Schitt’s Creek is a Cinderella story, a small-time Canadian comedy that was a little engine that could. The series avoided near cancelation in 2015 to go onto a historical sweep of the 2020 Emmys comedy category after its final season. Annie Murphy, who spent six seasons playing Alexis Rose on the series, now has the Supporting Actress Emmy to show for it. But most fans have no idea how close to quitting acting she came before nabbing that role. These TV shows Annie Murphy was in before Schitt’s Creek are a reminder of how hard it is to ~make it~ as an actor.
Murphy recently opened up about the despair she felt in the weeks before landing Schitt’s Creek. She’s been in failed series, done minor guest work, and her one could-have-been break instead led to a three-year dry spell of no roles. In an interview on The Kelly Clarkson Show, she told the audience how she hit rock bottom:
So what were Annie Murphy’s roles before she so beautifully and hilariously embodied Alexis? Here’s a rundown of her notable appearances:
1. ‘The Beautiful Life: TBL’
Annie Murphy’s first stab at being a series regular sounded promising on paper. She was cast as Sarah in The CW soap The Beautiful Life: TBL. The series was headlined by Mischa Barton, Elle Macpherson, Sara Paxton, and Corbin Bleu, revolving around a group of models in NYC. Sadly, the show only lasted two episodes and was the first series axed in the 2009-2010 TV season.
2. ‘Blue Mountain State’
Murphy’s next job was as a guest star on the American sitcom Blue Mountain State. The series ran on Spike TV for three seasons from 2010-2011, revolving around the fictional titular university and its football team, the "Mountain Goats." Murphy had a two-episode arc as Jill over Seasons 1 and 2, who may or may not have gotten pregnant after hooking up with one of the players.
3. ‘Beauty & the Beast’
Murphy’s next notable guest star gig was on Canadian TV in the semi-sort-of reboot of the 1980s Beauty & The Beast series. (It was "inspired by" the story, according to the logline.) It ran here in the U.S. on The CW for four seasons from 2012-2016. Murphy appears as Amy in the Season 1 episode "Saturn Returns."
4. ‘Good God’
Murphy leveled up from teen soaps with her guest turn in 2012’s Good God. It was the sixth and last in a line of newsroom-set limited series comedies starring Ken Finkleman, which ran successively on HBO Canada. Murphy’s guest role was as Tara in Episode 6, "The Naked Truth," putting her together with Samantha Bee and other prominent Canadian comedians.
5. ‘The Plateaus’
After not working for three years, Murphy’s last project before landing Schitt’s Creek was pretty promising. She landed the lead role as Morgan in The Plateaus, a comedy about a pop band who lose their lead singer just as they hit it big. Murphy’s Morgan is left to hold the band together but makes the wrong call at just about every turn. The series aired on the CBC’s digital channel in the fall of 2015, after Schitt’s Creek Season 1 had already aired earlier in the year.
Lucky for Murphy, Schitt’s Creek was already picked up for a second season, because The Plateaus was not.
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