With a unique style and narrative storytelling, Steven Universe has become one of the most popular animated cartoons over the last few years. The show itself is the coming-of-age story of a young boy, Steven Universe who lives in the fictional town of Beach City. He resides in the city with his friends the Crystal Gems, a group of magical humanoid like aliens. When Steven discovers that he himself is half-Gem, he begins a series of adventures to protect the world from those seeking to destroy it. The show has been praised for its themes of love, family, and the importance of healthy interpersonal relationships.
The voice behind the heroic Steven, Zach Callison, was one of the many voice actor guests in attendance at MCM Comic Con London this October and Bunkazilla was lucky to take part in a very brief press conference style interview.
Q: When you started the show, did you ever think of the positive impact the show would have on young members of the LGTB community?
Zach: You know, I didn’t really know the extent of the advocacy and the message of the show was when I was getting into it. I was just really excited to be, you know, my first lead on a show. I was excited to be working on more cartoons and with a cool cast. As the show went on and more of Rebecca Sugar’s vision was sort of revealed to us, I was blown away. There was a moment, it was just after Jail Break had come out, we did San Diego Comic Con, and the crowd reaction was a completely different world from anything we’d ever seen. The questions from the audience, people coming up getting emotional about the show and how it impacted them, was when it really solidified for me. Like, exactly what, how brilliant and how important Rebecca’s vision was for the show. And, I was very proud to see that.
Q: What episodes and moments in Steven Universe mean the most to you.
Zach: Yeah, I mean, that’s one of them. Jail Break. Even watching the episode alone, the impact that it had for us as a show and it and the trajectory changing at that point when that episode came out was very important. Mr. Greg is another really good one; our musical episode. It was really pushing the limits of what you can do with an eleven-minute cartoon and it was a big challenge. Another one that’s kind of obscure is Space Race. It’s a really good Pearl and Steven episode where you start to see Pearl unravel a little bit. I’m really close in real life with Deedee Mango, the voice of Pearl, and it’s just a very protective mother/son-type dynamic. And that we sort of mirror that in real life, as I do with a lot of the cast actually.
Q: If you could fuse Steven with one other gem, who would it be and what would they be called?
Zach: I’ve been campaigning for a Steve and Peridot fusion for literally years. I guess that’s why they don’t let me in the writer’s room. I would like her, or they, I don’t know what that would manifest as to be half size instead of double size because all the fusions in the show are gigantic. I just want a change of pace for something. Like, maybe like, watermelon tourmaline or something. That’s a real gem. I swear.
Q: If you were a crystal gem, what kind of gem would you be?
Zach: Besides Steve, I mean, I would pick Steven, of course, because Steven is like my blood brother, but Peridot, for sure. I mean, she gets to be frantic and has all the best funny lines in the show. I wouldn’t do as good of a job as Shelby Rabara does, but I would take her.
Q: It was very exciting that you participated in The Stream of Many Eyes. Is there was a secret club of Dungeons and Dragons players in the entertainment industry?
Zach: You know, I’m actually really new to it, but yeah. It’s this growing little cult of D&D players. They’re like, “Oh, you play D&D?” and then you find out more and then you end up being at the Stream of Many Eyes. It’s like homecoming for all these Dungeons and Dragons players. The organisers put us in charge of a really important item that we were supposed to pass on to another campaign and we completely bungled it, because we’re an anti-hero campaign. And we get greedy and do dumb things. And it was really fun to do that on a national live broadcast stage.
Bunkazilla UK would like to thank Zach Callison for his time during the event and thank the press team at MCM Comic Con for arranging the press conference. Check out other interviews from Bunkazilla here.
To find out when the next MCM Comic Con event is taking place, visit their website for more information.