In his nearly 60-year career, Steve Martin has lived his version of the movie “LA Story” not only on the screen.
Starting out as a stand-up comedian and becoming a Hollywood icon synonymous with guaranteed laughs, today Martin is ready to retire from an active career after the end of the second season of Only Murders In The Building – a series in which he co-stars with his long-time friend and colleague Martin Short.
“When this show is over, I won’t be in any more. I won’t be in any more movies. I don’t even want to be involved with guest appearances. As weird as it is, that’s the end,” Martin said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. .
And after such a confession, there is no way to get away without follow-up questions, especially since for most of his life he entertained people for money.
Martin himself can’t give an answer right away because the only activities he enjoys outside of acting are riding his bike and hosting dinner parties where he only cooks poached eggs.
However, his wife of 15 years, Anne Stringfield, is skeptical that Martin will settle for just cycling and joking around with friends after retiring from TV and film.
“My wife keeps saying that I promise to retire until I come up with a new idea. The truth is, I can’t imagine being retired. I’ll probably continue to work, but I’ll slow down,” adds the star of “The Father” of the bride”.
As an actor, writer and producer who has left behind a considerable legacy in the comedy genre, for Martin, stepping off the screen is the logical next step.
The decision is not impulsive and certainly not preceded by the usual doubts of his age that he has already worn out his talent and has nothing more to give the audience. On the contrary, at 73, the actor proved that his humor remains relevant through the Hulu miniseries Only Murders In The Building.
There is no stage of the realization of the project, which became the most watched comedy on the streaming platform, in which Steve Martin did not participate. The idea for the three New York neighbors obsessed with crime stories is his. He co-wrote the screenplay with John Hoffman, produced it and starred alongside Martin Short and Selena Gomez.
In addition to strong viewer interest, Only Murders In The Building also achieved success with its 17 Emmy nominations, three of which went to Steve Martin in the comedy actor, producer and screenplay categories.
The idea for the series came from one of Martin’s regular meetings with This Is Us producer Dan Fogelman. The actor teases the concept of the series, in which three neighbors of a classic Manhattan building embark on a murder investigation, encouraged by their favorite podcast.
Fogelman likes the preliminary design, but adds to Martin’s draft that instead of three men, it would be more interesting if the company consisted of two elderly gentlemen and a young girl. The plan was pitched to Hulu with the stipulation that if Steve Martin were to join the story, it would only star Martin Short.
The showrunners agree, adding Selena Gomez to the cast, completing the trio of their most-watched series.
While he wasn’t personally present at the writers’ meetings, Martin says the team was able to craft a distinctive and entertaining portrayal of his character, retired actor Charles-Hayden Savinge. Among his most interesting scenes is the episode in which the drugged hero tries to warn his friends about more potential murders, and the elevator in their apartment block does not help him.
“They write in the most eccentric way possible, and your job is to carry it out,” the actor says, recalling the scene. “I didn’t just want to walk funny and look drunk. That night, as I lay in bed thinking about how to act it out, I imagined the elevator doors pinching my penis. I laughed to myself for 20 minutes and the next day I proposed. With my play, I don’t want the audience to think about something fundamental. I just want them to laugh heartily.”
For this reason, Martin has vetoed every time Martin Short suggested that they tidy up a political skit.
“Marty likes to throw bombs, but I’ve always asked him to tone down the political context. I want to go to bed at night,” says Steve Martin.
But despite the brakes that the “father of the bride” puts on him from time to time, Short is adamant that Steve is easy to work with. He does not have the typical ego of celebrities of his rank, is always ready to correct himself if he sees that his idea on screen does not work as well as in his imagination, and over the years he has softened towards colleagues of younger generations.
“I think Steve was able to discover the joy of working in a team. That way, when he has some success, he has someone to celebrate with, and when he stumbles, he has someone to laugh with. It’s a lot better than going through that alone,” Short shared.
While their partnership boosted the careers of both Steve Martin and Martin Short, the Father of the Bride actor is at a point where single pursuits appeal more to him.
He recently completed his second autobiography, Number One Is Walking: My Life In The Movies and Other Diversions, where he comes to an interesting insight.
“There will be a time in your career when everyone will want to meet you. But there will also be a time when you’ll be the only one on the show. Whichever one you’re in, never miss out on the fun,” Martin wrote.