Jaime Camil, who stars as Doc Jorge Lopez, spoke with Solzy at the Movies about the new Apple TV+ musical comedy series, Schmigadoon!
Schmigadoon! is an amazing throwback series to the days of the Golden Age of Hollywood Musicals. How quickly did you say yes upon being offered?
Jaime Camil: Yes! Like that. No, actually, I was very lucky and privileged because Cinco Paul, my dear friend, who I did a voice for him for The Secret Life of Pets. We were at the premiere in New York of that movie and he was standing next to me and I’m like, Wow, amazing! He was like, I love Jane the Virgin. I’m like, thank you so much; you should come to the set. We became friends. He saw me in Chicago and then he saw me in Mamma Mia. He was generous enough and kind enough to write this part especially for me. It was one of those rare occasions where—as an actor—you don’t have to stress over the audition process to see if they chose you or not so that was sweet. Of course, I have to say yes. I love performing in musical theater. That’s what I like to do the most—to be on stage performing musical comedy. It was a no-brainer.
With Broadway having to shut down because of the pandemic, how exciting was it to be able to work on a musical series of this nature?
Jaime Camil: Well, I’m glad you’re mentioning that because I have so many friends, performers in New York that are really struggling. What a great news that Broadway is coming back. I mean, what is New York without theater, honestly, right. I’m so happy for dear friends of mine that they’re going back to work. They took a really big hit with this nonsense and I’m so happy they’re going back and they’re really disturbed by it. I’m super happy for a Broadway reopening especially for the artistic contribution it is to the world. But also, most importantly, for my dear friends, performers that are that have been struggling for so many months. Now they’re going to be back working. Amazing.
Did you study any musicals in particular while prepping for the role?
Jaime Camil: To be honest, no. I like to approach every single character I do completely fresh because I think that if you study or if you are influenced by whatever, it blocks the creative process and the spontaneity or the ability to just be as a performer, to just be spontaneous. I think that’s why we have the directors there and other showrunners to tell you what they need, right? I don’t I don’t like to influence myself with other things because it’s not part of my creative process.
Can you talk about working opposite Cecily Strong and Jane Krakowski?
Jaime Camil: They gave me the cast and I’m like, yeah, this is your wish list. Right? This is your dream cast? No, they’re actually attached! I’m like, Wait, what??!? What?!? National treasure Kristin Chenoweth? These guys are really going to be in the show? Yes. It’s like magic. It was a dream come true.
I’m glad you’re mentioning about Cecily because we all know Cecily. She’s a brilliant comedian on SNL sketches but I’m so happy that this show is gonna catapult her to the artistic level and stardom she really—I mean, she’s already there, don’t get me wrong, but she deserves these amazing recognition of how an amazing singer she is. If you know about music, you hear the sketches on SNL and you’re like, Oh, that’s a very beautiful trained and wonderful voice, right. But now she’s actually going to shine and she’s a brilliant dramatic actor. Interacting with her was beautiful because I got to know a beautiful human being that also happens to be an extremely gifted performer. I’m so happy for the world to see and to get to know this side of Cecily apart of the SNL world kind of thing.
What do you hope audiences take away from watching the series?
Jaime Camil: Joy! I hope they like it. I hope they love it. I hope they connect with a story. Schmigadoon! I’m sure you’ve seen the whole series. It has a lot of layers because all the Schmigadoonians are really tapped into the insecurities of the main couple. I think it helps them grow as human beings. Besides the great dancing, choreography, and singing and lyrics and songs, the show is much more than that. You don’t have to be into musical theater to get the show. Hopefully, this Friday, they’re finally going to get to meet Doc Lopez, which is going to be playing more strongly in episode 4-6. Hopefully, people will tune in to Apple TV+ to watch this beautiful show. It was done with all our heart, our soul, and our love. I think the audience connects to that in some way.
I did the binge on the day before the series premiered. It’s like, I get to watch all these episodes, everyone else has to wait a few weeks, and I need that soundtrack right now!
Jaime Camil: You were embargoed, right? You couldn’t talked about the spoilers and stuff like that?
I ran my review after the embargo lifted but of course, I always try and avoid the major spoilers.
Jaime Camil: Of course. The last episode—Oh my G-d, if you’re not crying like a baby at the end, you have no heart or soul.
Jaime Camil: Thank you.
G-d willing, we get a season two.
Jaime Camil: Oh my G-d, from your mouth to G-d’s ears. Thank you so much. Thank you for supporting the show and thank you for your time.