Interview – The cast of ‘The Boys’

Move over, Marvel. Don’t even try, DC. Because The Boys are here to f*** up your preconceived notions about the superhero world, by filling it with sex, drugs and violence… lots of bloody violence. The third season of the Prime Original series is now streaming its first three episodes, with weekly episodes dropping each Friday!

To celebrate the release of the show, stars and supes alike hit the red carpet in Sydney this week for a special event fan screening of the explosive fourth episode, ahead of its release this Friday! Thanks to Kit Communications and Prime Video, I got the chance to chat with players from both sides of the fight for good and evil, including Jessie T. Usher (A-Train), Karen Fukuhara (Kimiko), and Australia’s own Claudia Doumit (Victoria Neuman). We spoke about how much fun it is playing morally ambiguous characters, and THAT scene from the first episode of season three!

Nick: Karen, I don’t think I had ever heard it before, but your singing voice is incredible! Did you ever expect that this would be a creative avenue that audiences, and yourself, could explore more about who Kimiko is and what she is feeling in her current situation?

Karen Fukuhara: Oh my goodness, no! Not at all! I would have never guessed it! I remember on the day when we were filming the musical sequence, I remember having this really surreal moment to myself where I, kind of, looked around me and saw the professional dancers and all the beautiful set pieces and props. Everything was just like a dream. I never thought Kimiko would be in a scene like that. It was a really surreal moment for me. I remember [Eric] Kripke [The Boys showrunner] was saying his dream was to have a musical sequence in something that he had created, and I am feeling lucky that Kimiko was the character he chose to give that too.

Nick: Jessie, A-Train’s character arc is starting to evolve and a big turning point is when A-Train sees a video of a white superhero “justifying” his reasons for targeting black Americans. What do you think is the secret  in a show like The Boys, that it can be consistently wild, insane and fun, but still have these hard hitting social messages that seem to be striking a nerve in the right places?

Jessie T. Usher: It kind of works because the goal is to place these characters that we are really grounding in realism and in the world around us. We’re putting them in situations that we see play out in a really organic way. It’s not forced, you know. They’re imposing one side or the other in terms of these social issues or political issues. We get to see it play out from both perspectives, and then you kind of make your own opinion as you’re watching it play out from two different perspectives, it’s not just one sided. And it kind of just works. It’s refreshing to be on a show that can do something like this, at the magnitude that they’re doing it at. It just so happens that superheroes are amplified enough now that we can amplify this things and blow them up in your face, and it doesn’t seem bizarre, it feels normal even though a lot of what you see on the show is… big [laughs].

Nick: And for Claudia – obviously at the end of season 2, we find out about Victoria’s supe-ability, and there’s an altercation in the first episode of this season in which we learn a little more about Victoria’s past and definitely more about her powers – what is the most exciting part from an actor’s point of view of playing a duplicitous sort of character?

Claudia Doumit: First of all, I love that you used the word ‘altercation’ for that scene [laughs].Because it’s an absolute bloodbath! Which is just a regular Tuesday for Victoria Neuman!  But, I’m endlessly fascinated by the character of Victoria Neuman. It’s so fun to play as an actor because she is, what you said, duplicitous. She is definitely a character of many masks and it’s always fun to see a script and see which character I’m interacting with in that episode because I get to explore what mask Neuman is going to wear. You know, she interacts with people based on their desires and needs in order to fulfil her own agenda. So, the way she tries to gain Hughie’s trust is vastly different to how she tries to gain Starlight’s trust, or Homelander’s trust. She wears a different mask for each one of those characters and as an actor that’s fun because it feels like I’m playing eight different people in one episode. It’s such a joy and a pleasure and a great challenge.

Nick: I do have one more question for all of you to wrap things up! When you read the now infamous ‘penis exploding scene’ – or as I like to call it: “the dick detonation” –

All: [laughs]

 – on page, did you ever imagine firstly that it would make it to TV, but it would become such an iconic moment for the show?

Karen: Oh yeah, so iconic! [laughs]

Claudia: Any time I read the script and something like this pops up, my immediate reaction is “how the hell are they going to film that”?

Karen: Like, we know they will do it. We just don’t know how!

Jessie and Claudia: Yes!

Claudia: The question is never ‘will they’, it’s ‘how will they’! I don’t think we ever doubted for a second. WE expect it at this point.

Jessie: Never doubted it! It’s just the show, someones gotta blow up! [laughs]

Nick: Like you said, Claudia: it’s just another Tuesday on The Boys, right?

Claudia: Yeah! [laughs]

Jessie: Just another Tuesday on The Boys. [laughs]

Nick: I’m excited to see where the rest of the show goes, guys! Season three has been my favourite season so far! Thank you so much for your time. I know you guys are on a whirlwind tour right now, but I very much appreciate your time!

All: Thanks Nick!

Thanks again to Prime Video and Kit Communications for giving me a chance to chat to the cast of The Boys, and make sure you check out Prime Video every Friday for new episodes of season three of The Boys.

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Nick L'Barrow
Nick L'Barrow
Nick is a Brisbane-based film/TV reviewer. He gained his following starting with his 60 second video reviews of all the latest releases on Instagram (@nicksflicksfix), before launching a monthly podcast with Peter Gray called Monthly Movie Marathon. Nick contributes to Novastream with interviews and reviews for the latest blockbusters.

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