'The Hills: The After Show,' heads to Hollywood
Published Monday, December 10, 2007 9:38AM EST
TORONTO - Dan Levy, the affable co-host of Canada's "The Hills: The After Show," confesses he was wistful when told the show was going Hollywood for the season finale of the wildly popular MTV reality show on Monday night -- even though it means 98 million viewers could potentially see him in all his comic glory.
After all, Levy notes, the success of "The After Show" is due almost entirely to the passion of its Canadian fans, who tune in regularly to watch the often hilarious half-hour dissection of "The Hills" that's produced by MTV Canada but is being aired Monday on MTV in the U.S. immediately following the finale.
"To have our last 'After Show' in the States at first to me was a little disheartening," Levy said late last week as he prepared to board a flight to L.A.
"I felt like it was the Canadian fans who really stepped up and made the show what it is -- they're the fans that got us noticed in the States in the first place. And I also had reservations about it at first because, you know, you're not going to get the response from the States that you're going to get from the Canadian fans of the show."
That's why Levy was delighted to hear that 40 Canadian fans are being flown to Hollywood to take in "The After Show" at the L.A. hotspot Area, as well as the rest of the finale festivities. MTV is constructing a major red carpet and putting up bleachers for hundreds of fans of "The Hills" and everyone in the cast -- save for Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag -- is planning to join in on the fun.
The engaged couple are the only cast members who have yet to RSVP to appear on "The After Show" to talk to Levy and his co-host, Jessi Cruickshank.
"They are the only two who may or may not be showing up for the finale," Levy says. "I don't know if they're necessarily ready to deal with Jessi and I. They watch the show, I know that, and it's all in good fun so hopefully they have enough of a sense of humour to just show up and laugh it off."
Levy, son of Canadian comic legend Eugene Levy, is delighted there will be a Canadian fan contingent present for "The After Show."
"Half the audience in Los Angeles is going to be Canadian and that was really important not just to Jessi and me, but to our entire production team. The U.S. is just so .... well, sometimes they just need a little bit of a sense of humour, and I'm glad our Canadians are going to be there to show them how it's done."
The 24-year-old Levy doesn't deny being nervous about his Hollywood adventure, mostly because of the fear of the unknown -- the MTV suits in the U.S. whom he worries could possibly try to exert some control over a show that thrives in Canada in large part due to its spontaneity.
He also confesses to being frightened of the much-maligned Pratt, the closest thing to a villain on"The Hills" and someone who brings out a rare bit of snark from the good-natured Levy. He describes Pratt as "doughy and very cheesy."
"I'm kind of a bit scared of Spencer," Levy says. "He scares me a lot, actually, because I don't know what goes on behind those eyes; I don't know if he's the type of guy who would hire a hitman and knock me off. Anything could happen with that dude, so I don't want to piss him off too much."
He also worries about "poor Heidi."
"I often wonder: is she just in too deep? Is it like when you're in the mob or something and you just can't leave because there's some sort of weird threat that's going to be imposed upon you if you do? Does he have a tape that he'll release? What's he got on her?"
One thing he's not concerning himself with, however, are suggestions that American stardom could be in store for him after he's seen by millions of U.S. viewers on Monday night.
"We're the little Canadians that could, that's for sure," he says. "But I honestly don't think beyond the next day and I'm pretty in love with my job in Canada so it would take a lot to get me to leave. To me, it's a love thing. I have my family here at MTV in Canada."
His famous father, who refused to heed the call to relocate to Los Angeles and instead raised his family in Toronto throughout his high-profile career, helps keep him grounded, Levy adds.
"My parents watch the show and they're big fans but they're the first ones to say: 'Don't get a big head about it, it could all go away tomorrow,"' Levy says, slipping effortlessly into a bang-on impression of Eugene Levy's voice. "And it could and it probably will, so I am just going to enjoy it while it lasts."