Blood Relative rehearsals day 3
Cristin Milioti meets James Urbaniak on the set of Blood Relative, and two worlds collide on my crappy cell phone. Cristin has never seen The Venture Bros, and James has never seen Year of the Carnivore. And yet, when the two of them sat down to rehearse a handful of scenes, which form a crucial spine of Blood Relative, joyful sparks flew.
(James plays a co-worker of Cristin’s, a man whose past harbors a dark secret!
At one point during rehearsals, James went to get a drink, took down a plastic cup and said, seemingly apropos of nothing, “Drinking out of cups,” to which Cristin added, again, seemingly apropos of nothing, “Bein’ a bitch.” I was baffled and bemused as the two of them started trading and echoing lines from this infamous internet meme I’d never heard of.
The ice broken, both Cristin brought out their strong suits — expert mimicry, and mastery of show-biz trivia. There is no tributary of show-biz trivia James has not swum in, and Cristin, while a good deal younger than Mr. Urbaniak, had no trouble keeping up with him. As for the mimicry, the important thing to note is that James doesn’t just do impressions of movie stars — Pacino, De Niro, Walken — but also dozens of obscure character actors even I have trouble identifying. Cristin, meanwhile, revels in accents and behavior, and watching the two of them screw around is really something to watch. Python routines, song lyrics, theater stories and tales of overindulgence fly by, which is, honestly, more important than running lines any day.