LOS ANGELES – Having just moved to L.A. from Canada four years ago, Emily Hampshire had $800 in her bank account and was about to move into a friend’s walk-in closet.
Basically, she was up a creek.
“My pre-Schitt’s life was Schitt, spelled Schitt,” she said.
Then, along came a paddle: her role as Stevie Budd on the award-winning show Schitt’s Creek.
It wasn’t until the show made it to Netflix in 2017 that it garnered mainstream popularity, and eventual Emmy and SAG nominations. Critics frequently praise the show for its treatment of sexuality, largely refraining from any negative story-lines surrounding its LGBTQ characters.
“People say 'this is the thing I can watch with my whole family and I was able to come out to my parents,'” said Hampshire.
She says her experience on the show not only launched her acting career, but helped her finally find peace with her own sexuality – and it gave her throngs of fans.
Now, in the midst of a pandemic, Hampshire knew she wanted to do something to help others with her newfound platform. She’s hosting a weekly live talk show from home to raise money for the Actor’s Fund, which offers emergency financial help for anyone in the entertainment industry.
The show will live-stream weekly until film, TV and theater productions are back up and running.
She's also been connecting more and more with her fans, who tell her they’re watching Schitt’s Creek more and more now during the pandemic, too. It’s their escape.
“You’re not the first to tell me you fall asleep to Schitt’s. I think it’s comforting. It’s a safe space, especially now. People who are quarantined alone, it’s a chosen family for a lot of people,” she said.
Knowing herself what it feels like, Hampshire wants to help others find their peace like being cast on Schitt's Creek did for her.