Will Jaime Camil be the romantic hero of Schmigadoon? The Apple TV+ series has set up Camil’s character Doc Lopez as a new love interest for Melissa (Cecily Strong), and this week’s installment will teach audiences more about him and whether or not they belong together.
But could Doc Lopez be too good to be true? How did Jaime win over viewers while presenting his character as an effective rival to Josh (Keegan-Michael Key)? And what was it like for the Jane the Virgin alum to get to show TV audiences the full extent of his stage expertise in this genre-bending series? Here’s what he had to tell me in our recent interview.
Brittany Frederick: TV audiences know you from Jane the Virgin, but you have an extensive background in theater, including starring as Billy Flynn in the Broadway revival of Chicago. What was it like to show that side of your talents to small-screen viewers with Schmigadoon?
Jaime Camil: it was beautiful. That’s where I feel the most alive and the most fulfilled, when I’m on stage. So this project was a gift from the heavens. I loved it…I was doing an interview and the guy was like, I’ve never seen a Broadway show in my life. But then he told me that he loved the show. So you don’t have to be a theater geek to really get into Schmigadoon. The show has so many layers and it’s so well-written. Whether you like or you don’t like musical comedy, it is an amazing show to watch, in my humble opinion.
BF: When we met Doc Lopez, he seemed relatively normal compared to some of the other citizens. Is he that well-adjusted, or have we just not seen his quirks or surprises yet?
JC: We have not uncovered Doc Lopez yet. (laughs) Ariana DeBose and myself represent the love triangle, the possibility of a serious relationship with Cecily and Keegan. But every single Schmigadoonian serves as a mirror to the main couple to make them realize their insecurities, their flaws in personality, their challenges. Besides fun dancing and singing and corn pudding and all of those things we see on the show, it’ll help them become better humans and grow as human beings. That’s what I love about the show as well—that it has a lot of sincere and honest moments.
BF: How do you play that love triangle with Cecily? You want to make Doc Lopez genuine enough that we see why Melissa would be attracted to him, but at the same time, you still want the audience to have that hope that she and Josh will get back together.
JC: We were shooting during COVID, so of course we had to adhere to the COVID protocols and it was kind of challenging, but we made it. And working with Cecily is amazing; she’s such a beautiful and kind and generous human being. It’s just incredible. We all know her from Saturday Night Live and we know she was very gifted, but I’m so happy that this show is going to catapult her to the artistic level she deserves, because she’s a beyond gifted singer and incredibly talented actress.
I’m so happy that Schmigadoon! will serve as a vehicle to really showcase how incredibly talented she is. She deserves the show and she deserves for the world to understand that she’s much more than just an amazing comedic performance on SNL.
BF: What did you walk away from the show from? What were some of the things that stood out to you as you were making it and really being in your element?
JC: Being part of a beautiful, beautiful show in the genre that I like to do the most, which is musical theater, and working with amazing, beautiful, generous human beings and performers. Working with individuals that you love and that you adore and you respect tremendously. I saw the cast and I’m like, is this a wish list? Like your dream cast? And they’re like no, actually, all of them are going to be attached to this project. I’m like, oh my dear God, like this is a gift. It was just overall an amazing experience that I really wish we could repeat in season two.
Hopefully people will give it a chance. Don’t think you’re going to get into a musical show. They need to see it as, I’m going to watch a great show. Well-written show, well-rounded show with great characters, regardless if it’s a musical or not. It’s not irrelevant because it’s what the show is about, but it’s not the main reason why you would watch the show. The main reason you would watch the show is because it’s a well-written story with beautiful characters set in a beautiful, joyful world.
Schmigadoon! is now streaming exclusively on Apple TV+.
Article content is (c)2020-2021 Brittany Frederick and may not be excerpted or reproduced without express written permission by the author. Follow me on Twitter at @BFTVTwtr, on Instagram at @BFTVGram.