In the premiere season of Only Murders in the Building, we were treated to a renaissance of the comedic chops of icons Steve Martin and Martin Short, and the sardonic wit of Selena Gomez. The trio created an extremely entertaining and charming dynamic, but the supporting cast was just as much of a pleasant surprise. Cameos from the likes of comedians Tina Fey, Jane Lynch, Nathan Lane, and musical legend Sting rounded out a solid cast of quirky supporting characters living in the Arconia.
With season 2 now arriving on Hulu, here are some of the guest stars you can expect, and a few of the featured characters you need to know.
Alice – Cara Delevingne
While technically not a tenant of the Arconia, Alice (Delevingne) spends a lot of time with one of the key residents of the building, as she becomes quite close with Mabel (Gomez).
Alice is the curator of a small hipster art gallery, and due to Mabel’s involvement in two murders, and the group’s podcast, she gains a bit of notoriety and a social media following. Alice notices the mural work Mabel spent all of last season working on and decides to invite Mabel to become a new key member of Alice’s commune of artists.
Delevigne gives a tremendously suave and layered performance as Alice. Much like everyone who frequents the Arconia, those layers include a few secrets of her own.
Leonora Folger – Shirley MacLaine
One of the charms of Only Murders in the Building is that it’s a cross-generational show. Boomers and Gen Xers who grew up on classic Saturday Night Live, SCTV or the plethora of quintessential comedic films Martin and Short have created are going to appreciate the two greats. Millennials are going to gravitate towards Gomez and her extremely cool and stylized representation of their generation, and when combined, their “odd-thruple” dynamic really works.
Adding in yet another legend in Shirley MacLaine is a major power-casting move. She too is going to grab an older demographic (granted, only slightly older than Martin or Short), but it’s difficult to have actors steal the spotlight in a show such as this, and that’s exactly what MacLaine does. Throughout the show, Short is often the biggest personality in the room, or sometimes it’s the quirkiness of the side characters that steal the show, but in the first minute MacLaine’s Leonora is introduced, the scene becomes hers.
At the end of season 1, Mabel was mysteriously found drenched in blood, hovering over the fallen Bunny Folger (Jayne Houdyshell), the foul-mouthed formidable, former Tenant Board President. Charles (Martin), Oliver (Short), and Mable are major persons of interest in the murder, for obvious reasons, but there’s more to Bunny’s death than may appear on the surface.
Leonora visits the Arconia, but seemingly not to grieve for her daughter. More clues unravel as Leonora seeks the truth behind her daughter’s death, searches for a specific heirloom that may hold a bombshell secret about Charles’ family history.
Amy Schumer – Amy Schumer
Perhaps typecast, Schumer, much like Sting in the first season, plays an exaggerated, fictionalized version of herself. Schumer is now living in the penthouse of the Astoria, where Sting used to reside, and while renovating, crosses paths with our three heroes.
In an exchange with Oliver in the elevator, the two begin to talk business, as Schumer (the fictional version) has a laser-like keen interest in getting the rights to their podcast so she can serialize the property into a streaming television series.
Schumer’s cameo appears to be much like Sting’s, merely a couple of quick appearances, but knowing that everyone in the Arconia is eventually a suspect for one reason or another, who knows what part she may play in the investigation.
Detective Kreps – Michael Rapaport
A key part of season 1’s investigation was Detective Williams’ (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) love-hate relationship with Charles, Oliver, and Mabel. Last season’s cliffhanger was preceded by a mysterious text message warning the trio to get out of the building as fast as they could, only for Oliver and Charles to stumble upon the bloody Mabel. A big question this season is: Was it Williams who sent the text, and what part will she play in this new murder investigation?
Taking the lead on Bunny’s murder is Detective Kreps (Rapaport), a grizzled New Yorker whose accent and profanity is as authentic to the area as the actor who plays him. This is a great role for Rapaport who is known for playing these street-wise tough guys, and more recently for his no-holds barred, obscenity-rich Instagram and Twitter posts, going after politicians he disagrees with.
Much like Williams, Kreps is no-nonsense, and very much like Williams, he seems to get caught up in the groups’ investigation more than conducting his own. Rapaport’s injection of street-level Upper East Side edge is a great balance with the softer, affluent socialites who live in the Arconia.
Nina Lin – Christine Ko
With Bunny’s juggernaut-like presence suddenly snuffed out, a major role within the infrastructure of the Arconia is gone. Someone needs to replace her as Tenant Board President, and arguably has to be as strong and knowledgeable as Bunny, which is a hard act to follow.
Enter Nina Lin (Ko), a young, extremely pregnant hedge-fund manager who has absorbed everything Bunny had to teach her about the inner workings of the historic Arconia. This possibly includes Bunny’s fiery disposition, as resident Arconian, cat-aficionado and Tenant Board member Howard (Michael Cyril Creighton) stipulates, “If you thought Bunny was a bitch… get a load of this one.”
Nina, much like her unborn child, seems ready to pop at any moment, and she quickly becomes a person of interest in the hero-trio’s second season of their podcast.
Lucy – Zoe Colletti
Only Murders in the Building did extremely well to create rich characters who all have their own mysteries and subplots. One of the more notable early mysteries which shed a lot of light on the lonely and guarded Charles was the mention of a mysterious girl named “Lucy.”
Since the very first episode, the mysterious “Lucy”, whenever her name was mentioned, sparked a lot of painful memories and a sense of loss for Charles. It was later revealed that Lucy was a surrogate daughter Charles cared for when he dated her mother, Emma, years ago. The breakup with Emma was painful, but not as painful as losing the little girl who had become so important to him. In the ongoing subplot, Charles had not reached out to Lucy in quite some time, and wasn’t even sure if he could at this point. One of the open story points of season 1 was Charles finally reaching out to Lucy via text, and receiving a heartfelt reply from the girl.
Audiences will get to meet Lucy (played by Zoe Colletti) in season 2, and, just like every other character who revolves around that building, she, too, has secrets. More importantly, the dynamic between Colletti and Martin is very sweet, and gives Martin a chance to flex the more dramatic avuncular muscles he’s become known for in the late stages of his career.
With one of his last relationships ending in heartache and separation, and his most recent girlfriend incarcerated after attempting to kill him, it will be nice to see Charles open up his heart, at least as a step-father figure. Lucy (and Colletti) is a welcomed addition to the Arconia, if only for a little while.
The first two episodes of Only Murders in the Building season 2 are available to stream on Hulu now.