Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?
to overact, act melodramatically; also written [chew up scenery]
refers to actor's enthusiasm causing him or her to chew on the scenery
To overact; ham: Beery and Lionel Barrymore chew up all the scenery that isn't nailed down/ Neeson doesn't chew up the scenery when he works
[1930s+ Show business; originally fr a 1930 theater review by Dorothy Parker : ''More glutton than artist, he commences to chew up the scenery''; in an 1881 glossary a loud actor is said to ''eat scenes,'' which may or may not be related]