Eugene Levy Says He Doesn’t Have to Work Anymore, but ‘The Reluctant Traveler’ Is an ‘Emotionally Fulfilling Experience’

Season 2 of the Apple TV+ reality series sees the “Schitt’s Creek” Emmy winner visiting his family roots in Scotland

Eugene Levy in "The Reluctant Traveler" (Credit: Apple TV+)

Eugene Levy is back for another season of “The Reluctant Traveler,” and this time, Apple TV+ series is getting a bit more personal.

In Season 2, which premiered Friday, Levy and the crew set their sights on a less traditional European excursion, moving north to south rather than hitting the continent’s more touristy cities like London and Paris.

Their route included Scotland, the birthplace of Levy’s mother. The 77-year-old Emmy winner had never visited after his mother moved the family to Ontario, Canada.

“Even though my mom was from Scotland, I never had a strong urge to get over there,” Levy told TheWrap. “When it came up this year, I said that would be good to see the country and the city where my mother was born, and when I got there, surprisingly to me, an emotional connection happened.”

Levy came face-to-face with what his mother’s childhood looked like as he explored a replica of the tenement where her family lived — which, despite fitting 11 people in three rooms, was seen as upscale for the community.

“What really drove it home for me emotionally was the fact that she never talked about how difficult it was to be jammed into a little place with all those people and not a whole lot going on,” Levy said. “The fact she never talked about it made it a more emotional experience for me, because that place was just where she grew up as a kid, and all her stories were just stories of growing up as a kid, but they weren’t hardship stories … That was an emotionally fulfilling experience for me.”

Another surprise awaited Levy as the production team traced his roots throughout the region, revealing his family’s Scottish crest and providing him with a Jewish tartan he would later wear as a kilt.

“I actually didn’t know about the genealogy aspect of it until we got there and then found out that’s where we were going to go with this thing,” Levy recalled. “I’m usually not that public when it comes to family, but I thought it could be interesting.”

While executive producer David Brindley guided Levy through travels out of his comfort zone throughout the show’s inaugural season, diving into Levy’s genealogy was a wholly unique experience.

“We don’t do it much on the series, but I have to say, especially that episode … when [Eugene was] visiting [his] great grandpa’s grave — something really tangible to be at — was really special and moving,” Brindley told TheWrap. “It was a great privilege for us to unearth that history, and then to be able to deliver it to him and [see him] literally walk through the history of [his] family. It was quite extraordinary.”

Reflecting on his time working on “The Reluctant Traveler,” Levy said he envisions doing the show for another 10 years or so, but suspects others will “have something to say about that.”

“I’m loving the show — I love David, I love the production team,” Levy said. “It’s like a giant reunion every time we get together and come back and do the show. That helps make it fun for me, too, because if it wasn’t that pleasant a job to do, this show wouldn’t be working at all.”

“It’ll be fascinating to see where that journey goes, because there’s a definite journey of growth in [Eugene],” Brindley said. “We’re all invested in that, we’d love to see where that goes.”

For Levy, “The Reluctant Traveler” was a “great follow up” to “Schitt’s Creek,” which wrapped its six-season run in April 2020.

“The thought of doing another comedy wasn’t [something I was] interested [in], because I couldn’t see doing something that wasn’t nearly as good as what we just came off of, so this show fit in beautifully,” Levy said, adding that the “idea of doing another long-running scripted show doesn’t hold a lot of interest” for him.

Levy was recently cast in the fourth season of Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building” in a recurring role, joining new additions Eva Longoria, Molly Shannon and Kumail Nanjiani.

“If something really rings my bells in terms of, ‘Wow, this would be really interesting to do,’ then that’s something I would explore,” Levy said. “But I don’t need to be working. I don’t feel I have to work to get through a day. Some people need work, because I don’t know what else they’d be doing. But when I have nothing on the agenda, I’m one happy guy.”

The first two episodes of “The Reluctant Traveler” are now streaming on Apple TV+, with new episodes dropping on Fridays.


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