Whatever Steven Universe’s faults, you’ve gotta give it credit for taking the standard “kid with a nontraditional family consisting of one aggressively normal mom and half a dozen increasingly fucked up dads” bit and very precisely flipping the script.
Do you think American actors’ interest in having a specific process is a way of compensating for often lacking the classical grounding that British actors typically have?
I think that’s a lot to do with it. The musicality of work, they don’t have. We are brought up understanding the iambic form and how that works; how when Shakespeare moves from verse to prose there is a process — horrible word again! — going on. There’s a great example in “Hamlet”: He comes on and says the “To be or not to be” speech, and Ophelia, who’s so entrenched in courtly life, responds in verse. He tries to pull her away from verse to prose and she will not be pulled. She’s not being pulled, and he’s going on, “If you be honest, your honesty should admit no discourse to your beauty.” He’s taking her on this incredible journey. At the end, she has to go right back to the verse: “Oh what a noble mind is here o’erthrown. Courtier’s, soldier’s, scholar’s eye . . . the observed of all observers quite, quite down.” That’s brilliant, and if you learn that as an actor, you understand that there’s a whole musical sense at work. That’s the classical root. As a pig-ignorant Scot, I’m incredibly grateful to have learned that. Not everyone has.
Honestly, a big part of the reason I rarely shitpost about monster-of-the-week urban fantasy in spite of being a big fan of the genre is because nine times out of ten someone will be like “this incredibly stupid thing that you’ve proposed actually happens in Supernatural” and they’ll be 100% correct.
One of the weirdest media phenomena I’ve encountered is that I keep running into folks in their 50s and 60s who are absolutely convinced that Scooby-Doo was this obscure little cartoon that ran for like one season when they were young, that kids these days probably wouldn’t recognise, and are absolutely gobsmacked to learn that, well:
[Description: A Wikipedia infobox titled “List of Scooby-Doo media”. The listed media includes 15 printed comics, 45 feature-length films, 46 short films, 13 television shows, one web series, six stage plays, twenty video games, and a variety of breakdowns dividing the previously mentioned figures into television versus direct-to-video numbers, etc.]
I haven’t run into this with any other notable media franchise, either. It’s like there’s this massive cultural blind spot with respect to Scooby-Doo in particular.