Griffin Newman is an American actor and comedian who’s worked in a variety of short films, TV shows, and movies. He’s most known for his podcast Blank Check (with Griffin and David), where he and David analyze the filmographies of directors they have deemed have earned blank checks in Hollywood. Griffin is currently starring as Arthur Everest in Amazon’s The Tick.
Screen Rant got a chance to talk with Griffin at San Diego Comic Con 2017, where we discussed how Amazon approached the characterization of Arthur as an audience surrogate and what Arthur’s relationship is like with Dot in this iteration of The Tick.
So Arthur has been in most iterations the audience surrogate for the show. How is this kind of approach in the new iteration on Amazon?
Griffin Newman: Yeah. I think what you are saying is The Tick is not a very relatable character because I think he’s what everyone wishes they could be. Somebody that has the boundless confidence to go into any situation and hope that things turn out well. I think Arthur is a little closer to most audience members. The person who’s constantly aware of their shortcomings and afraid of his surroundings. And I think this show, Arthur has always been introduced the same way in every previous version of the show, which is you just see him in his costume and he goes, “I’ve decided to finally live my life and be a superhero. Here I am!” It’s sort of his coming out moment, but we’ve never really know who he was leading up to that. So this show gives you a little bit more of that background of who he was before he became The Tick’s sidekick and I think that makes him more relatable to the audience. I think it also makes an even better entry point because you are starting off with a guy who doesn’t look like he should be on a superhero show and slowly over the course of the season letting him earn his mantle.
Could you talk to me about the relationship of this iteration between Arthur and Dot?
Griffin Newman: Yeah. That’s one of my favorite things about this show because Dot’s existed in every previous version of the show, but she’s never been this fleshed out as a character. She’s always just been representational of this doubting family, the family who’s there to question your dreams and nag you. And on this show she really is, we both come from this tragic backstory. Our father died as collateral damage in this big superhero battle when we were very young and our mother checked out, so Dot had to become my surrogate mother figure in a lot of ways. So we have a really interesting, complex relationship where she is very nervous about me stepping into a situation like this not because she doesn’t believe in me, but because she is really intensely worried. And this season is, the main emotional arc of this season is convincing her that I need to do this, that this is me living my life. This is what I’ve always been destined to do.
The Tick premieres on Amazon on August 25, 2017.