Why Selena Gomez Compares Only Murders to Wizards of Waverly Place

Selena Gomez looked back on playing Alex in Disney Channel's Wizards of Waverly Place, a role that continues to influence the Only Murders in the Building actress.

By Cydney Contreras Jun 30, 2022 2:58 PMTags
Watch: Selena Gomez Praises Cara Delevingne in Only Murders in the Building

Wanna know what's happened to Wizards of Waverly Place's Alex Russo? You may not need to look any further than Only Murders in the Building character, Mabel.

"I feel like Mabel is an older version of Alex in a way," Selena Gomez told Entertainment Weekly's The Awardist podcast of her two beloved characters. "I adored being on that show so much."

After all, their basically one in the same: Both live in NYC, have an enviable wardrobe and are incredibly witty.

In fact, the Disney Channel show, also starring David Henrie and Jake T. Austin, is to credit for a lot of Selena's acting abilities. From 2007 to 2012, she worked with some "incredible" writers and directors in the industry while playing Alex, noting that former Friends writers, Gigi McCreery and Perry Rein, worked on the show.

"We got really lucky," Selena said. "I still look back at that and laugh at certain things just because I thought it was so fun, and we tried."

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And Selena's education in improv continues with Only Murders in the Building, especially since Martin Short and Steve Martin are her co-stars. 

"My reaction was honestly what I think my character would do because half the time I'm like, I don't get what you're trying to do, but it works," the 29-year-old said. "She's rubbed off on me a little bit. I love being quick, and I kind of steal Steve and Marty's jokes every now and then. She's fun."

Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu; Disney Channel/Kobal/Shutterstock

It's a welcome change for Selena, who previously shared that she was excited to join Only Murders because it offered her the opportunity to learn from the best, whereas, in the past, she didn't take her acting as seriously. "I signed my life away to Disney at a very young age," she said during the TCA Summer 2021 Tour, "and I didn't know what I was doing."

She added, "I was just running around on set and now I just feel like a sponge, and I soak up all the wisdom that I can."

Will Heath/NBC

In addition to starring on Only Murders, Selena hopes to expand her portfolio with performances directed by Gone Girl's David Fincher and American Hustle's David O'Russell, as she thinks they would "push me to the edge to go and fight for something."

For now though, she's content solving crimes with co-stars Steve and Martin, who she described as "the kindest people," in addition to great comedians.

New episodes of Only Murders in the Building stream Tuesdays on Hulu.

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