As previously discussed, Moira Rose is an icon, a heroine, the alpha and omega, and just a really good time.
Embodied by Canadian treasure Catherine O’Hara—who, for whatever reason, is not drowning in Emmys for this role—the Schitt’s Creek scene-stealer is a drama queen’s queen, punctuating every outré ensemble with an equally bold wig. And those wigs tell a story.
O’Hara and hairstylist Ana Soryst choose wigs depending on the mood Moira is in, though O’Hara says, “Moira gives the wigs personality, not the other way around.” The actress actually got the idea for Moira’s capricious coifs from some fabulous friends of hers.
“I originally asked if Moira could wear wigs whenever she felt like it because I know two women who changed wigs throughout the evening,” O’Hara told Variety for a story published this week. “If you went to their house for dinner, there’d be a different wig coming out every half hour. No mention! One of them would just come out like…”
Isn’t that the dream? Just hanging out with Catherine O’Hara and stuntin’ on some wigs? Making an entrance whenever possible, on a whim, in a new ’do like it just formed fully out of your head like the goddess Athena? Settin’ down a tray of martinis like:
The wigs, named after O’Hara’s friends or the scenes in which they appear, hold more significance to the character than just a little party on the scalp. She and Soryst liken them to helmets against, or an escape from, the life Moira is forced to lead after her family lost all of their fortune.
“It keeps me where I belong and where I plan to be getting back to soon,” O’Hara said.
Yes, wigs are great. They can be fun and silly, and even transformative and liberating. But it seems a lot of kids are wigging out these days, waxing poetically about the power of a lace-front.
Recently, Kathryn VanArendonk at Vulture did the Lord’s work with a piece on the makings of a great TV wig. Turns out the business of mops, bobs, and bangs is serious, painstaking, and intricate business—work that can run upwards of $25,000. “Really great wigs,” VanArendonk writes, “are akin to miracles.”
And so Moira Rose has been serving minor miracles for five seasons, with a sixth and final one on the way. It’s not that her wigs are so good you can’t tell they’re wigs—their outrageousness is the whole point. But just like the two women who pop in and out of their dinner parties with a different toupee, the defiant exuberance with which Moira wears her pieces is the real kicker.
“Moira has traveled the world and loves to believe she has all the potential in the world, so that’s why you can’t pin her down,” O’Hara told Variety. “Even though I’m stuck in this town, I will live the life I had before, I will get back to that life, we will get out of here.”
If that’s not a message that resonates today, what is? Check out O’Hara and her hairstylist figuratively unboxing Moira Rose’s wigs below: