Schitt's Creek Star Rizwan Manji Says He Wishes His Character Had Been More "Three-Dimensional"

“If you want to criticize something, do that,” he said. “We need to have three-dimensional characters.”

Prior to landing the Schitt’s Creek role, one of his most prominent recent gigs was a lead on the NBC sitcom Outsourced, which was canceled in May 2011 after a single season. The Canadian actor explained that because he was offered the role of Ray without needing to audition, he assumed that producers, including co-creator and star Dan Levy, would want a toned-down version of how he sounded on Outsourced.

Rizwan touched base with Dan following the first Schitt’s Creek table read to make sure they were all on the same page. “Afterwards, I went up to Dan and said, ‘Hey just want to check in,'” the Charlie Wilson’s War performer recalled. “He said, ‘I love what you did. It was funny.’ That ended up being the character for six years.”

In a statement released to the Star, Dan praised the “thoughtful choices” that Rizwan made in bringing his character to life.

“No accent was called for in the casting or specified in the scripts,” Dan said in the statement. “All characters on our show were created with love, respect and humanity. It has been gratifying to have these intentions reflected through the overwhelming audience support for these characters. That said, I welcome any perspectives that encourage conversations about diversity, especially in entertainment.”

In response to the article, Rizwan tweeted on Dec. 29, “I loved playing Ray on @SchittsCreek! The accent question has been ever present in my career!” He added that it “is hard to hear criticism” but that he is “always open to this dialogue.”


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