‘Star vs. the Forces of Evil’s Adam McArthur on Starco & the Series’ Future
After four successful (and extremely popular) seasons, Disney Channel’s animated comedy series Star vs. the Forces of Evil has ended.
But not that shows are being revived left and right, is it possible that the series could return for a Season 5? TV Insider spoke with series star Adam McArthur, who voiced Marco Diaz, about his character’s journey, the series’ future, and more.
What drew you to this character and show in the beginning?
Adam McArthur: Honestly, from day one, with Marco Diaz, I felt like it was the pre-teen version of myself. We have a lot in common, me and this little guy, and the fact that he really wants to be this bad boy but he kind of is the safe kid who likes to play by the rules really resonated with me. I think we all have it in us to want to be the really cool guy, but when it comes down to it, a lot of us like to play by the rules, and that’s definitely me.
What did you discover about the character over the seasons that surprised you or you found a new appreciation for?
His transformation over our four seasons was pretty incredible. He went from sort of being this nervous, cautious teacher almost to Star, to a really loyal friend and an adventurer. He wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty and fight and back her up when he had to and stand up for her and himself. It was quite an amazing journey to see.
On a personal level, he also learned how to express himself and how to be honest with himself about feelings he was having for different people and ultimately about Star. Whereas initially he might have been scared to speak up and express himself, at the end of Season 4, we see a really, really beautiful couple of scenes where he finally tells Star how he feels, which is awesome.
When you look back on the series, what stands out to you?
So many things stand out. This show was a unicorn in every way possible. Everything from working with Disney TV Animation, their casting team and the execs there. The crew of the show was incredible.
Daron [Nefcy], who created the show, she made it a point with everyone who she hired to work on the show, she gave them a step up from where they were coming from from anywhere else. So, it was a lot of people’s first time doing the job that they were doing on this show, so team morale was really high.
All the episodes we recorded with the directors and the voice directors, we were like a little family. The cast was really close. Even though we recorded individually, the cast just really bonded over the series.
Another thing that really, really stood out is the reception of the show from the fans. The fandom of this show has really made the experience unique. People from all over the world are fans of the show. Because of Instagram and Twitter and social media in general, the connectedness with the fans has made this such a truly unique experience. It’s been amazing.
What do you think it is about the show that made it so popular with kids and adults?
I think it comes down to the characters. The characters were never portrayed or created to be these perfect beings who go through and make all the right decisions. All the characters in this show mess up a lot [including] the two main characters, Marco, who I play, and Star, voiced by Eden Sher.
Star specifically, she’s a princess, but what you think of a Disney princess as is perfect, beautiful, damsel in distress, and she was quite the opposite of that. She was flawed. She was feisty. She wanted to take care of herself. I think it was probably really refreshing for the fans to see a portrayal of a Disney princess in that way.
I think from the beginning, you root for Star and Marco — even though they’re best friends, almost from the start — to be together, and I think a lot of people signed up to see how that was going to play out.
Also, the story that was created by Daron and the crew of the show was also amazing. A lot of cartoons, every episode is a one-off episode. Our show had a through-line plot that carried it from basically the end of Season 2 all the way to the end of Season 4, and I think a lot of people tuned back in to see what happened.
Is there any chance of the series coming back or for the characters to be explored in a new way?
Who knows? Actually, I checked [Monday], because people are sending me this on Twitter constantly, in a week and a half, we had about 75,000 signatures on a petition for a Season 5 or a Star vs. the Forces of Evil movie, so I think we live in a time where it would be silly for executives of companies not to pay attention to that.
And if there is a demand and an audience who really want to see something, especially if the creators and the crew and all of that are willing to make it, I think it’s silly to not. But all good things come to an end at the same time, so who knows? I truly believe that it won’t be the last time we see Star and Marco, but you never know.
Is there anything you’d like to see explored if it’s brought back in any way?
If it’s brought back, I would love to see — so, SPOILER, if you haven’t watched the finale of Season 4 — Earth and Mewni, Star’s home dimension, merge into one big sort of planet, and it could serve as another jumping off point for another series. We could see what life is like post-magic and that would be a lot of fun to see.
It would also be a lot of fun to fast-forward maybe like 15 years and see what life is like. Maybe Star and Marco have a child, and we could see what their life is like through their child’s eyes. It would also be really fun to see a spinoff or at least maybe an episode or two where we see Marco in the dimension called the Neverzone, where we got to see 30-year-old version of Marco and what his life is like in that dimension.
There’s quite a few directions it could go. I personally am leaning towards the Starco child and what his or her life would be like in that new world.
Do you have any favorite guest stars from this past season or the series?
There’s so many good ones. Max Mittelman had a character in Season 4, one of the last few episodes of Season 4, that was a ton of fun. He killed it. Josh Sussman has a little recurring character who’s essentially a security guard for the Magic High Commission. He’s hilarious, naturally he’s just a really incredibly funny guy. Those two were highlights of Season 4 for me for sure.
I’ve noticed that you do a lot of voice work on cartoons and video games. What do you like most about each and what’s most challenging about each?
The hardest part of working in animation is that it’s always kind of changing, and there’s so many different variations of animated shows. This speaks more to the audition process and knowing tone of the show and all that when you’re auditioning.
But once you book the job, once you’re hired and you’re working on a cartoon, there isn’t really anything — I shouldn’t say there’s nothing challenging about it because voice work is challenging in and of itself — but once you are working on a show, you’ve kind of done the hard part is what I’m trying to say. At that point, for me, it’s just fun.
Now, voice acting in video games is a different beast, and while you are really acting when you’re working in animation, most video games want a very, very theatrical, meaning almost cinema-like performance, so you are drawing on very, very real emotion when you are doing video games these days. And it can be difficult, because a lot of times, you’re in a room by yourself and you’re behind a microphone and you’re not acting with anybody, so you don’t have anything to work off of. It’s all created on your own.
Whereas in animation, you might be able to get by with heightened emotions and really exaggerating certain things, you can’t do that with all video games.
Do you have any other projects coming up?
Salem the Series is a new, independently-produced animated series that’s going to be launching on Kickstarter. I voice one of the main characters on that show, named Oliver.
It’s a show about a young cryptid — made up, fantastical, mythical creatures — and this one particular cryptid, her name is Salem. She was raised by the boogeyman, always believing that she was a boogeyman, and she finds out that she is adopted and that she’s not actually of the boogeyman cryptid origin.
So she goes on a journey to find out who she is and what kind of mythical creature she actually is because nobody knows, and along the way, she makes some friends, and they all go on some wild adventures together through this crazy world full of cryptids.
That has Animatix and such already being produced and put up on YouTube. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
You can always hear me as the voice of Disney XD, so if you tune in to Disney XD, I’m the guy who’s telling you what’s coming up next!