How to Get Cast on ‘Only Murders in the Building’

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Photo Source: Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu

“Only Murders in the Building” is officially getting a Season 3. Starring comedians Steve Martin and Martin Short, along with singer-actress Selena Gomez, Hulu’s hit original series follows amateur sleuths as they band together to solve a murder mystery. But there’s nothing amateur about this cast.

From industry veterans to rising stars, the “Only Murders in the Building” cast features so much talent that it’s almost criminal. Could you be the next character to take up residence in the Arconia? Here’s everything you need to know about joining the series, including insight into the casting process, advice, and filming updates.

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What is “Only Murders in the Building” about?

At the beginning of Season 1, Charles-Haden Savage (Martin), Oliver Putnam (Short), and Mabel Mora (Gomez) are nothing more than neighbors in the Arconia apartment building. But when the fire alarm suddenly sends the residents out into the cold, the unlikely trio bonds over their mutual love of true crime podcasts. Soon, the three find themselves at the center of an actual crime: the murder of one of the residents, Tim Kono (Julian Cihi). With the opportunity of a lifetime at their feet, Charles, Oliver, and Mabel investigate the shady dealings in the Arconia, reporting their findings via their own podcast and uncovering secrets about each other—and their neighbors—along the way. Season 2 dropped on June 28 and is currently underway.

“Only Murders in the Building” was co-created by Martin and showrunner John Hoffman. The duo also executive produce the show—along with Short, Gomez, and others.

Selena Gomez

Who is in the cast of “Only Murders in the Building”?

The star-studded “Only Murders in the Building” ensemble includes:

  • Steve Martin as Charles-Haden Savage
  • Martin Short as Oliver Putnam
  • Selena Gomez as Mabel Mora
  • Aaron Dominguez as Oscar
  • Amy Ryan as Jan
  • Jackie Hoffman as Uma Heller
  • Jayne Houdyshell as Bunny
  • Julian Cihi as Tim Kono
  • Nathan Lane as Teddy Dimas
  • James Caverly as Theo Dimas
  • Tina Fey as Cinda Canning
  • Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Detective Williams
  • Olivia Reis as Zoe Cassidy
  • Michael Cyril Creighton as Howard Morris
  • Sting as himself

Season 2 added an array of new faces to its star-studded roster, including Amy Schumer as herself, Cara Delevingne as Alice, and Shirley MacLaine as Leonora Folger.

How does the casting process work for “Only Murders in the Building”?

In an interview with us, Hoffman discussed the decision to cast Gomez alongside Martin and Short. He revealed that the team wanted to bring on someone who would help the comedy stars strike a particular tone—and Gomez delivered. “We knew we wanted someone unexpected, someone sort of alien to their world. She fits perfectly, because she’s this dry, assertive, cut-through-it-always [presence],” Hoffman said. “I find it so beautiful that these three unexpected people, you’ll very quickly begin to root for. They feel like they’re a little mini family that makes no sense, but that is very watchable. It’s been extraordinary to watch her blossom and develop as a young comedic actress who we all knew when she was growing up, and to watch her mature into this deep role. And the three of them together really are just so funny.”

In a conversation with Vanity Fair, Hoffman said that the team had one critical question when creating the series: “How do we take these two legendary, classic comedians and then put them up against the clash of something New York, being modern now and finding that classic-meets-modern all around New York?” Gomez, he said, provided their “light bulb moment.”

Hoffman and casting director Tiffany Little Canfield told the outlet they felt like “kids in a candy store” when it came to selecting New York’s top actors; but they also wanted to strike a balance by bringing in some unknowns. “I didn’t want it to feel like some variety show…. It was that balance of: You don’t want [the cast] to be all well-known people, so it starts to feel a little gimmicky,” Hoffman explained.

For instance, as Canfield described, Aaron Dominguez (Oscar) had some stiff competition in the audition room, but “there was just something about him that was so charming and appealing, and then also kind of broken.” Dominguez also represented “a whole different feel of New York,” which allowed the team to pursue big names like Sting, as well as lesser-known stage actors like Cihi.

Martin Short and Steve Martin

When does filming for “Only Murders in the Building” Season 3 start?

