For six seasons, Annie Murphy played Alexis Rose on Schitt's Creek, bringing smiles to viewers' faces with her character's "Ew David" one-liners, celebrity-filled backstories, and self-described "T.Rex" arms.
Because fans often associate the actress with this role, they expect her to always be as bubbly as the daughter of the Rose family. But Annie isn't Alexis, and she experiences real-life struggles just like everybody else.
In a new interview for The Zoe Report, Annie talks about mental health and her battle with depression last year.
As she told the outlet, she went through a difficult time during the Schitt's Creek farewell tour in January 2020, turning to her co-star Noah Reid to help her put on a "brave face" for the audience and then returning home to cry.
She was scheduled to begin filming her new series Kevin Can F**k Himself in March. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, that was put on pause and she flew home to spend lockdown with her family.
"My mom was like, ‘You're crying 12 times a day hysterically, to the point where your teeth are chattering,'" she recalled. "'That's not normal.'"
So, she started seeing a therapist, who diagnosed Annie with depression. "A lot of people are going to think that I sound like I'm playing a tiny violin for myself," she told The Zoe Report. "‘Oh, you're rich and famous. Why the f--k are you sad? You have nothing to be sad about.' But I'm not going to post photos of me covered in my own snot, lying on the floor, unable to get up. I don't want people to have to see that. [And] as excited as I was to get this huge part on [Kevin], I do not think if I had gone to work when I was supposed to go to work, I would have been able to do my job."
Annie continued going to therapy and began taking antidepressants. "I do not cry every single day on the floor 12 times… I am able to focus on other things in my life," she shared. "Now, honestly, if a friend's like, ‘I'm having a really hard time,' I'm like, ‘Get on drugs. Get on drugs!' You don't have to be on drugs for the whole time, but they truly, truly saved my life in the sense that I was not a functional human being and I was able to be a functional human being."
And when she returned to take on the part of Allison last fall, she found herself diving deep into her work, making friends and enjoying the process. "Not to toot my own horn because I f--king hate that, but I do feel a sense of resilience," Annie said, "both from Allison but also being in a real messy mental state going into it."
Now, she's ready for this next chapter. And while Annie will always have a place in her heart for Alexis, she's ready for the world to see her new performance and continue doing what she loves on her terms.
"I don't need to live up to people's expectations," she added. "If it was an indie film, if it was a piece of theater, if it was voice work, whatever that was, for whatever the paycheck was, I just really, really wanted to do something for myself that was a challenge and that I had fun with, that was about something important to me."