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The Orville's Scott Grimes Explains Why He Loves Working With Seth MacFarlane, And How It's Always A True Collaboration

Ed and Gordon on The Orville on Fox
(Image credit: Fox)

Seth MacFarlane has worked with a lot of talent in Hollywood, and among those he's worked with the longest is ER and Justified vet Scott Grimes. The pair have worked together on the animation side for American Dad and Family Guy — no one delivers fictional earworms like Grimes' Steve Smith — and on the live-action side, they're currently sharing the screen for Hulu's The Orville: New Horizons, with the upcoming television adaptation of Ted as their next shared endeavor. Understandably, Grimes totally loves working with MacFarlane, and part of that appreciation ties into how their work together is always a true collaboration. 

When Scott Grimes spoke with CinemaBlend about the current season of the sci-fi dramedy The Orville, he shared that while he doesn’t work much with Seth MacFarlane currently on either of the animated shows, he definitely remembers the earlier days when MacFarlane was more hands-on in the creative process. Here's what he told me about how MacFarlane’s work as a director back then compares to The Orville, and how finding the same groove is the recipe to success:

I do remember the years of him directing American Dad and Family Guy and it is the same kind of process. He’s very audible. He hears the way things should be said, and if you can get that, you can rise to whatever that is for him, you’ll work for him forever. He is great at all of this.

Scott Grimes' praise of Seth MacFarlane is a clear show of why they've continued to work together over the past couple of decades, and certainly plays into why Gordon and Mercer have such a great dynamic on The Orville. The two haven’t shared a ton of moments in Season 3 so far, but there are so many great examples from previous episodes that it just makes fans more anticipatory for whenever they’re on screen together next.

And while Seth MacFarlane is the Captain and main creative voice when it comes to The Orville, it’s on the set of the show that Scott Grimes gets to help out his co-star.  Grimes revealed that MacFarlane would also come to him and ask for consultation in terms of acting:

The good thing about acting with him is that’s where I come in, meaning I’ve been doing that longer than him. So, that collaborative thing is sometimes him looking to me and going, ‘Well, Scott, you’ve been doing this way longer, how’s this?’ So watching the process of him acting on camera has been really cool. Him getting more comfortable with that.

Seth MacFarlane is an iconic public figure and accomplished voice actor, but in the world of live-action, his credits aren’t so numerous. (Yet, anyway.) Even so, MacFarlane has ruled the roost as the star of The Orville for three seasons now, and does a fine job as Captain Ed Mercer week in and week out. 

Scott Grimes continued on with talking about helping Seth MacFarlane grow more comfortable with acting, and noted one of MacFarlane’s few notable feature performances ahead of the series. Grimes noted that while MacFarlane warmed up to his duties, it was a struggle at first:

At first, he was not very comfortable being on camera. He had only done A Million Ways To Die In The West and wasn’t very happy with the way–you know, like any actor. If you’re not being used to being on camera, it takes a bit [to get used to]. But we have a camaraderie as actors that I really enjoy now, and as a director to an actor, I just love [him]. I think he’s one of the best directors. I’m comfortable with him, I love working with him as a director and as an actor.

Seth MacFarlane and Scott Grimes are only getting better on The Orville: New Horizons, which adopted an even more serious tone after leaving Fox and moving to Hulu. There’s still no word on whether or not Season 4 will happen, though conversations CinemaBlend had with other cast members suggested that the number of Hulu subscribers who tune into the current season and the online response will play a factor, so anyone thinking this was already the final season can hold out hope. Until then, we can only continue to enjoy the adventures, as well as future, fuzzier collaborations between Grimes and MacFarlane. 

The Orville: New Horizons debuts new episodes on Hulu (opens in new tab) on Thursdays. So much about this season is being kept under wraps, so streaming weekly in is the only way to learn what’s coming up and what the future may hold for the ship’s crew. 

Mick Joest
Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.