KEVIN CAN F**K HIMSELF Q&A — Annie Murphy Takes A Step Towards The Dark Side
In KEVIN CAN F**K HIMSELF, Annie Murphy plays Allison McRoberts, a housewife who's had enough. In this interview with amc.com, Murphy talks about the challenges she faced getting ready for the role, the epic camaraderie that unfolded on set, and how she hopes audiences connect with Allison's story.
Q: Coming out of the huge success of Schitt’s Creek, was there a part of you that wanted to experiment with something darker for your next project?
A: Very much. I had the best time on Schitt's Creek and I had so much fun playing Alexis. But after wrapping Schitt's Creek and starting to audition again, that became really important to me. I was getting very familiar auditions with very familiar character traits, so I started to think "Okay, I need to prove to myself that I'm able to do something different after all these years." And then along comes Allison, who couldn't be more different from Alexis! Working class, full of rage, terrible fashion sense, a real accent on her. She just checked all the boxes for me. I was so excited to jump in!
Q: How did you prepare for the challenge of playing such different sides of the same character? Creating a woman who jumps between these two distinct worlds must have been exhilarating but challenging!
A: I think over the course of the last year, so many people stepped back and took stock of what they had, what they were dealing with, the life they were living, and did a lot of reassessment as to how they wanted to move forward and who they wanted to be surrounded by. So when I delved into the character of Allison, I realized she's doing all of that in a more extreme way. She's going through the same thing and asking herself similar questions, so I felt that people would be able to latch onto that and identify with that.
As for going back and forth between sitcom and single-cam, Mary Hollis and I didn't have a whole hell of a lot to do in the sitcom world. It really is a world that exists for the men in the show, who do it so darn beautifully. Because the writers wanted to stick to the sitcom world as much as they possibly could, our job in that world was to sit back and watch, set them up for a joke, be the butt of a joke, or have steak spat on me over... and over... and over. [Laughs]. That was what we were there for! So, Mary Hollis and I let out such a breath when we got to go into the single-cam world. So as much fun as we had in the sitcom world, it was so nice to stretch our legs in the single-cam world.
Q: In talking with Eric (Petersen aka Kevin McRoberts), he mentioned that one of the weird silver linings of COVID was that the cast had the time to Zoom with each other, and get to know each other before filming was able to begin. That’s pretty rare, right?
A: Yeah, and it was great. To be totally honest and very selfish, I'm so glad we had that time off because I was scared s--tless going into this! I got cast and then they were like, "All right, in six days you're going to be the number one on a show shooting in Boston.” It was very scary and very overwhelming, and I was having serious conversations with myself as to whether or not I was ready for this or could do this.
So when we had that pause, we were all able to read through the scripts and get to know each other as much as you can over a computer. When we got to set in September, we knew each other, and it wasn't scary! We'd already established relationships with each other, and Mary Hollis and I in particular, we had fallen head over heels in love with each other. It was so great for our characters, but also at the same time Anna Dokoza who directed Episodes 3 through 8 was like, "I have to separate you guys! Are your characters laughing together?! Allison, did you just hook your arm through Patty's arm? Like that is not correct." So we had to really pump the brakes on our onscreen friendship, because our offscreen friendship was already snowballing.
Q: To say that Allison is a very complex character is a huge understatement. She’s got so much going on. How do you think audiences will respond to her?
A: Well, I had so many questions about Allison going into the show, and honestly some of those questions still stand. But I do know that, as you said, there's so much going on and she couldn't be more of a gray area. There is nothing black and white about Allison, and she’s feeling so many conflicting emotions all the time. That's what I really latched onto. That's what kept me on course, because that’s what being human is all about. That’s what makes you make poor, rash decisions and mistakes, and to me that’s what’s so interesting. Allison is f--king up all over the place... but she wants to murder her husband “correctly” because she doesn't ever want to do anything wrong. She's just a ball of contradictions, which to me makes her just a really perfectly flawed human. That's what made me excited. I hope people will be able to see themselves in that too.
Q: We've become accustomed to anti-heroes, and I feel like there's a bit of that anti-hero energy going on with Allison. Like you said, she's a ball of contradictions, so I love her but I'm also kind of scared of her.
A: Same here!
Stay tuned for Part 2 of our interview with Annie Murphy later this season.
The first two installments of the eight-episode season of KEVIN CAN F**K HIMSELF are available now on AMC+ and air back-to-back on AMC on June 20 at 9/8c. The remaining episodes will continue to debut on AMC+ one week ahead of the AMC airings on Sundays at 9/8c.
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