Give Charles Melton the Oscar for This Interview

In a new sit down with i-D, the star of May December discusses The Land Before Time and likens starring on Riverdale to studying at Juilliard.

Give Charles Melton the Oscar for This Interview
Melton in May December. Photo:Courtesy of Netflix

I didn’t watch Riverdale, therefore I am arriving fashionably late to the appeal of Charles Melton. I know, I know. I’m a May December bandwagon-jumper, but jump I finally have and I am more entertained because of it.

On Tuesday, as part of the Meltonmania media cycle in the run-up to awards season, wherein the actor will no doubt nab a few nominations, i-D magazine published my favorite Melton sit-down to date. It begins like this: “’Do you remember The Land Before Time?’ Charles Melton asks me inquisitively, sitting in a London hotel room drinking tea.”

Immediately, I’m invested. What does he think about The Land Before Time? Did he violently weep when Little Foot was orphaned or is he a psychopath? Has he stumbled across the Reddit theory that the Great Valley is actually hell? No. His follow-up is far better than any of these.

“My dad took me to see it when I was about four years old, and I was walking up and down the aisles, looking at the faces of everyone watching this movie,” he says. “My dad claims that that’s when he realized that I was so interested in this bridge between people seeing something on a screen and being able to feel connected.” I’m sorry, just imagine a tiny boy, striding up and down the aisles of a movie theater and studying your reactions to a cartoon movie about dinosaurs. An expert in empathy from the start!

Melton, as it turns out, is full of wisdom. He isn’t much into method acting (“The idea of causing suffering and pain to others around you, in order to tell your story for the character…that is not my cup of chamomile tea.”); advocates for therapy in all of its manifestations (“…I guess anything can be therapy, right? Talk therapy. Walk therapy. American football therapy.”); and most importantly, thinks of his time on a silly little teen drama as high education (“Riverdale truly was my Juilliard – I was learning and growing and playing and taking risks.”) Frankly, the last statement seems like a healthier take than his endorsement of splatter painting earlier on in the story.

As the interview continues, Melton discusses the sacrifice he made when auditioning for his heart-wrenching role as an emotionally stunted husband and father in May December. In short: he missed a family reunion to record his self-tape which ultimately took six hours. So…he blew off his cousins to put in half of the average American’s workday in order to nail a character that might just win him an Academy Award. Again, king shit.

So, case closed! Give handsome Squidward the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Ryan Gosling can win his another year.

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