Eugene Levy visits world’s most remarkable hotels for new series

Levy The Reluctant Traveler
The first season of ‘The Reluctant Traveler’ will consist of eight episodes.

By María Estevez, MWN

‘The Reluctant Traveler’ is an eight-episode globe-trotting series that follows Eugene Levy as he visits some of the world’s most beautiful and intriguing destinations. The audience takes on a journey with the Canadian actor as he explores different cultures. The intriguing and beautiful destinations include Costa Rica, Finland, Italy, Japan, Maldives, Portugal, South Africa, and the United States.

Metro recently sat down with Levy to learn more. 

Does your reluctance as a traveler increase or decrease because you’re traveling with a camera crew and production company?

Well, to be honest, I think it helps. It’s a lot of fun. This particular production company is just a fantastic group of Brits and they just make it fun. The first season—right now the only season because we don’t know if there’s another season—we’d shoot a couple of shows every couple of months, so getting together with this team was kind of like a nice reunion; it made it much more fun for me.

Did you know where you were going, what you were going to be doing, or was it a surprise?

I knew where we were going. We kind of discussed the locations where we’re going and we whittled it down from a larger list of locations. And initially, at the very beginning of this series, I would say, “Well, I don’t particularly want to go there. I don’t think that would be too much fun. I think the weather is kind of terrible in this location.” I was actually truly reluctant in the very beginning, like until I realized that the show is about reluctance. So you can’t always say “no” to things. You have to try things. 

How much of this was actually acting that you didn’t want to be there, and how much of it was, “No, really, I hate this”?

There was a great deal of truth, but it’s not that I hated traveling. But I never loved it. I don’t love the airport experience. I’m not a fan of sightseeing generally. I don’t have a great sense of adventure. I’m not curious by nature. I’m not proud of any of this but it’s just a fact. So, I always thought I was the wrong person for this job when it was originally pitched to me.

I also don’t really open up to people on my own quite naturally. So, these are things that I had to work on, and I didn’t realize I’d be working on them on camera. But these locations have been quite fantastic. And, the bottom line to all of this is I’m making a connection with the people in every country that I’m traveling to. It’s the people that are getting me most excited: talking to them and listening to them, and getting into their culture… 

The line between making fun of yourself for being scared or uncomfortable with other cultures feels like a delicate one. How hard was it to keep the perspective of where the joke was?

Well, it wasn’t that hard. I understand what the joke is but the reluctance in the show is truly me. It’s not making fun of any of the countries. If there was a reason I didn’t want to go to a particular place around the world, to me, it was a legitimate reason. 

What was the most surprising thing that you actually enjoyed?

I think that would have been South Africa. Because I never thought of going on safari. I used to watch the shows on TV. I know what they do. I know they attack each other. I know what they look like. So, do I have to make the trip and get up at 5 in the morning to go on a safari? But when I got there, I just felt an affinity with the landscape. And I got a strong sense as to the danger these animals are in every day in this world, from poachers and hunters. I visited a rhino conservancy where they have taken orphaned rhinos that have been injured through poaching and have been rescued… Or I fed baby rhinos with a bottle this size… And I got to witness the first baby rhino born to orphaned rhinos raised in a conservancy. You know what? That kind of changed me. And I definitely felt more of a connection to where I was than I ever thought I could.

Obviously the point of the show is getting out of your comfort zone. Did you previously receive a job offer to you that was going to push you out of your comfort zone?

Yeah, ‘Schitt’s Creek.’ Even though I created the show with my son, the character of Johnny Rose was a huge challenge, something that made me very nervous. And it worked out, but that was a brick wall that I had never encountered in any of the work that I had done up to that point.

The Reluctant Traveler’ premieres Feb. 24 on Apple TV+