Crossing Swords Stars Yvette Nicole Brown And Luke Evans Delight In Their Dirty Dialogue [Interview]

"Crossing Swords," Hulu's show about a fantastical world of children's toys who say and do very adult things, has debuted its second season. The series follows young squire Patrick (voiced by Nicholas Hoult) as he tries to survive squiring for the awful King Merriman (Luke Evans) while under the "tutelage" of Sergeant Meghan (Yvette Nicole Brown), a drill sergeant who would rather be home with her kids. 

To celebrate the return of the show, I had a chance to sit down via Zoom with Brown and Evans, who delighted at the chance to talk about the very dirty things these little wooden toys have to say.

It's Good to Be the King

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

If you could live in this crazy fantasy world of "Crossing Swords," would you, and what kind of life would you want to live?

Brown: Absolutely not me, but I would be on an island somewhere where none of these horrible people could find me. Luke?

Evans: Well, I think, if I was going to be living in this kingdom, I'd probably want to live as far away from King Merriman as possible because you meet that guy, there's a good chance you're going to die a very painful death or be in prison for life. So yeah, maybe the far end of the kingdom somewhere.

Can you tell me a little bit about what it's like voicing a children's play toy king? Is it good to be the king, as they say?

Evans: Well, yes, let's be clear. It's not a children's play toy king. It's a children's play toy that's now an adult animated king who says terrible things that children shouldn't hear.

Brown: Never hear.

Evans: It was an absolute joy. I'm not going to lie. It's like swearing in front of your grandmother. It's a thing you never do, but in this, you get to do it. And I loved every second of it. And you can tell that the writers had a fun time writing it, because there's a lot of things that I say. I remember being in the studio one day, and I just couldn't get this line out because it was just so funny and stupid and ridiculous, but I had to get it, and I couldn't get it out. I was laughing that much. You don't get to do that every day of work, certainly not on most of my jobs, so that's part of the fun of it.

Sgt. Megan, Who Doesn't Give a Damn

And Yvette, can you tell me a bit about your character? She's like the world's feistiest femme drill sergeant, but in a fantasy world. So could you tell me a little more about her?

Brown: Yeah. She's actually someone that has a job that she does not care about. That's the best thing I can say about Sergeant Meghan. She literally shows up every day, and she phones it in. Her job is life or death. She has to train these squires to work with King Merriman. And Luke just said you could die every day. So she really needs to prepare them, and she just doesn't want to bother to do it. So it's kind of fun to play her coming back from going to get coffee or sunning herself on the beach. She literally is just showing up and not giving a damn. And it's really fun to play.

"I Could Never Let My Parents Watch This Show"

The dialogue and the swearing is just out of this world. Is there anything that you couldn't say or anything that you really, really had fun saying?

Brown: I personally leaned into everything that I have to say, because nothing that I've ever said on this show is like anything I've ever had to say on any other show I've ever done. So I'm like, "While I'm here playing this pig, I'm going to go on and lean into how horrible these things are." So I haven't had a problem, but also not as naughty as Luke is. Luke is very naughty.

Evans: I mean, I could never let my parents watch this show. I mean, if my mother saw one tenth of this show, she probably would never speak to me again. She literally would be appalled. So it's sort of like the naughty side of me that's getting to enjoy this. He says things that you just would not say. You shouldn't say these things, and he does. And he gets away with it because he's the king. He's a complete and utter dick. And you don't get to make a king out of dicks most of the time, or you wouldn't choose to play them.

Brown: Exactly.

Evans: But in this world of stop-start animation, and there's these wonderfully brilliant characters that have been created, we get the opportunity to just push the boundaries and feel — it's quite liberating in all the wrong ways. I'm saying terrible things, but I'm having fun doing it, and hopefully making a lot of people laugh.

Brown: You are.

Evans: That's primarily the job of this show, is to make people laugh, give them a bit of escapism. Take them to this crazy, ridiculous place with these people who are just mostly obnoxious. And they're just peg people. Usually one thing on them moves. I mean, how does it work? How did we get involved in it? How are we enjoying it so much? I don't know. I don't know the answers to that, but it is very fun to do.

Bad, Adorable Peg People

What do you think makes Crossing Swords so unique? I mean, besides being an adult show that's about peg people.

Brown: I think that's exactly it. I think that it taps into everything that, if you're an adult watching this show — and I hope you are an adult watching this show — it taps into everything that you loved as a kid, your Saturday morning cartoons or your Christmas specials that you watched. But you also get to laugh at how irreverent it is. It's so naughty, and it's the wrong thing being naughty. These little pegs should not be saying and doing what they're doing. So it's like your brain is like, "What's happening?" which makes it even [more] delightful to [watch]. So I think they tapped into something really interesting making these adorable things so bad.

Evans: Yeah. They knew what they were doing.

The second season of "Crossing Swords" premiered today on Hulu.