Only Murders in the Building‘s Season 2 finale not only reveals who killed Bunny Folger, but introduces viewers to the Hulu comedy’s next murder victim: Paul Rudd!
Unlike Sting and Amy Schumer, Hollywood’s go-to nice guy is not asked to play a heightened version of himself. Instead he plays renowned theatre actor (and star of Oliver’s new play) Ben Glenroy.
A one-year time jump brings us to opening night. Ben marches out of his dressing room and confronts Oliver about a falling out with his costar, who we soon learn is Charles. TV’s erstwhile Brazzos interrupts a seemingly innocuous coughing spell and confronts Ben about his problematic behavior. “Be smart,” he warns. “Stay away from her…. I know what you did.”
Once Charles exits stage left, Ben takes his mark. He starts the show, but he’s clearly ill. His knees buckle, and he can barely catch his breath. Before long, his legs collapse beneath him and he’s sprawled out on the floor, bleeding out from his mouth.
Ben Glenroy… is dead!
So, what does this mean for Season 3? Grade the finale (and Season 2 as a whole) via the following polls, then scroll down for our Q&A with series co-creator John Hoffman.
TVLINE | Tell me about casting Paul Rudd as Murder Victim No. 3!
Paul is a good friend of Marty’s and has been for a little while. He also had worked with Selena on a lovely film [for Netflix], The Fundamentals of Caring. And he has revered Steve Martin since he was a kid. He seemed like a logical person to go to with a ridiculous request, which was, “Can you come be in the last five minutes of Season 2, potentially with an option to return [for] Season 3?”
TVLINE | So it’s safe to assume Rudd will return? You won’t just have a body double sprawled out on stage for the entirety of Season 3?
The hope is that he doesn’t get some huge thing that takes him away [from us], but I’m pretty sure we’re in good shape. Our victims play major parts in the season, so we’re really excited to have him be a part of it.
TVLINE | How did you manage to keep Rudd’s casting under wraps?
I honestly don’t know. I got all excited on one of the days Paul was here. It was actually a costume fitting day [for him], for Episode 10. We had a huge amount of the cast assembled in Bunny’s apartment [when] Paul came by to say hello, so I just said, “This is too good, let’s take a picture!” So we took a picture, and then I was, like, “Oh, no!” I think someone posted it somewhere. Thank God nothing was given away in that picture, but it did get out a little bit. I think people started wondering, like, “Is Paul Rudd just visiting the set to see his friends?”
TVLINE | You’ve had celebrities play heightened versions of themselves before. Sting was “Sting,” Amy Schumer was “Amy Schumer.” Did you consider having Paul Rudd play “Paul Rudd”?
There was some consideration, and it was a fun thought. But it was also really enjoyable [not to go that route]. Paul is famous, not just for being some sort of hoarder of the fountain of youth, but also as one of the nicest guys in the business. The notion of him giving a “touch of a–hole” — the guy who everyone is having challenges with — was really fun. He plays it right on that line, and I just love what he’s doing. I can’t wait to see where we go with that.
TVLINE | I never thought I’d hear “Crap Bag” call someone a f–kbag — least of all National Treasure Steve Martin!
[Laughs] That’s a great callback! So good! One of the first things Paul said to me when he came on set that day was, “I love calling him a f–kbag!” It was very fun. And the delight extends to the way we planned it: He’s talking about this guy, and then you realize it’s Charles. It’s just delightful the way we’re going with the two of them in Season 3.
TVLINE | Season 2’s third episode chronicled the last day of Bunny Folger’s life. Can we expect a similar installment in Season 3, told from Ben’s point of view?
I’m about six weeks into writing with the room for Season 3, and what we have planned is insane and so exciting. It’s also very twisty. We try to check ourselves, like, “OK, what can we do and how can we do this differently?” and “What feels like a different take? A fresh take?” So I can only say hang tight! There’s a lot going on, and certainly the victim is colorfully drawn so far.
Were you delighted by Rudd’s Only Murders casting? Excited to see more of Ben Glenroy in Season 3? Drop your thoughts in a comment below.