AMAZON PRIME’S The Boys: Season Two Debuts September 4th, 2020
Executive producer Eric Kripke
Karl Urban – Billy Butcher
Jack Quaid – Hughie Campbell
Antony Starr – Homelander
Erin Moriarty – Starlight
Jessie T. Usher – A-Train
Laz Alonso – Mother’s Milk
Chace Crawford – The Deep
Tomer Capoon – Frenchie
Karen Fukuhara – Kimiko
Aya Cash – Stormfront
Moderator Aisha Tyler
Appearance by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg
Taken from the best selling comic by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, The Boys is a irreverent take on superheroes and abuse their superpowers rather than use them for good.
Eric: The fan reaction has been incredible and exceeded all of our expectations. Without blowing smoke we are a hit. People are responding to the superhero bit turning it on its head. They are falling in love with the characters due to the amazing cast. They are also reacting to the satire and the social commentary and we worked hard to layer that in. It’s very gratifying and we are all so proud of it. In season two it’s a lot more intense. We worked hard to make season two crazier but also more emotional and higher stakes. Everyone is in a really tight spot, The Boys are wanted fugitives and hunted and totally screwed. They are fighting back as hard as they can and season one was hard for them. Homelander killed the only person who could control him so he’s increasingly out of control. He is making it a scarier place. Starlight is trapped in this nightmare. Everyone is pushed to the limits. We tried to make this not the most realistic show ever made but make it a commentary on the up to the minute world we live in. It’s a strange world of politics and social media and says so much about the world we are in and we try to put in sharp commentary. For instance in season one we took on the MeToo Movement with Starlight, the American weapons industry and politics. In season two we continue that and probably make that even more edgy because I can say we are going after white supremacy, white nationalism and we are going after systemic racism and all of those things really effing suck. The three triangles are strong characters, madness and if we can sneak in revelations about the real world we do that too. You will see that in season two.
(the trailer they showed will make you yell Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!)
Karl: That is the weirdest thing that I’ve done in my carrier. I think for everyone else but Jack it was a really fun scnee to shoot.
Jack: And Karl was actually driving.
Karl: That was one of the things that I was surprised and thrilled about is that you had all of the actors in the boat with a helicopter flying parallel to us and you never get to really experience something for real anymore. But we were out ther eon the water doing horrendous speeds and having fun except for Jack.
Karen: I was so surprised because I thought a stunt person was going to drive it but it was Karl and I was getting motion sickness after about three hours.
Karl: They built a prosthetic whale that was on the beach and we actually end up inside the whale without giving to much away and it was a pretty surreal experience and pretty hot and stinky in the Canadian summer.
Eric: I want to add to that that the best professional moment as the crew said we are not really building a whale are we and I said yes, its going to be 40 feet long and 11 feet high. We knew it was a huge project and it was so expensive too and it makes the scene work. It’s a dead thing with an explosive belly and one of the prouder moments as a producers.
Jack: The cast gave me so much guff about being covered in blood in season one but now they know.
Karl: At the end of season’s was a game changer for Billy. His objective was to really find Rebecca and rescue her and get his wife back. Season one was Butcher looking for blind revenge and season two is to save her and the moral questions that arise for that. It’s particularly pertinent when we see Butcher would turn his back on the boys if he could inflict pain and suffering and there is a certain evolution in season two where he has some tough choices to make whether he will be able to achieve his goal to get Rebecca or again jeopardize his team. That was a lot of fun to play. Season two has a lot of interesting pair ups that I really enjoyed getting to work with Aaron and Starlight which is an unlikely pairing. That’s what season two does is throw unlikely couples bounce off each other and interact.
Laz: In season one this guy is painfully lonely and desperate for connection and part of this was Elisabeth Shue but she wasn’t letting Homelander finish his mission. He dealt with his complex in season one and in season two is very internal and there is nothing more internal than milk so it has a way to connect the dots between season one and two. He finds traces of Stillwell and reconnects that way and that is a moment of pure connection. I think in a lot of ways that is the duality of the character, these guys have done a great job playing both sides of that. The strongest physical man on the show is the emotionally weakest. There is also this weird parenting thing where you say I can say what I want about my kid but you can’t.
