Eugene Levy on His Biggest Travel Hang-Up and Casting Jennifer Coolidge in 'Best in Show' (Exclusive)

Levy returns to TV with 'The Reluctant Traveler' series on Apple TV+. 

After six seasons of Schitt's Creek, Eugene Levy is back on TV as the host of The Reluctant Traveler. The Apple TV+ original series, which premieres Feb. 24, sees the Emmy-winning actor globetrotting around the world. Except the thing is, Levy typically doesn't enjoy traveling, especially when it takes him outside of his comfort zone.    

"To be honest, my sense of curiosity is very low [and] I have no sense of adventure as a person, probably two things you need to front a show like this," Levy admits to ET's Denny Directo. 

In fact, his biggest hang-up when it comes to traveling is airports. "I don't love the airport experience," he says. "Don't love taking off the shoes and the vest and the watch and the computer and then being yelled at while you're doing it, you know." 

Levy adds, "You go through your lines. And you do it and then you get there and it's like sightseeing. Do you truly enjoy sightseeing? Like, traveling around every day doing nine things in a day? No, no, no, I don't." 

Apple TV+

But thanks to the eight-part unscripted series, Levy is taking advantage of an opportunity to broaden his horizons -- and go on some global adventures that involve more than just taking in the sights. 

Each episode will see the 76-year-old trying and learning new things as he tries a sound bath in the Maldives, goes ice floating in Finland, connects with the Navajo Nation in Utah, captains a sailboat in Lisbon, takes a bite out of the culinary culture of Tokyo and journeys into the jungles of Costa Rica.

"To be honest, it's opened up things for me. It's gotten me out of a comfort zone that I was much too comfortable in," Levy says now, looking back on what he went through while filming the series. "It's been a cathartic experience for me as a person." 

In fact, he feels like a changed person. "Because I'm opening up, I'm talking to a lot of people, I'm doing things I normally don't do in real life and I've had to really work myself up to doing this on camera," Levy says, before adding, "So, over the eight shows, you know, I think there's been definitely growth." 

Apple TV+

While Levy ended up hosting the series alone, he reveals that Jennifer Coolidge's name was brought up at some point as a potential guest on the show.  "Somebody suggested bringing her on the travel show," he recalls. "I said, 'That's a whole other way to go.'" 

But Coolidge might have been too busy anyway following her Emmy-winning turn on season 1 of The White Lotus, which was quickly followed by the filming of the second season in the Sicilian region of Italy. (Which happens to be one place that Levy does like. "I used to love going to Italy 'cause you know the food is gonna be great," he offers.) 

However, that didn't stop Levy from celebrating her recent comeback and success onscreen. Not only did the two appear in the American Pie films, but they also were part of Christopher Guest's recurring ensemble of actors, starring in three of his movies, including Best in Show

"Well, first of all, she was amazing in The White Lotus. She was amazing in Best in Show," Levy says, before recalling how she came to join him in a string of Guest's mockumentary films. "She was, you know, kind of plucked out of the Groundlings improv troupe. She was quite amazing. I had suggested her to Chris Guest that maybe she would be great for this role in Best in Show."

In the film about various owners entering their pets into a prestigious dog show, Levy played Gerry Fleck while Coolidge appeared as Sherri Ann Cabot. "She was so amazing in it and all the other films that we did. She just has an innate quirkiness that is all her own, right? There's nobody else who does what Jennifer Coolidge does," he says, adding that "she was a natural scene-stealer." 

Although Coolidge doesn't join Levy on The Reluctant Traveler, it doesn't stop it from being its own, wildly watchable adventure, an opinion "coming from your lips [...] means much more than coming from my lips," Levy quips.