Cynthia Murell Talks New AOL Series ‘Making A Scene’ & Working With James Franco
The day I met actress, Cynthia Murell, was on the set James Franco’s art film. Since then we have worked on multiple film projects. There isn’t a moment spent with this woman that I am not laughing my cheeks off because of her contagious sense of humor and animated spirit. I find my self in awe of her talent, beauty and extreme elegance. She is the perfect combination of put-together and down-to-earth, but what makes her even more impressive is her knowledge of her craft. This funny girl been the hot next door neighbor on ‘How I met your mother’ and the scorned ex-girlfriend on ‘The New Girl’. Now, Cynthia is acting in the AOL series, ‘Making A Scene,’ currently in its second season. I wanted to know about her life, both her personal and creative experiences that amounts to who Cynthia Murell is today.
When did you first become interested in comedy?
I grew up in a family full of funny people. We always made each other laugh during good times and bad, especially the bad times. My family gets funnier in any type of turmoil or crisis. That sounds crazy but it’s how we cope and heal. We keep laughing.
So your family influenced your love of comedy?
Yes! My father is the funniest person I know. He can always make me laugh. He can find the humor in the worst situations. My mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis a few years ago. As difficult as that’s been for her, she still has her sense of humor, which I love! My father keeps her laughing; to me that’s a super power. Making someone laugh on their hardest day and having the strength to let yourself laugh during those hard days definitely influenced my love of comedy. I believe in it because I know what it’s capable of doing for people.
When did you start doing comedy?
I was the class clown all through school. My teachers would separate my desk from the rest of the class because I was always talking and goofing around. That happened in every grade. I even got kicked out of the Girl Scout Brownies! I just liked making people laugh even though I was always in trouble for it. It wasn’t until I was out of high school that I found a teacher that didn’t punish me for my sense of humor. Yvonne Suhor is an acting teacher that founded Art Sake Acting Studio in Winter Park, FL. Yvonne encouraged me to take my comedy seriously. She gave me a stage and told me I was more than just a pretty face. I took the plunge. She trained me for four years and directed me in a number of comedic one act plays. Then, she sent me to Los Angeles with a bottle of Dom and an old Harvard sweatshirt that was just like the one she wears when she’s teaching. She changed everything for me.
How did you adjust to Los Angeles?
When I got to LA, I started taking classes everywhere. I had always heard about these great comedy schools like The Groundlings and Second City and I was introduced to Upright Citizen Brigade and iO West by other comedic actors. I wanted to learn everything about comedy! I took improv classes and trained to do sketch comedy. I fell in love with it! I always look forward to performing improv and sketch shows. It’s my favorite thing to do. I’d rather perform in a sketch show than go out partying. That might be because I’m not great at alcohol or dancing. Don’t misunderstand, I still try my hand at alcohol and dancing, I’m just not great at it!
You are appearing in season two of AOL’s Making a Scene with James Franco. What is the series about?
We mash up iconic television shows with each other. There’s a wheel with names of shows and they spin the wheel twice to find out what shows we will mash up for each episode. We got to perform together in the Married With Children mash up with Dexter. I think it’s called Murdered With Children.
You played such a great Kelly Bundy!
I had a lot of fun playing Peg Bundy. She was definitely one of my favorites! I loved the opportunity to parody so many of my all time favorite tv characters. I played ten characters throughout the series. I still can’t believe I played a seventy year old man! The costumes, wigs, and makeup were amazing! The sets they built were like walking into these shows that I grew up watching. The cast was hysterical. I loved working off of everyone. We would get excited just seeing each other come out of hair and makeup because the transformations were so good! We were improvising and finding unexpected moments. It was an amazing experience!
Interview + Photos by Nana Ghana
Styling by Jacques Smith