“The Boys” returns for a second whirlwind season of damaged superheroes and the rogue group hell-bent on exposing their dirty secrets. “You’re going to learn more about all of the characters across-the-board,” says Antony Starr, who plays Homelander, the narcissistic psychopath superhero (or “Supe”) on the darkly comic, oft-surreal-and-gory series adapted by Eric Kripke from …
“The Boys” returns for a second whirlwind season of damaged superheroes and the rogue group hell-bent on exposing their dirty secrets.
“You’re going to learn more about all of the characters across-the-board,” says Antony Starr, who plays Homelander, the narcissistic psychopath superhero (or “Supe”) on the darkly comic, oft-surreal-and-gory series adapted by Eric Kripke from “The Boys” comic book. Season 2 premieres Sept. 4 on Amazon Prime.
“We just don’t go bigger, we go deeper,” Starr says. “We’ll find out even more about who Homelander is and where he comes from — not his origin story, per se, but a lot more is revealed and uncovered and expands on what we already know about him.”
Fans of “The Boys” learned a lot about Homelander as Season 1 progressed and he descended into sadistic madness, eventually killing his boss/lover/protector Madelyn Stillwell (Elisabeth Shue) — and, in a shocking season-ending twist, revealing to supes-hunter Butcher (Karl Urban) that the wife he believed was long-dead is … wait for it … the mother of Homelander’s 8-year-old son.
“Homelander is the strongest man in the world, the superhero of superheroes, but he’s also clearly the weakest character on the show,” Starr says. “He’s such a damaged abyss, emotionally, who’s ultimately very needy and fragile … and with him it’s all about control. In Season 1 he was trying to elevate himself within [his corporate employer] Vaught, and he also took some pretty bold steps in creating supervillains to go and kill … and then he killed Stillwell because she lied to him and was a bit of a roadblock.
“Season 2 is really about his dealing with the consequences of those actions,” he says, “how he deals with the loss of Stillwell, in particular, and with the exposure that creates around him because nobody is running interference [for him]. He’s also coping with being a parent and what that means to him and how he’s going to build a relationship with his son — and all of that is one big mess. He thinks he’s in control right off the bat and then … there are quite a few destabilizing enounters that really make him feel out of control.
“He’s self-confrontational and it’s a helluva lot of fun.”
Also returning are titular “Boys” Hughie (Jack Quaid), Butcher, Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso), Frenchie (Tomer Capon) and Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara), their lone female member — along with superheroes Starlight (Erin Moriarty), A-Train (Jesse T. Usher), Queen Maeve (Dominique McEllligott) and the Deep (Chace Crawford). They’re joined this season by Stormfront (Aya Cash), “who’s quite a badass,” says Starr.
“One of the great things for me about playing Homelander is that we got to places that are much more interesting and human, even though he hates his own humanity,” he says. “He’s both a good guy and a bad guy, depending on your perspective.
“There’s a reason all the [supeheroes] are not too arch and mustache-twirly,” he says. “I don’t think anyone was interesting in making two-dimensional versions of the [comic book] characters — and I think the audience responded to that.”