Jack: Season one was transformative and blossoming, it is interesting because Butcher from Hughie’s perspective betrayed everyone. Now he’s left there, he’s alone and feels terrible about lying to Annie all during season one. He’s super alone and has nothing then he starts realizing ‘what do I do now? Do I keep this going?’ and he does that by sneaking in a few conversations with Annie which he’s not suppose to since they are on the run. Something I really found fascinating that Eric did with Hughie is that he latches on to people who tell him what to do and in season two he’s starting to realize how he can do that on his own and realize who he is and what he wants to do rather than what others want him to do. There is one moment early on where Butcher comes back and Hughie isn’t happy about it. After that Hughie says ‘I never love it, I never ‘effin love it!’ so he’s standing up for himself and owning himself a little more. He still screams a lot but he’s coming into his own.
Erin: What was fun about season two and what I think people will find satisfying about her trajectory is that she steps into her own power and her objectives stay the same. She wants to be the best superhero in the world but she’s forced to adapt to the dark world she’s been exposed to. That’s where some the interesting story comes in where Hughie has broken her heart and has residual feelings for. The only way both of them can achieve their goals is to get over it yet there is still tension and chemistry. It’s confusing because Butcher shot her and yet she has to join forces with him. Her objective stays the same but she hardens a lot because of season one. A really thick wall goes up with her going from naïve and gullible and having their heart broken by everyone they love and the wall is too thick to compensate for it all. She’s still doing the same thing in terms of trying to save the world but a little bit inaccessible. She balances the line between being informed and finding herself again. There’s a lot going on. With A-Train I don’t think the interaction is positive but mutual figuring out on how to handle each other. She has to blackmail him but she’s uncomfortable with it. He doesn’t respond to well to it.
Jessie: Starlight doesn’t know what A-Train knows and there is a lot of figuring out going on there. Physically A-Train is in bad shape, he has abused Compound B and him being an athlete. There are so many things he’s been running from for so long that now he has to stop and face these things. He is fueled by hate and rage pinning it on other people even though he did it to himself. He is attaching negative emotions to every aspect of his life and its a lot to come face to face with. The end of season one was a lot of confusion, misplaced anger and it is a lot and unfortunate that he takes it out on other people. For him he doesn’t think there is any other way, he feels like its his safe haven instead of realizing its his own self destruction. He is willing to keep it, to die for it, to kill for it. He’s almost a pretty sad case and ruthless because his decisions are always the worst ones. It’s like he doesn’t care what he loses in the process. That’s what I like about the show, in a world with superhero’s the ones you know and love aren’t the only ones that exist. There are quite a few people that have the same abilities as him. In the back of his mind he’s thinking there are more super speeders than him. He’s willing to do what ever it takes to keep that top spot. In season two we will learn why that’s so important because a lot of what he deals with is fear, he’s afraid of a lot of things that could happen. He’s afraid of his own nightmares but they also drive him to do some really crazy stuff. Despite knowing better he can’t help himself. He’s a guy who aims his problem and in season one he aimed it at Hughie, he just needs someone to blame like he does Hughie for the death of his girlfriend. He’s so dependent on Compound B that it blurs his vision so he keeps running, keeps going and don’t look back and don’t deal. They physical aspect gets snatched from him so now he has to deal with it.
