Selena Gomez Shines In ‘Only Murders In The Building’

Hulu‘s Only Murders in the Building is a satire, a mystery, and a loving portrait of three strangers becoming unlikely friends. Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez star as the strangers-turned-sleuths-turned-besties, and while folks are used to seeing comedy titans Martin and Short working together, Gomez’s casting feels like a curveball. The millennial celebrity, known for her singing, acting, producing, beauty line, and social media savvy, isn’t the first name you might associate with her seventy-something co-stars. But that’s sort of the magic of Selena Gomez in Only Murders in the Building. The actress more than holds her own against Martin and Short, proving that she has the talent and charisma to outlast trends and evolve into the future.

Only Murders in the Building is based on an idea that Steve Martin has been working on for years, although the original concept was for three aging “Broadway” actors. “The idea came almost immediately, that they lived in a building and they all were interested in crime. But they didn’t have the energy to go downtown, so they would only do murders in the building,” Martin told The New York Times. In the intervening years, however, the project changed. Martin Short suggested that the two of them could do it, but the question remained: who would be the third star? Concerned that adding a third older actor to the mix would make the top three leads seem too similar, Martin and his co-writer John Hoffman came up with the concept of Gomez’s Mabel, a young, street-smart woman who crashes into Charles (Steve Martin) and Oliver (Martin Short)’s uniquely Upper West Side world.

Mabel might bring a jolt of youth and sarcasm to Charles and Oliver’s world, but Gomez comes across as a truly timeless talent like never before in Only Murders in the Building. Selena Gomez has always had the kind of career that has been tied to key pop culture moments, whether we’re talking about her work as a pint-sized child actor on Barney and Friends or her transition to full-on global pop star. Her creative choices — moving from the squeaky-clean world of Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place to Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers — have often run parallel with the experiences of her own audience as they’ve grown up. Heck, she even took the universal challenge of being homebound during COVID-19 to launch her innovative “at home” cooking show, Selena + Chef.

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