherine because we've just worked so much together in the past that it's like putting on a great old pair of slippers," Eugene said.