How Only Murders in the Building Landed Sting

In an exclusive chat with E! News, Only Murders in the Building co-creator John Hoffman dished on how producers convinced music superstar Sting to join the show.

By Alyssa Ray Sep 10, 2021 10:23 PMTags

Selena Gomez isn't the only A-list musician in Only Murders in the Building.

We're, of course, talking about Sting's hilarious supporting role as a slightly more cantankerous version of himself in the murder-prone Arconia building. So, while chatting exclusively with the Hulu original's co-creator John Hoffman, we made sure to ask how exactly producers landed the "Every Breath You Take" singer.

According to Hoffman, the character was always written to be a widely recognizable celebrity, but never in his wildest dreams did he think they'd book such a huge star. "Crazy, right?" he dished to E! News. "We all felt, 'Well good luck to us on that.' But it was born out of the idea [that] in these kinds of buildings in New York, that can happen. You'll be seeing someone famous because this is their home when they're in New York."

On how they decided to pursue the singer for the role, Hoffman explained that the team was looking for someone who was skilled in various ways, adding, "When it comes to like, someone with acting experience, someone with like, you know, just a magnetic personality, for me, you don't really have to go much further to land on Sting."

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Thankfully, Hoffman and company had access to Sting's people thanks to casting director Bernard "Bernie" Telsey, who had worked with Sting on his Broadway show, The Last Ship.

"We got on a Zoom with Sting," he recalled. "He was in France, pandemic hiding out in a stunning French château."

To Hoffman's delight, Sting "could not have been more thrilled and excited to jump in." Says the TV producer, the chart-topper "came to play" and "was fantastic" on set.

For those who've yet to tune in to the dark comedy, the show's true-crime trio—Charles-Haden Savage (Steve Martin), Oliver Putnam (Martin Short) and Mabel Mora (Gomez)—begin to suspect that the "Roxanne" artist is the killer of fellow Arconia resident Tim Kono (Julian Cihi).

The theory arises after Oliver and his dog Winnie have a chilly encounter with the hitmaker in an elevator. So when Winnie is poisoned and Oliver receives a threatening note about the trio's podcast, he immediately accuses Sting.

While the accusation seems wild at first, the gang soon realizes that Sting lost millions thanks to Tim, who was the Grammy winner's stockbroker.

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So, did Sting actually do it? The answer: Unlikely, as a guilt-ridden Sting reveals that he thought Tim committed suicide because the musician had yelled at him.

For all of this and more, watch the first four episodes of Only Murders in the Building on Hulu now. New episodes arrive Tuesdays. 

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