Emily Hampshire as Stevie Budd on 'Schitt's Creek'

Emily Hampshire Says Her ‘Schitt’s Creek’ Role Saved Her Life

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Fans of Schitt's Creek are feeling pretty torn right now. On the one hand, they're pumped for the return of the hit show in January 2020. But on the other, sadder hand, they know it's the beginning of the end, since Schitt's Creek's sixth season will also be its last. Perhaps they can find some comfort in knowing they're not alone in their mixed emotions: Schitt's Creek star Emily Hampshire is also feeling all the feels, from being sad about saying goodbye to the beloved series, to being excited about sharing the cast and creators' last hurrah with fans.

For six seasons, Hampshire has played Stevie Budd, the clerk-turned-owner of Rosebud Motel (formerly called the Schitt's Creek Motel), alongside Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Dan Levy, and Annie Murphy. Though working with her castmates has been a great experience for Hampshire, there's a downside to working with people you truly enjoy being around.

"The truth is, we genuinely like each other so much, which makes this end super-hard," Hampshire tells Elite Daily at the "Visit Schitt's Creek" Pop-Up Experience in Los Angeles. "[While filming,] Dan stopped telling people that [it was the last time we'd be on each set] because it would result in huge emotional meltdowns in the middle of our days. Those sets were all like characters. Schitt’s Creek is a character. The motel is a character. And so you’re leaving that, too."

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Hampshire's Stevie has grown into a stronger version of herself over the last six season. Fans note her eye-opening performance in the town's production of Cabaret at the end of Season 5, when she sang a heart-wrenching rendition of "maybe This Time" after finding out Dan got engaged, as a major defining moment.

"I think that’s something that left Stevie realizing she’s on her own, but not in a bad way — in like a great kind of hero's journey kind of way, where you have to find yourself and your independence," Hampshire says. "So that song, when Stevie sings it is like, 'Maybe this time I’ll win. Maybe this time I’ll become like everything all these people think I can be now,' and I think it really speaks to her whole journey. [In Season 6,] she’s definitely not going to go back to just being the motel girl who gives the towels."

Just as Stevie's grown along with the series, so has Hampshire.

"I, at the beginning, really underestimated Stevie, and underestimated myself, like Stevie does," she explains. "I never imagined I would be the person I am now, and I don’t think Stevie would’ve ever imagined Stevie would’ve become the person she is after Season 6."

In fact, Hampshire credits Schitt's Creek with changing her world for the better. "Both Annie and I talk about where we were before our auditions, and our pre-Schitt’s lives were sh*t," she says. "So, ironic that Schitt’s Creek saved our lives."

Though it's a sad farewell, Hampshire is looking forward to fans seeing how the series comes to an end. "The thing Schitt’s Creek does so well is that it will make you laugh and then rip your heart out," she says. "You love these people, they’re going through genuine things but still, it’s hilarious. It just has that perfect balance."

She can't give away too much about the upcoming season, but Hampshire is confident fans will be happy with the final episodes of Schitt's Creek. "I think it leaves people so satisfied, which I never thought was possible," Hampshire says. "Everyone’s storyline has been wrapped up. It really kind of sets everyone off on their path and I think people will be very pleased."

The final season of Schitt's Creek begins on Tuesday, Jan. 7, on Pop TV.