Jaime Camil brings his love for musical theater to SCHMIGADOON!

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Last week, the world formally met Doc Lopez on Schmigadoon!

Lopez, the strict, old-fashioned town doctor with a major romantic streak, is played by an accomplished stage and screen star Jaime Camil.

Camil is a Mexican actor, singer and television personality best known for his roles as Fernando Mendiola in La Fea Más Bella and Rogelio de la Vega in Jane the Virgin, the latter of which earned him two nominations for the Critics’ Choice Television Award from Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.

On stage, Camil appeared in the Chicago Broadway production and in the Hollywood Bowl production of Mamma Mia!

BroadwayWorld had the pleasure of speaking with Camil about building a musical theater character for the screen, his own passion for the theater, and Doc Lopez’s controversial relationship with his overly enamored parents.

Read the full interview below!


I love you on this show. I am a big fan.

Thank you!

I was just wondering – there are so many musical theater characters in Schmigadoon! Where do you think Doc Lopez fits? Which musical comedy characters were you looking for inspiration?

Well, not me personally, because I like to approach projects with freshness, and I like to be a tool for the director, for the showrunner, for whatever they need. I don’t like to be influenced by anything. But, of course, my character was based on The Sound of Music. Law? Obviously, this scenario!

No, but I like to arrive fresh! I don’t like to watch or reference anything, as I think that represents a hindrance in the creative process of creating a character.

Can you tell me about building a musical character for the screen?

Oh my god, it’s amazing, isn’t it ?! Well, first of all, the show is amazingly written. The songs are amazing – you don’t have to be a theater geek to step into the show. I was talking to a reporter who was like, “I’ve never seen a Broadway show in my life, man. And I love the show!” Now, first of all, you died for me. Watch a show! And second, it says a lot about the show’s appeal. If you like musical theater, amazing. It’s a bonus. But you don’t have to!

The show is so well written. He has such a great story and all the characters are so well developed. The music is hilarious. Not only do you not have to be in the musical theater world, but Keegan [Michael Key] makes fun of musicals all the time on the show. So I think that makes it very relevant. But I think it’s beautiful – there are also a lot of layers. I don’t know if you’ve seen the whole show, but it’s not just funny and there is amazing choreography and amazing songs. It’s as if each Schmigadoonian is a mirror to the challenges and obstacles the real couple face in order to become better humans.

So if you dig a little deeper into the show, it’s not all fun and dancing. He also has a lot of layers. And I love it in the show. But we shot it during COVID, so we had to adhere to COVID protocols. We had very little time for rehearsals – to answer your question about preparing for the musical. But I’m fine ! Ariana DeBose, for example – the beautiful Ariana DeBose – his musical number in class is incredible. My cast mates – maybe they struggled a bit more, because their musical numbers were so much more elaborate than mine.

I know you’ve done a lot of work on stage. What is your history with musicals? Would you like to continue this story?

Absoutely! It’s what I love to do the most, where I feel most alive, where my heart is happiest – it’s on a theater stage. I love to do musicals.

In Mexico, I did West Side Story, El Diluvio que Viene, Aladdin, Peter Pan. Playing Crochet, obviously, because I don’t look good in green tights, I can tell you that! And here I was in an original Broadway show, The Mambo Kings – unfortunately we never got a chance to open. But then I did Chicago, and then I did some Latinologists, and then I did Mamma Mia! at the Hollywood Bowl here in Los Angeles.

I am always very happy and very alive and fulfilled when I do musical theater. This is what I love to do the most.

If you could play another role in Schmigadoon !, what role would you play?

Let me think! I don’t know, because Schmigadoonians are very defined! I don’t know – I think Ariana’s story, Emma Tate’s story, was a little better explained – Emma Tate’s story – than Doc Lopez. And I think it has to do with the fact that Schmigadoon was originally supposed to have eight episodes, but then we decided to have six. It told the story better, it was more dynamic. But I think the Doc Lopez background got a bit lost in translation with the series being compressed into six episodes. So, I would have liked to show more of Doc Lopez’s background, just like we show Emma Tate’s background.

For sure. I love his relationship with his parents. I think it’s so much fun.

[Laughs] Yes. I love it.

Well, they’re very excited. So I have to keep them online.

Sure. Anyone would.

Exactly.


Listen to Camil sing “Suddenly” with Ariana DeBose in the fourth episode of Schmigadoon here:

Photo credit: Apple TV Plus

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