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Cecily Strong Reveals How She and ‘Schmigadoon’ Costar Keegan-Michael Key Developed Chemistry on Set (Exclusive)

Living her best life on the set of Schmigadoon! Cecily Strong opened up about forming an offscreen friendship with costar Keegan-Michael Key while filming their upcoming Apple TV+ series.

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“The only thing we would do is when we got there in the morning, we’d be in the makeup trailer and we would just start running lines,” the Saturday Night Live star, 37, exclusively told Us Weekly on Tuesday, June 29. “We just would get so silly running lines and be improvising and just, you know, playing around and getting bigger and bigger. [We were] just two musical theater, comedy dorks — nerds, the biggest nerds — making each other laugh while running lines, and then we’d go do the scene and then have to cut out all the stuff we’d added.”

Cecily Strong How Keegan Michael Key I Developed Chemistry Set
Cecily Strong and Keegan Michael Key in ‘Schmigadoon.’ Apple TV+

Strong and Key, 50, play a couple on a backpacking trip designed to reignite the spark they have lost in their relationship. However, things take a turn when they get trapped inside a town that is living a 1940s musical and learn they cannot leave until they find “true love.” The six-episode first season of the musical comedy also stars Alan Cumming, Kristin Chenoweth, Dove Cameron, Jane Krakowski, Jaime Camil, Aaron Tveit, Fred Armisen, Ariana DeBose and Ann Harada.

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The star-studded cast contributed to the warmth of the series. “It was such a kind of a whirlwind. I really did get whisked away to a magical place,” Strong told Us. “I got whisked away to Vancouver during a pandemic and then lived on that set for six weeks or something. Just [to work] with people that I am such fans of every day was so much fun. You couldn’t feel bad. You couldn’t keep a bad mood on that set. It’s one of the most loving environments I’ve ever worked in, where it was, like, one day [showrunner Cinco Paul’s] crying, [director Barry Sonnenfeld’s] crying, I’m crying. We’re all just, like, ‘Oh, I just love you so much.’”

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Strong, who also served as a producer on the project, hopes the show won’t be one and done, in part because of her fascination with her costars. “I was starstruck by everybody and then watching them perform. I mean, it was unbelievable watching Aaron do that song and dance in front of me,” she recalled. “Then watching Kristin and going, ‘She makes, like, a quotable line out of all of her lines.’ That’s incredible. There was something to watch from everybody, and I’m so lucky I got to work with them and I hope I get to again, in this or another magical town.”

As for the prospect of season 2, the actress is definitely on board. “I love this show, and I think whatever Cinco would do would be amazing. And also, if it doesn’t [happen], I think it’s amazing,” she said. “So I’m kind of like, ‘I’ll show up. If there’s something, please let me be there.’”

Schmigadoon premieres globally on Apple TV+ July 16.

With reporting by Mandie DeCamp

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