Only Murders in the Building Creator Praises Selena Gomez, Explains 'Light Bulb Moment' Casting

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Only Murders in the Building's co-creator explains why Selena Gomez was cast as the lead.

The murder mystery, which premiered on Hulu in August, follows three strangers (Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Gomez) who live in the fictional Arconia building and share a passion for true crime.

Shortly after connecting over their shared love of a popular podcast, the trio is thrown into the investigation of Tim Kono's murder (Julian Cihi).

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A ‘Light Bulb Moment’

Fans were captivated by the chemistry between the three co-leads, with Gomez's portrayal of Mabel Mora and how she played off two comic icons in Martin and Short particularly appealing.

Vanity Fair interviewed showrunner John Hoffman and casting director Tiffany Little Canfield about how the Hulu hit's cast was put together. When it came to Mabel, Hoffman explained that the goal was to show a clash between different generations of New Yorkers — the city where the story takes place.

Hoffman also lauded Gomez's work as the lead in the Disney Channel series Wizards of Waverly Place, stating that it was evident from the start that she was the appropriate match for the part.

“Once Selena Gomez was brought up, it was just like, oh. That really was the light bulb moment,” Hoffman said.

“I had watched her on Wizards of Waverly Place and I immediately recognized: She’s got her own little vibe, with a sort of laser-like, dry, underneath wit to her.”

Only Murders in the Building’s Stellar Casting

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Only Murders in the Building was praised for its ensemble cast, which included Nathan Lane, Tina Fey, and even music legend Sting in memorable guest roles.

Because of the talent engaged both in front of and behind the camera, the series, which lasted 10 half-hour episodes, was expected to be a success. However, not long after the premiere of Season 1, the murder mystery swiftly gained traction as viewers followed along and sought to uncover the major tale alongside the protagonists.

Only Murders in the Building Season 2 was recently renewed early, and the show has garnered a slew of awards and nominations along the way. It's tough to picture the show succeeding without the chemistry between Gomez, Martin, and Short.

Only Murders in the Building and HBO's Mare of Easttown, two of the year's most popular shows, both rely on the hook of victims and suspects to entice viewers to guess which characters fit into which category.

Regardless of how different the two mystery series are, they both emphasize the significance of choosing performers who can bring their characters to life.