As nerds, we have a lot of great examples of epic scenery chewing: Brian Blessed in ‘Flash Gordon’; Wentworth Miller’s Captain Cold on ‘The Flash’; William Shatner in…  pretty much everything?  But we, as fans, seldom truly think about the heightened reality created by such perfect overacting.  Much as the sight of Batman in a mostly realistic setting makes him seem possible (and makes every other dipstick in Tae Kwon Do class think he’s on his way to combatting The Joker), really good scenery chewing overenunciating madness makes the more subtle performances feel more real, leading to memorable moments and today’s Stanislavskian query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) would also like to remind Faithful Spoilerites of the existence of Charlotte Rae, who left no backdrop without teeth marks as Edna Garrett, asking: Who gives the best, most scenery chewing, over-the-top, overacted experience of them all?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. Daniel Langsdale
    July 30, 2016 at 11:28 am — Reply

    I’ve always had an appreciation for Treat Williams in the Phantom movie. I felt he rode the edge between manic and camp just right.

  2. Hannah Jones
    July 30, 2016 at 9:06 pm — Reply

    I have an enduring fondness for Malcom McDowell in Tank Girl, no scenery left un-chewed.

  3. Rob
    July 31, 2016 at 4:23 am — Reply

    The late great Alan Rickman, I swear the man must have been part termite the way he chowed down on the scenery in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves

  4. Frank
    July 31, 2016 at 9:00 am — Reply

    Kenneth McMillan as Baron Harkonnen in Dune (1984). As the ‘floating fat man,’ he captured your attention in ever scene.
    I would second Alan Rickman in Robin Hood, but also in the Harry Potter series.

    • July 31, 2016 at 7:06 pm — Reply

      Yeah, that’s really the only thing I recall about the movie version of Dune…

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