View Full Version : What does "chewing the scenery" mean?
10-05-2002, 09:52 PM
OK, I guess this is kind of ignorant, but hey, I'm in the right place. Could someone explain to me the meaning of this phrase as it applies to actors/actresses in movies?
Any fine examples of scenery being chewed by anyone?
10-05-2002, 10:12 PM
CHEWING THE SCENERY
An actor who gives a completely hammy and over-the-top performance is said to be Chewing the Scenery.
10-05-2002, 10:13 PM
My take on this would be - upstaging your co-star, going above and beyond what the role calls for, doing anything to be noticed.
Do I hear any specific actors here?
10-05-2002, 11:06 PM
Alan Rickman as the sheriff in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves.
Vincent Price in almost any Roger Corman quickie horror film.
Paul Reuben's death scene in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
In a broad comedy or farce, chewing the scenery is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes an over-the-top performance can highlight the absurdity of a situation.
10-06-2002, 12:02 AM
See Pacino, Al. Look under the subject heading "Scent of a Woman" for details.
See also Heston, Charlton. "Planet of the Apes" (You can see tooth-marks in the cave walls.)
I am Sparticus
10-06-2002, 12:06 AM
Al Pacino in almost any role. Really loud, expressive and hammy. But not in the Godfather 1 or 2. Now in three, he was chewing scenery.
10-06-2002, 12:27 AM
Jack Nicholson in Batman.
who was slightly outchewed by:
John Lithgow in The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai.
10-06-2002, 01:01 AM
I'm getting a picture of acting deliberately outrageous, almost to the point of literally chewing the scenery, a style which can be used to good or bad effect, perhaps usually bad, except in the case of deliberate comedy. Is that about right?
10-06-2002, 02:11 AM
Cary Grant in Arsenic and Old Lace
10-06-2002, 02:51 AM
Interesting. I always thought that it referred to someone who was horribly underacting because they could care less that they are in that role. I guess "mailing/phoning it in" is a better term for that, though.
10-06-2002, 08:07 AM
Jim Carrey - any role and all live appearances.
10-06-2002, 12:35 PM
Y'all forgot the poster boy:
10-06-2002, 12:53 PM
Eat drums! Eat Drums! Arr rrr rrr rrr rrra!
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