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Celebrity / TV

How Selena Gomez Made ‘Only Murders in the Building’ Co-Stars Steve Martin and Martin Short Her ‘Crazy Uncles’

Selena Gomez discussed her role on 'Only Murders in the Building' with the Television Critics Association. Once she got comfortable with co-stars Steve Martin and Martin Short, the trio actually got quite personal. Gomez now treats them like family.

By the time Selena Gomez became a Disney star with The Wizards of Waverly Place, Steve Martin and Martin Short had already made three movies together. Gomez joins the comedy legends in the Hulu series Only Murders in the Building, which Martin co-created with John Hoffman. She called her co-stars her “crazy uncles.”

Only Murders in the Building: Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez ride the elevator
L-R: Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez | Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu

Gomez, Short and Martin were on a Television Critics Association Zoom panel for Only Murders in the Building. They described their working relationship together. New episodes premiere Tuesdays on Hulu.

Selena Gomez bonded with ‘Only Murders in the Building’ costars Steve Martin and Martin Short

Only Murders in the Building stars Martin as Charles and Short as Oliver. Gomez plays Mabel, a new resident in their posh New York apartment building. When one of their neighbors is murdered, the unlikely trio team up to solve it. 

Steve Martin and Selena Gomez investigate a murder
Selena Gomez and Steve Martin | Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu

“I was very nervous, to be honest, because I didn’t know what to expect,” Gomez said. “Sometimes I find that comedy people can sometimes be a little bit distant and so I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. And now I have like these two crazy uncles in my life that basically give me boy advice and I sing rap songs to them.”

Steve Martin and Martin Short taught Selena Gomez about comedy

Gomez had comedy chops already. The Wizards of Waverly Place was funny and she’s funny as herself on Selena + Chef. She enjoyed watching the masters at work though.

“What I think is really special is that they have a sense of humor that doesn’t exist anymore, in a way,” Gomez said. “I love that they have a sense of humor that’s not the typical crass, or kind of dark. It’s very light, and I think for me, that was something that I really appreciated.”

Gomez got high marks from Short and Martin, too.

“What I love about the end product of the show is the three different energies of the actors,” Short said. “I kind of play it very real. Steve goes way over the top and Selena grounds everything in this kind of dry, hilarious delivery. The combination, I think, is perfect. It was a dream to work with this brilliant, young lady.”

Martin was also impressed by what Gomez has accomplished prior to Only Murders in the Building.

Selena Gomez wears a scarf on the roof
Selena Gomez | Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu

‘Only Murders in the Building’: Showrunner John Hoffman Explains Why Steve Martin Chose the Show’s ‘Charming’ Title

“Of course, I knew Selena Gomez, but I didn’t know all her work,” Martin said. “Although I do dance around the house to her music all the time and have for years. But I didn’t know of her theatric or movie work or television work. She’s done more movies than I have.”

More lessons from the ‘crazy uncles’

In addition to life lessons, Gomez admired the work ethic she witnessed on the set of Only Murders in the Building.

“How they lead a set is so commendable,” Gomez said. “They are so humble and they are kind and they are there till the very end. They’ve set such an example for me. I would be so lucky to have a career that lasted that long. I love the way they talk to people, I love the way that they just come to set and make everybody feel good and that makes me want to be that and do that more. Plus, I’m just so lucky.  I just sit down and laugh all day.”