On July 11 (a few weeks into Season 2), news broke that Hulu renewed “Only Murders in the Building” for another season. According to a press release, “the news is on the heels of a successful first and second season,” with both receiving a 100% Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. “ ‘Only Murders in the Building’ is the true crown jewel of our slate. Its appeal across generations, the intersection of humor and heart, and its truly original approach are a hallmark of and testament to Dan, John, Steve, Marty, and Selena’s work,” said Craig Erwich, the president of Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment. “We are grateful to be able to continue telling the stories of Charles, Oliver, and Mabel to viewers that have consistently shown us they crave more of this story.”

Before Season 3 of  “Only Murders in the Building” was confirmed, the show’s stars dropped some subtle hints. In a TikTok video shared on Gomez’s account, the three leads can be seen toasting “Only Murders in the Building” Season 2. Gomez and Short both exclaim, “To a great Season 2!” while Martin follows up with, “To a great Season 3… Well, next year.” 

As of now, there’s no news on when production will begin for the new season. Stay tuned for updates from us.

'Only Murders in the Building' behind the scenes

Where can you find “Only Murders in the Building” casting calls and auditions?

Currently, there are no open casting calls or auditions for “Only Murders in the Building” Season 3, as the series was just renewed. However, many Hulu projects cast with us—so we’re hopeful that when filming begins, notices will trickle in. Seasons 1 and 2 were also both filmed in New York City. If you’re local to the area, we suggest keeping an eye on our What’s Filming series for set locations and background opportunities. It’s also a good idea to bookmark this roundup of similar crime-themed projects that are seeking talent now. These nationwide gigs are also great projects to add to your résumé.

'Only Murders in the Building' cast

Who is the casting director for “Only Murders in the Building”?

“Only Murders in the Building” is cast by Tiffany Little Canfield and Bernard Telsey of the Telsey Office. With so many big names attached to the project, Canfield told Vanity Fair that logistics were a major concern. 

“The tricky part of casting it is so much of our cast that is crucially important is our guest cast—which definitely [makes] a financial difference, in a big way,” she explained. “It also has a scheduling difference, because when someone’s a guest cast [member], you are working with them [based on] their professional availability. Their full-time job is not your show, and you’re not paying them enough for it to be their full-time job. But in our show, the challenge was, with a murder mystery, you can’t lose anybody!”

And with guest stars like Tina Fey, Sting, and Nathan Lane all playing small but crucial roles throughout the show, losing any of these players would’ve been a crime.

Only Murders in the Building

Audition tips for landing a role on “Only Murders in the Building”

“Only Murders in the Building” features an exciting blend of seasoned veterans and industry newcomers—and with that comes a variety of perspectives on how to handle the audition process. 

  • Don’t let disappointment allow your work to suffer. For Dominguez, auditioning got to be a bit more than he could handle. He revealed to us, “It got to the point where I was so discouraged that my work began to suffer. Because of all the pain and the letdowns, I didn’t care as much anymore.” However, he found inspiration from one of his closest allies. “Then, my agent gave me a valuable piece of advice: Focus on the work, and the rest will fall into place…. Eventually, CDs and studios began to take note of me, even if I wasn’t getting the job. I was doing good work in the room when the time came to perform, and that’s all you can ask of yourself. The rest is not up to you. And in due time, people won’t have any choice but to notice all the time, focus, dedication, and love you’ve put into your craft.”
  • Today’s failed audition could lead to tomorrow’s starring role. Because CDs often work to cast many different projects at any given time, there’s a good chance that, even if you’re not right for a role, good, consistent effort remains the key to future success. “So many of our projects feed other projects,” Canfield told us. “One person gets a job when you’re casting people, but that doesn’t mean one person was good. On every project we work on, we’re constantly learning new actors and seeing actors we love try something new. This happened with a pilot I just cast. A young actor we cast in a play years ago had gotten close to a show that I had done three years ago, didn’t get the part, and now that producer and I are working on a new project. She came in and slayed and got the lead of a series. I don’t know if that would have happened if I hadn’t seen her for so many different kinds of projects and got to see how much range she actually has.”
  • Don’t waste the casting director’s time—or yours. In the early days of her career, Amy Ryan (Jan) volunteered as a reader for auditions held by her casting director friend. Along the way, she learned how you should and should not approach an audition. “It’s so illuminating, how many people have this great opportunity to stand in front of a playwright or director or casting director, and they’re not prepared—they rolled out of bed and just printed the sides out,” Ryan told us. “It’s staggering how many people aren’t prepared. When you witness that, you become very aware—and you would be embarrassed to behave that way yourself, to waste their time and your time.”