'The Boys' Stars Break Down Homelander's Twisted View of Fatherhood and Season 2 Premiere Moments (Exclusive)
By Philiana Ng
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Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you have not watched the first three episodes of The Boysseason 2.
The first three episodes of Amazon Prime Video's The Boysare here, and the Seven have a lot to contend with, including, but not limited to, the arrival of Translucent's (RIP) replacement, closeted racist supe Stormfront (You're the Worst's Aya Cash). Then there's the whole matter of Translucent's all-for-show funeral, Homelander's attempt at being a father figure to his and Becca's son, Ryan, and Stormfront becoming public enemy No. 1 after undermining Homelander's leadership and killing Kimiko's brother.
ET's Leanne Aguilera caught up with the stars and creator Eric Kripke to get the dish on some of the most memorable moments from the first three episodes. First up, Starlight's singing performance at Translucent's memorial service, which was really Moriarty showing off her pipes.
"It is me singing. My introduction into the world of performing was singing but that was when I was much younger and that was what I initially wanted to do. I wanted to be a singer and then it turned into acting, so it was cool," Erin Moriarty said of the scene in the first episode. "When Eric Kripke, our showrunner, approached me, he was like, 'Listen, you're going to sing a power ballad in episode 1 of season 2 and we're going to go for it. We want it to be as Celine Dion-esque as possible. We're going to lean into the cheese factor.' I was like, 'I am in.'"
"I was nervous," she admitted. "Singing gives me stage fright more than anything else, but luckily I got to record it before, and then on the day it was more like lip-syncing. It was such a perfect [scene] when I read [it]. I found out that that was the first moment you were going to see me [in] the most cheesy situation possible, with Homelander and that going on in the background with Translucent. I was gung-ho about it."
"I was on that day and Eric was there, and he was like, 'Come here,' and you press play on his phone and he basically showed me the pre-recorded track," co-star Jack Quaid recalled. "You sing so well... I've done karaoke with you but it was so good. I was so impressed."
A major change from the comics to TV is Homelander's journey to figuring out what fatherhood means to him. In the graphic novels, Butcher kills Homelander's baby. Here, he's presented with the opportunity to try and embrace being a father figure to his and Becca's son, Ryan, whom he manipulates into using his powers -- which doesn't end well for Homelander.
"Emphasis on the word try. That's the great thing about this show and this is what Eric said right off the bat when we came into season 2. He said whatever the characters think they've got, whatever they're holding onto and whatever they've been fighting for and achieved in season 1 is going to be taken away across the board -- not just Homelander, but all of the characters," Antony Starr said. "And he was true to that and that forces the actors to think on behalf of the characters in a different way and to adapt and evolve and grow and it keeps everything fresh. It really keeps you on your toes."
"And so, the parenting thing, yeah, what do you say? When a narcissist tries to parent, it is lumpy at best and we've seen the fist bump on the lawn and then it kind of goes neither uphill or downhill [but] sort of swings from there," he continued. "It's very interesting from episode 3 on."
Kripke explained that keeping Homelander and Becca's son around made the most creative sense because of all the conflict that his existence could create for multiple characters.
"From a just a writer's perspective, the kid is a perfect character. He's half the thing Butcher loves most in the world and half the thing Butcher hates most in the world, so you don't get rid of that character," he said. "From the very, very beginning of the show we knew we were going to keep that child alive and have Becca be raising him because there was just so much to talk about. In season 2, he has a huge impact on all the characters and he draws out weird paternal instincts [in] Homelander, who is, spoiler alert, a truly s****y father. It gives Billy Butcher a whole new motivation in the season, so it just did so many great things that we wanted to take a stab at it."
Death looms large on The Boys and is part of the high stakes woven into the universe in which The Boys and The Seven operate in. That tension, Kripke said, is partially why no character is ever safe from the ultimate demise.
"That's a really healthy tension for the audience to never quite know who's going to live and who's going to die. You have to do it every so often because you start to fall into a pattern of like, 'Oh well I know this character is safe and so I'm not going to engage as much in a dangerous situation,'" Kripke said. "But it's the real world. We're trying to show these are superheroes in the real world and in the real world people die."
New episodes of The Boysdrop weekly on Amazon Prime Video.
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