Cara Delevingne breaks down that 'heartbreaking' betrayal in Only Murders in the Building episode 6
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Warning: This article contains spoilers about Only Murders in the Building season 2, episode 6 (now streaming on Hulu).
Mabel (Selena Gomez) thought she had one good thing left in her life as everything else was falling apart halfway through Only Murders in the Building season 2. But as she let her guard down and trusted her new love interest Alice (Cara Delevingne) more, she only opened herself up to heartbreak. She really can't catch a break!
In this week's episode 6, "Performance Review," Mabel ran to Alice for support after Cinda Canning's (Tina Fey) podcast destroyed her reputation, making her look like the most likely suspect in Bunny's (Jayne Houdyshell) murder investigation. But Mabel walked in on Alice recreating Bunny's murder scene in a piece of performance art — and she was playing Mabel, bloody sweater and all, in a sick and twisted recreation of one of the worst moment's of Mabel's life. The one person Mabel thought she could trust completely just destroyed any last shred of hope Mabel had in one horrific moment.
"The sad thing about Alice is, as an artist, she felt not worthy of the art that she created," Delevingne tells EW. "She very much is one of those people that uses people for her art — she uses the relationships in her life to make art, which gets in the way of her relationships. When she discovers Mabel and is so fascinated by her story, she wants to become involved and wants to help her break through all these barriers and help her feel safe, but also help her discover herself. She just gets very, very involved, but also obviously is very fascinated and does really adore Mabel, but I think she just ends up doing the wrong thing."
Delevingne believes that Alice and Mabel's blossoming relationship has been "very genuine," but admits that Alice should not have betrayed Mabel. "Their relationship is very sweet and very pure and very lovely and loving," she says. "It's beautiful, but then it just ends up getting … skewed. Alice is a bit intense, let's just say that."
Below, Delevingne unpacks that "heartbreaking" twist and dives deep on what this means for Alice and Mabel's relationship moving forward. Plus, she reveals the sneaky and hilarious way she snuck a nipple clamp into her costume — and the wardrobe department never noticed.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Has Alice been planning this betrayal from the very beginning? Is this why she sought out Mabel?
CARA DELEVINGNE: I don't honestly think she has, but then I also think that it took over her, in a way. Mabel gave a lot more [of herself] to Alice than she expected. And there was a part of her, as that artist who's so hungry to create art from life, she just took it and then obviously completely made the wrong decision and betrayed her, because she took something and got inspired by it without even considering her feelings or considering what she had gone through.
I don't think it was planned. I mean, she may have had an idea to continue to help her and do art with her and maybe use her in a certain way, but I don't think that specific thing was done — because in her mind, it was also meant to help her. But also there's a very, very fine line between that and the other. I mean, she clearly has no boundaries and obviously, it just wasn't a good idea. It's a bad thing to do. I mean, horrifying. That was my least favorite scene because the way that Mabel reacts is heartbreaking. I felt so horrible, like, "No, Alice, don't!" It's so annoying. God damn you, Alice.
What does this mean for their relationship moving forward?
I think Alice really realizes the error of her ways and tries to make it up in any way, shape, or form. But at the end of the day, when you break someone's trust like that and betray them, it's very, very hard to go back from that. Especially since Mabel had already forgiven her for lying about her past, even though that came from really sad place and she was honest about that. It's a sad moment, but I do think Mabel's such an incredible character and she's very forgiving and she can kind of see certain things or the reason why people do things. And I do think that Alice isn't a bad person. She just makes very bad choices and clearly hasn't really ever had anyone be close to her either and probably got scared.
Where does the rest of the season go from here for Alice?
She's going to try to prove herself in any way, to try and help Mabel, and to continue be a friend to her as much as possible and be supportive of her in any way she can. She really becomes part of the plot, which is always fun.
Did you watch the first season of Only Murders in the Building back when it had premiered?
Oh my God, straight away. I was so obsessed with this show. That's why I was just beyond excited to be a part of it. I was completely shocked. If I had to be a part of any show? Yes, it was really the biggest dream come true.
How did you end up joining season 2?
I had just wrapped on Carnival Row and I was thinking I kind of wanted to take a bit of a break and focus on other stuff. And then I got a call from my agent and she literally said, "Only Murders," and I was like, "Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. A hundred percent." No hesitation. No questions asked. I literally didn't even know about the character. I just was so ready. Honestly, I couldn't have picked a better opportunity. I really still can't even believe it happened.
