‘Only Murders in the Building’: Selena Gomez Says She’s ‘Very Similar’ to Mabel

Sometimes actors have to step way outside of their own experiences to portray characters in TV shows. But other times, there’s a meshing of personalities that makes the part relatable. That seems to be the case for Selena Gomez, the former Disney star who stars in the Hulu original crime comedy Only Murders in the Building as Mabel. 

The series sees Gomez starring alongside some real comedic giants. She offers a fun and youthful balance to the mix. Recently, Gomez opened up about her work on the series and revealed that she has more in common with her character than fans might think. 

Selena Gomez stars in ‘Only Murders in the Building’

Only Murders in the Building premieres on Hulu on August 31. The show stars Selena Gomez alongside Steve Martin and Martin Short. Martin, famous for his comedic talents displayed over more than four decades, also co-created the series. 

The show starts with the three main characters as strangers. They all share one hobby many Americans share: following true-crime mysteries. As the story unfolds, the three find themselves caught up in a murder mystery of their own. The show promises to be a combination of wry dark humor, a traditional whodunit, and a bit of a parody of the obsession with true crime entertainment. 

Gomez plays Mabel. She stands out as a young, female face next to her older, male costars. In real life, Gomez is introducing Short and Martin to youthful pop culture like Cardi B’s hit “WAP.” And her character is something of a foil for the two bumbling men who seem a bit out of touch with the updated world around them. The trailer, for instance, shows Martin’s character Charles trying to surreptitiously take surveillance photos of his neighbors. He ends up with a wall full of awkward selfies. 

Mabel and Gomez share some interests

Selena Gomez as Mabel in 'Only Murders in the Building'
Selena Gomez as Mabel in ‘Only Murders in the Building’ | Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu

Speaking with ET Canada in a teaser about the show, all three co-stars plugged the upcoming series. Martin talked about how the idea came to him. He admitted that it was starting with the three actors in mind that gave him the inspiration. He also pointed to the “brilliant people” who had come on board, saying it was like a “locomotive — once you start, you can’t stop it.” 

Gomez said that she “loved” playing Mabel because she’s “very similar” to the character. She also referred to her co-stars as “crazy uncles.” Gomez pointed to Martin’s tendency to make fun of himself as one of the ways he and Short are “incredibly humble.” She enjoyed working alongside the more seasoned stars and called them true “gentlemen.” 

Gomez attended a real-life true crime convention

While Gomez didn’t go into too much detail about what makes her and the character of Mabel so similar, one clue might be in Gomez’s past attendance at a true crime conference. 

Gomez and her mother attended a conference in Chicago along with 300 other people who tried to solve an actual cold case. The event, called CrimeCon, takes place at various locales. Upcoming events will be held in both Las Vegas and London. It gives amateur sleuths around the globe the opportunity to show off their skills. 

For Gomez and her mother, the case they tried to crack involved the 1981 death of a 17-year-old boy that has continued to baffle authorities for decades. At the end of the event, participants turn over their notes and theories to investigators. This is in hopes of giving a fresh perspective that might provide a new path forward and closure for the victim’s friends and family. 

RELATED: Is Selena Gomez’s ‘Only Murders in the Building’ Coming to Disney+?