Definition of chew the scenery in US English:

chew the scenery

phrase

US
informal
  • (of an actor) overact.

    ‘he chews up the courtroom scenery as the unscrupulous attorney’
    • ‘Movies like this require villains who can chew the scenery with the greatest of ease.’
    • ‘Someone who appears to have lost the early promise of his role in Swingers, Vaughn is allowed to chew the scenery and play the crass American to the hilt.’
    • ‘It is simply one of Hoskins best performances even if he is chewing the scenery.’
    • ‘When she isn't chewing the scenery she may as well be a piece of it.’
    • ‘Drama has its place, but you can't chew the scenery.’
    • ‘He chews the scenery and then washes it all down with an embarrassing hammed-up performance not even worthy of discussion.’
    • ‘The film's cast is relatively subdued, and manages to generally avoid chewing the scenery.’
    • ‘I caught the first half of it when it first aired, and the second half last night, and my oh my can she chew the scenery with the best of them.’
    • ‘She combines sexiness and creepiness with skill, but tends to chew the scenery a little too much as her screen time goes on.’
    • ‘He gives a mesmerizing turn; yes, he does chew the scenery, but it's with a methodical intensity that takes him to another level.’