The Apple TV+ series “The Reluctant Traveler” features “Schitt’s Creek” actor Eugene Levy paddling up a river without a paddle.
Levy, 76, points out the obvious: It’s a travel show presented by a grump who despises travelling while visiting far-flung places like Costa Rica, Finland, Italy, Japan, the Maldives, Portugal, and South Africa and staying in luxurious hotels with room rates that go above $1,000 per night.
“I detest airports, but it’s the complete experience. I put my laptop and phone in other bins after taking off my shoes and belt. Security checks my bag after that. The worst recent incident was when I realised at the gate that I had forgotten my laptop in the bin. But, I couldn’t simply go back because I had already gone through security. Let me then just go home.”
Here’s how Levy, who earned two Emmys for producing and acting in “Schitt’s Creek,” came to embody “The Hesitant Traveler With Eugene Levy” with his grimacing expression (streaming weekly on Fridays).
A travel show offer from the producers was too good to refuse. It was Eugene Levy.
Levy was approached by AppleTV+ producers with a proposition that no reasonable person would refuse: hosting “A Room With A View,” a global luxury hotel show.
There are 8,000 individuals jumping through the ceiling to do this show, I thought, adds Levy. “But I had to tell the truth. I’m simply unqualified for the position. Even straying off the main path is not something I enjoy.”
During follow-up conversations, the Canadian comedic actor continued declining in the greatest possible way. I was getting giggles on the phone as I explained every reason I don’t enjoy travelling, recalls Levy. The producers called back with a new pitch that was specifically designed for different temperaments. According to Levy, it turned into “someone who doesn’t love to travel doing a travel programme.” I responded, “OK, this might work now.”
Levy feared dying in a Utah helicopter and refused to eat reindeer meat.
Levy experiences comically awkward situations in his world-class locations in “Reluctant Traveler.” He consumes exotic sushi from Japan and tastes reindeer meat in Finland (“you want a decent steak, but instead you get this extremely game-y flesh”).
“I never consume sushi. Be sure it is cooked before placing it on a stove with flames “Levy adds. I don’t want microscopic microorganisms from raw fish getting into my system and ending up in my brain.
The “American Pie” star endures a perilous helicopter ride over Utah’s Horseshoe Bend and a suspension bridge in the Costa Rican rainforest. Levy admits, “I genuinely don’t enjoy heights.” And in that chopper, all that stands between you and an 8,000-foot death is a small window.
During a session of Costa Rican woodland therapy, Levy is so angry that he can hardly contain it. “In general, I’m just not a fan of therapy. Forest therapy, though? I suppose if you have to earn a living, “Selon Levy.
After rejecting the elephant stool sample, Levy changed his mind.
The moment a veterinarian asked Levy to assist in gathering a stool sample for testing, the “Reluctant” presenter came the closest to putting his foot down regarding an experience with a South African elephant’s behind.
“I actually yelled, “No! I won’t climb an elephant’s back to get a stool sample “Levy says. “Then I overhear my producer remark, “Well, I think you can do it,” off-camera. I said, “Well, for the performance.” Put on a glove, please.”
The event left lasting scars.
“After that, you never stop washing. In other words, even with the glove, “Levy says. “Never again do I want to experience that. Likewise, I felt awful for the elephant. With their histories, the veterans are skilled in what they do. My experience is in humour.”
The vacations changed my life, and the hotels are gorgeous.
Even Levy enjoyed his stays at the $1,000 per night Costa Rican eco-hotel Nayara Tented Camp, the Verride Palácio de Santa Catarina Hotel in Lisbon, Portugal, and Venice’s famed Gritti Palace.
Nonetheless, the naturally shy actor claims that his interactions with locals helped to broaden his perspective. Levy adds, “I was almost proud of the ‘You do what you do, and let me do what I do’ mindset before the show. “But, after seeing these locations and being forced to step outside of my comfort zone to experience new things, I’ve changed. a welcome change.”
Levy even agreed to float in icy Finnish water with a local guide while wearing an insulated immersion suit.
Naturally, that followed a lot of Finnish vodka shots, adds Levy. After you’re inside, floating in the water and gazing up at the sky is somehow the most peaceful thing.