Laz: It was interesting working through with Eric, why is Mother’s Milk with The Boys? In season one he has a family, a daughter he cares so much about, a wife he is subservient too, he cooks tilapia for her. Why would he risk all that to join the band of misfits. What I love is he was addicted to B because of his family working at factory’s but in our version of The Boys and our ecosystem that’s not the case. Eric kind of beautifully created this infection with being a fighter of freedom. That’s what he is infected with, risking what he has in the pursuit of justice. Even if it doesn’t mean justice for him but if its justice for his daughter who is the future than it is worth the fight so I love that take on this character. There was a lot of emotional intelligence that I had to bring to this character so I could become the voice of morality. To keep from going so far over the edge that we forget why we are here and what we are fighting for. When we have a scene together as a group and planning what to do, what would Mother’s Milk do? Try to steer the group in that direction. I think there is a tremendous amount of “hold on guys, lets think about what we are going to do”, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. You need someone to say ‘hold on a minute’ and you need someone to be the conscious of the group, I see Mother’s Milk as the good angel on the shoulder saying ‘lets not jump off the cliff yet’.
Chace: The Deep is really going through it, the first season I was with other actors and other characters but its been very interested quite literally being on my own journey. I think being in Ohio was tough for him, like quarantine, started out making margaritas then drinking from the bottle. He was in a very, very dark place. He is not very self aware and I think he was finally confronted with his own inner turmoil figuring out who he is. He was pulled into a certain spiritual journey and goes on a few different quests to find love and a connection in that way. There is some humor in there like on the whale, I think he wants to be back in the seven, it was fun. He was totally wrapped up in his identity and when stuck in Sandusky Ohio at a water park you are really confronted with not knowing who you are. Someone joins him from his past and it’s a very interesting story line.
Karen: Having no lines is very freeing and some of the cast say that would love to not have any lines. Its definitely a challenge as an actor having no lines, even in season two we dive into more of her psyche and her emotional state more than her physical side. A fulfilling challenge. For the physical bits I work with a trainer in Toronto and a stunt coordinator and he helps us learn all the bits ahead of time so we are comfortable on the day. I think it’s a balance of training your fitness to build the muscle and then learning the choreography so its already in your skin. We did something called the Black Widow stunt and we got it on camera with me doing it. Season two will learn more about her relationship with her history also alters her relationship with Frenchie a little bit. It’s interesting to see different sides of her come out and growing into her own womanhood and individuality.
Tomer: In season two, the audience gets a chance to peek through the window of all the characters including Frenchie which you are going to get a sneak peek of his origin story. Being a comic book fan, I loved this stuff so much. The chance to get to know the character and how Frenchie got into The Boys and learn his real name. It was exciting to me as an actor and I can’t wait for fans to see that. All season one he hung on to the most beautiful thing to take care of which was a female, season two she can’t take it anymore and spread her wings and start talking. Frenchie is in a lonely spot and deal with his traumas and there are a lot of them. That’s what I love about this season is that the stories are so well taken care of that I was amazed by everyone’s performance in a much deeper and further away, it was amazing.
Aya: Stormfront is a new character, I knew the backstory and I was given some sides that show her social media savvy and what is going on underneath. Eric and I chatted about what was going to happen and I knew who she was. I was really excited to play her mainly because I think I thought there was no chance they would let me play her. Then Eric let me do it. I look for things that I’m necessarily good at because that’s the fun about being an actor is doing new stuff. What I think is so great about The Boys coming in as a fan is that its so topical and it allows us to look at current issues with some sort of distance and see them clearer. When you are watching something that is in a heightened world you sort of listen better. I was really excited about that, not to say there weren’t hard moments being a human being playing a role of someone I violently disagree with, but my job as an actor is to find the humanity and go to the ugly gross parts of ourselves. It’s Eric’s job to tell what happens to a character and hopefully he punishes her.
Eric: We try to apply the most stringent reality to how that character would really behave if they had those powers. So they are prone to the types of challenges and potential corruption that happens when you get so much power in excess.
Seth: Thank you for watching The Boys. Because this show has fans and is watched by people like you they have decided to renew for a new season.
Evan: Who knows what things we make will move forward or shut down.
Seth: We don’t know when we can do it. We hope you enjoy the third season as much as you enjoy the second season.