Meet Iowa City actor Matthew Lamb, who appears on Hulu's 'Only Murders in the Building'

Editor's note: This story originally published on July 8, 2022. 

Viewers have been treated to new and familiar faces with the debut of the latest season of Hulu's comedy/mystery "Only Murders in the Building," but one face possibly familiar to eastern Iowans is that of Matthew Lamb, who plays a younger version of Steve Martin's character, Charles-Haden Savage.

"We like telling the story and developing our characters," Martin, the comedian famous for films like "Three Amigos!" and "Father of the Bride," told the Des Moines Register about his Hulu show in April.

The 10-year-old Lamb is the child of Meredith and Greg Lamb, the latter of whom is the executive director of development at the University of Iowa Center for Advancement.

Lamb's appearance in the second episode of this latest season offers key insight into Martin's character. Lamb appears in a smattering of flashback scenes shown throughout the episode.

“Being on set was really exciting since we were filming right on the streets of New York," Lamb, from Iowa City, told the Register in a phone call in June. "If they caught a person wearing nowadays-clothes, they’d have to go back and re-film it.”

Matthew Lamb in a scene with Ben Livingston in season two, episode two of the Hulu comedy/mystery show "Only Murders in the Building."
Matthew Lamb in a scene with Ben Livingston in season two, episode two of the Hulu comedy/mystery show "Only Murders in the Building."

Lamb is already a triple-threat performer on stage and screen. He's done in-state shows, such as the Coralville City Circle Acting Co.'s 2020 Christmas Cabaret, and attended the 2020 Broadway Artists Alliance (BAA), a New York-based organization that provides training for young musical theater performers, where he was instructed by Tony-nominated actor Rob McClure.

When Lamb's parents got the call that he'd been cast in "Only Murders," he was performing as Randy in a stage production of "A Christmas Story." It was only in the car on the way to the cast party he found out he was going to be playing a young Steve Martin.

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“I didn’t really know what 'Only Murders in the Building' was or who Steve Martin was," said Lamb, whose parents showed him "Father of the Bride" quickly after he found out he'd landed the role.

When he arrived in New York for filming, he was thrilled to discover the set was within walking distance of the apartment he was set up in. He had his own private trailer, marked "Little Charles," for the day of filming.

While Lamb doesn't share a scene with the main cast members in his episode, Martin Short ("Three Fugitives," "Innerspace") — who costars in the show with Selena Gomez and Martin — noted that COVID-19 protocols were still in place during filming for Season 2.

“It was still pretty similar. We were tested every two days. Everyone wears masks," said Short in April, speaking to the Register about his touring show with Martin.

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Matthew Lamb performs in the Coralville-based City Circle Acting Company's 2020 Christmas Cabaret.
Matthew Lamb performs in the Coralville-based City Circle Acting Company's 2020 Christmas Cabaret.

While Lamb's appearance in "Only Murders in the Building" is viewable now, he'd already recorded his feature-film debut when he arrived on the set. Lamb is set to play Jackson in "Smile" an upcoming horror film with a trailer that's garnered more than 19 million views on YouTube since it went up in June.

Though Lamb doesn't show up in it, he mentioned filming a scene shown in the trailer just before the one-minute and 45-second mark when a person is seen falling through a glass table. The film opens in theaters on Friday, Sept. 30, with some area screenings on Thursday night.

He's also filmed a scene for another upcoming film called "Manodrome," starring Adrien Brody, Jesse Eisenberg and Riley Keough. In that film — billed as a thriller — Eisenberg plays an Uber driver and Lamb is one of his clients.

“I got to film at a huge indoor set, so it looked like we were in a car, but it wasn’t an actual car so it wasn't actually moving," Lamb recalled. "People would shake it to make it look like the car was moving.”

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Lamb was in Kansas City, Missouri, in June and July splitting his time between musical productions of "School of Rock," in which he plays Billy, and "Freaky Friday," where he plays Fletcher.

While both productions are among his favorite instances of live performance so far, "Freaky Friday" stands out because he gets to do magic on stage and have a real-live rabbit.

“His name is Presto, his real name is Slippers, and he’s the cutest little ball of fluff," Lamb said.

“In the show, I’m a magician," he went on, "but I also have loved doing magic forever.”

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Since he already performed on film in productions featuring the likes of Martin and Brody, and with roles in everything from musicals to horror to comedies to drama, Lamb knows exactly what he wants next in his burgeoning career: “I want to do it all."

New episodes of "Only Murders in the Building" stream on Hulu every Tuesday through Aug. 23. "Smile" releases in theaters on Sept. 30.

Isaac Hamlet covers arts, entertainment and culture at the Des Moines Register. Reach him at or 319-600-2124, follow him on Twitter @IsaacHamlet.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Hulu's 'Only Murders in the Building' features Iowan Matthew Lamb