There is a certain candour to the superstar on screen before me. Clad in a structured blazer, Cara Delevingne leans back into her chair, her perfectly slicked-back bun juxtaposed against her almost-easy, laidback nature. Delevingne, the intriguing addition to the formidable cast of Only Murders In The Building, is suave, composed and refreshingly candid with her words—a sentiment I manage to garner from the short time I have with her. She plays Alice in the murder-mystery’s sequel season: a perplexing artist and romantic interest to the ever-so-mysterious Mabel, played by singer-actor and long-term friend, Selena Gomez.
Alice’s first on-screen moment is suspect from the get-go; she slides into Mabel’s DMs, citing an interest in her mural artwork of The Arconia—the central location of our true crime podcast trio’s investigations and a historic residence that chimes in with its own clandestine charm. Yet her strategically timed appearance is an instant puzzle piece; the perhaps all-too-obvious clue in the murder of Bunny Folger, the cliffhanger crime at the end of season 1, to which Mabel is the prime suspect for. Yet the show doesn’t shy away from being self-aware about this. The effortless comedy duo Charles (Steve Martin) and Oliver (Martin Short) are almost hasty in picking up on this—albeit in their own adorable, older uncle figures sort of way.
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And therein lies the understated magic of Only Murders In The Building. Just when you think the plot is taking you down one secret passageway, it unexpectedly turns you away, but not without its fair share of absurd chaos and epic punchlines. Alice could be our enigmatic killer and our podcast conclusion…or she could simply be Mabel’s foil. Effectively driving this question through with no real stakes however, is perhaps the genius of the episodic narrative. It is comically serious about what it’s not, and yet wholly honest about what it is.
Behind-the-scenes? Delevingne cites a mood of infectious humour and palpable fun working with comedy geniuses Martin Short, Steve Martin and one of her best friends, Selena Gomez. Read on for the full tease, or everything she could share in real time.
What’s your favourite thing about playing Alice?
My favourite thing about playing Alice…well she’s a tad crazy and she’s definitely unpredictable. Yeah, there’s a lot of depth to the character, weirdly—like trying to understand why she does certain things or what it is about the things that she does that makes her like that. And also the fashion of it all, that was my favourite part as well.
What’s your on-set ritual like?
I mean usually I’m doing an accent, in a program or a show. But my ritual? I don’t know…it was kind of the same ritual everyday. Me and Selena would be doing our makeup together, so we’d just be chatting and gossiping, laughing and playing music. There wasn’t much of a ritual. Even if it’s a really intense day, doing comedy and acting with one of my best friends…you can’t really go wrong? And also I don’t really feel like the character was that much of a stretch for me, which is cool. I really enjoyed it, it was really fun. I just had the best days ever.
Do you think you relate to Alice? If yes, which part of Alice do you think you relate to?
No, not really. I don’t think I relate to her that much. I don’t know…she made some pretty strange choices in terms of how she treated people? I’m wearing a lot of my own clothes, if that’s something? Maybe.
What’s the biggest takeaway from being on set with veteran actors like Steve Martin and Martin Short?
I was just so scared in the beginning. But they became like naughty, uncle brothers to me. When I say naughty, I’m the one that’s probably being naughty. But I don’t know, me and Martin would always have like a little bit that we do, and Steve is just so sweet. And by the end of it, he came up to me and thanked me? I literally haven’t even done this show that much and I’m so happy also. They’re just the kind of sweetest people.
Actually, my favourite bit about doing it was always in the breaks in between and going and talking to them: Steve starts doing magic tricks or Martin would start telling another story. It made me so happy everyday at work, and it was just so fun.
Considering Selena Gomez is your long term friend, what was it like playing a romantic interest?
I mean…it’s Selena. When you’re acting and you’re doing it with someone you don’t know, that’s kind of weird I guess. Or sometimes it’s not weird? I guess it was just fun and we enjoyed it and we had a really nice time doing it…and it was easy.
If you could choose to stay with Tim Kono, Bunny or Jan in the Arconia, who would you pick?
(pauses in thought) Maybe I’d go for Bunny? Just because it’ll be weird. And I have a lot of questions I would want to ask her.
Are you into podcasts yourself? What is a personal favourite of yours?
My favourite podcast is actually Louis Theroux’s podcast. He doesn’t do them that much anymore but I love his interviews with people, he’s amazing.
Only Murders In The Building season 2 airs on Disney+ on 28 June 2022.