What was your first day like on set, since you were such a fan?
The first day was pretty easy because it was just me filming a video that I was sending to Mabel on the phone. It was like easing my way in, but I don't know why that was the hardest for me. It was kind of like, the first day you always have to cement the character, and I spent a lot of time trying to think too much, probably, about certain things that I was doing. I've never really played an English part or even a queer character before, so I was thinking too much about the voice or just the general bravado, and then I just was like, "What am I doing? Just do it. It's fine." That always happens. You overthink things.
I remember on the first day I literally brought in loads of my own clothes and they were like, "Okay..." I was just like, "This would be so cool." I think they were very touched that I cared so much. That necklace that I'm wearing when she comes to the gallery for the first time was my own necklace — but it's actually a nipple clamp, which is quite funny, and I don't know if any of them realized.
That's a fun easter egg!
[Laughs] Shh. Don't tell anyone. It's a very funny Easter egg. I think the people who know will be like, "Oh. Okay."
How did you start to figure out the character of Alice and how you were going to portray her?
Honestly, I think that was part of the fear about it — usually I have a bigger process because there's an accent and there's more of a difference between a character and me. Obviously, Alice is very, very different. There's so many things that I'm definitely not like, in that sense, but I was trying to think of things to do. The clothes I really wanted a big part in just because I had a really strong idea of the kind of thing she would wear — she's a bit of a boss, female boss type, but very stylish. But also I was like, "I'm going to change my hair completely." There were just certain things where I was like, I've got to do something to find that character.
But at the end of the day, it all just comes down to the first day you do it. With Alice, there's a real deep wanting to belong and wanting people to respect her and trying to find her way in the art world where she doesn't really feel like she does. It's kind of this fake confidence, where she's overly trying to prove those things, which then I realized that there was a lot more deeper reasons as to why she does that. For her to be so intrigued by Mabel and wanting to help her open up was probably something more she was projecting and wanting for herself, but she just never really had that. It was more important to try to figure out her intentions and why she does the crazy thing she does.
I'm actually shocked this is the first queer character you've played in your career. What did that mean to you, getting to play someone that you could relate to on that level?
You have no idea. I mean, it honestly was weird that I hadn't really thought about that, that I hadn't played a role like that before now. But also, the way that they wrote the character was so interesting because that wasn't the whole story. It was very much ingrained within [her character], which I think is the most amazing part because for such a huge show, the fact that the queer character can be in it and not be such a focus is the more important thing for me, only because I think that's what real life is about. It doesn't have to be spoken about more than anything else. But just to represent that, I didn't realize how happy it would make me. I spoke to [showrunner] John [Hoffman] about it a lot after the show and I was like, "You have no idea what you've done. I can't believe it." I just feel so grateful to be able to do that and represent the community that saved my life.
You and Selena have been good friends for a while, but what was it like for you getting to work with her for the first time and play love interests?
Honestly, it was so much fun. I had the best time being able to hang out with one of your best friends, especially since we never get to see each other that much since we're so busy. It was just so fun to work with her and collaborate with her and figure out the dynamics of the relationship and how it developed. It was the best time ever. I was just so upset for it to end, and she's just such an amazing person to work with. She gives so much and she's so funny and so brilliant and I just felt so comfortable. I really never wanted it to end.
Coming onto such a brilliant show like this after they've already filmed a full season, and then acting opposite these comedy legends like Steve [Martin] and Martin [Short] as well as Selena, who have set the bar so high, that could not have been easy. What was that like for you joining the show in season 2?
Comedy's always been my dream. With anything I've ever done, fear and self doubt and overthinking things only gets in the way. So I kind of just, if I've been offered that amazing, incredible opportunity, to just take it and run with it and really soak up as much as I could and learn as much as I could, but also give as much as I can. Comedy's always been my favorite genre, it's the medicine that we all need so much in life, but I think sometimes it's the least respected in so many ways. But the way that they do comedy is so interesting and so much more than comedy. Being able to feel very comfortable with them all, they helped me to be confident in ways so I would perform and do certain things with the character. They made it so much easier for me to just give as much as I could.
Last season, the love interest ended up being revealed as the murderer. Should we be suspicious of Alice in that same way?
You should be suspicious of everyone. No one is safe in this show. No one. You never know. It's the parrot!
[Laughs] I always had suspicions over that parrot.
Only Murders in the Building debuts new episodes Tuesdays on Hulu.
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