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Dan Levy juggled multiple hats while working on Schitt’s Creek, a move he says resulted in so much physical stress he at one point required a neck brace.
The lead actor, writer and showrunner of the Emmy-winning comedy has previously spoken about his lack of social life while working on the hit show. The social isolation was largely driven, he says in a new interview with British GQ, by his many creative roles on the show, which required long hours and allowed for little sleep.
Levy told the magazine that his days would start at 5 a.m., when he would drive to the set before rehearsing and rewriting scenes, make wardrobe and set decisions, approve budgets, and go on to film — sometimes as an actor and other times as a director. That was on top of spending several hours running the show’s writers room. By the time he went home, he’d only have time to quickly eat before returning to write until about 2 a.m.
The Schitt’s Creek star admitted that for some weeks, “I didn’t sleep more than eight hours.”
That physically demanding schedule only got worse as the seasons went on. “Because the more we built the show, the more proud of it I was. And the more I wanted to create more compelling and dimensional stories, the more we wanted to expand our world.”
That hyper-focus on the series led to increasing stress, and by the show’s sixth season, it was so bad he required a neck brace. “The anxiety in my neck was so bad I couldn’t move it,” he explained. “At one point there was an acupuncturist and a chiropractor coming to set every day at lunch to work on my neck so that I could actually perform and not, you know, look like I needed a neck brace.”
The pandemic, the actor shared, gave him a much-appreciated opportunity to pause and be with his family in Toronto. “It was actually kind of amazing,” he said. “Like, whenever would you have the time to reset like that?”
With Schitt’s Creek behind him and the pandemic offering him a chance to recalibrate, Levy shares that he’s started working on his latest creative project — a gay rom-com.
“I’ve always wanted to make [a rom-com],” he said “I’ve always wanted to be in one. And as a gay person, you don’t ever get that kind of opportunity. You get to play the zany friend or Pepe the coworker. So I’m really excited and honored to have that opportunity: to put a gay person front and center in a rom-com.”
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