What does it feel like to play a superhero in one of the most talked-about TV shows in the last two years? We sat down with The Boys actor Antony Starr who plays the superhero…err villain of the beloved Amazon series. What makes Homelander tick? How does Anthony bring life to the character and more. What’s it like working with Karl Urban and welcoming Jensen Ackles to the family.
GVN: How have you been handling the pandemic?
AS: Ok I guess. As well as anyone else. That is to say – it’s been peaks and troughs like everyone. I’ve been lucky compared to many and I’m grateful for that.
GVN: How would you describe the overall tone of season two compared to the first season?
AS: Season two is a great and a more self-assured step up from season one. It feels more mature and deeper into character. There’s still the crazy stuff that makes the show fun, but it’s anchored by more in-depth character exploration. It’s a great follow up to season one.
GVN: What is your chemistry like working with the other Alpha Male of the show, Karl Urban?
AS: I love working with Karl. We are both alphas and enjoy the bumping heads nature of the relationship in the show. Off-screen – we get on great. It’s amazing to have a fellow kiwi on deck. Someone that speaks normally! Hahah!
GVN: How do you like working with Eric Kripke? Is he open to creative changes and suggestions for both season one and two?
AS: Love Eric and the open communication he allows with his entire team. I like to have a lot of input into my scenes and characters and he’s been 100% receptive to my ideas. That’s not to say I always have my way, but he always listens. 90% of the time he takes an idea and runs with it. It’s a great collaboration between us and from what other castmates tell me he’s the same across the board.
GVN: Do you find any aspects of playing Homelander challenging? Did you prepare any differently for this season than you did for the first? Also, do you stay in character between takes?
AS: I don’t stay in character between takes. I know some people need/want that full immersion but I prefer to enjoy the amazing people we have on the show. If I have a particularly intense scene, I’ll quietly manage myself away from everyone else but generally, I try and enjoy the great environment we have on this show.
GVN: Is it fun playing a villain that you know just about everyone hates and wants to see die in the worst possible way?
AS: Actually- most people say that yes, they hate him, but that they LOVE to hate him. I’ve never had anyone say they want him to die! Hahah! Although if I heard that…I would understand…he is a rather nasty chap and very much fun to play.
GVN: Season one of The Boys ended with a major twist that left many their jaws on the floor. With everything that happened with Homelander last season, do you think he has any regrets?
AS: Definitely. He’s living for Stillwell in the start of season two and throughout, really. She was his partner in crime and though he knew she had to go, he lost his most solid ally. However, he does find a rather creative way to reconnect with her…keep her memory alive. #milkmoustache
GVN: Throughout season one, Homelander is seen as both ruthless and vulnerable. How do you find a middle ground to help balance your portrayal of the character?
AS: Well, he’s the strongest man on the show and the weakest emotionally. He’s needy and vulnerable and often kind of pathetic. I try and seed as many moments of weakness into the character to create depth and layers that might not be expected, but it’s all about giving options for the editors. It’s really up to them how they present the character after we shoot. I love how they cut him and the moments they pick up – they don’t miss anything.
GVN: Do you think he wants to truly be a good person or is he so emotionally scarred that he can never be the superhero people need him to be?
AS: Homelander is irredeemably damaged I think. He’s not without moments of kindness and the odd kind act, but that’s only after he trusts someone implicitly. He has the emotional maturity of about a thirteen-year-old boy so he acts accordingly. But never say never- the great thing about the character is that he can go anywhere.
GVN: Did Homelander ever love Queen Maeve or were his affections purely from a possessive standpoint? Will he pursue her in season two or will Homelander have his sights on another love interest?
AS: He probably loved her in his own way, but that “love” cannot be separated from his need to control and possess her. She’s another strong hero that’s deeply damaged and he plays on that. Playing a character as damaged as Queen Maeve requires a special person and they cast her perfectly. Dom has such haunted eyes. She can easily convey such deep internal turmoil and pain. Maeve is so tangled up inside, and Homelander can play with her and manipulate her. It’s a fun relationship to play with.
GVN: Jensen Ackles is confirmed for season 3 of The Boys as Soldier Boy. Are you excited to be working with Jensen?
AS: Can’t wait. I’ve long been a fan of his and can’t wait to have him on deck. Hopefully, we will have some scenes together.
GVN: DC fans love to fancast for upcoming films. Have you seen that many think you would be a perfect fancast to play The Flash villain Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash? If you signed on for a Marvel or DC film would you even want to play another villain since you technically play one now?
AS: I love those franchises and would relish the chance to portray one of their characters. They are such a fun genre of movies and the chance to be in one would be amazing.
GVN: Lastly, do you have any other upcoming projects that you would like to share with our readers?
AS: Currently looking at things that film outside America because COVID response here has been so utterly abysmal. Looking at options but haven’t made a call yet.
We really cannot thank Antony enough for taking the time to answer all of our questions. We are excited for season 2 of The Boys and reviews indicate that this season is even better than the last. Make sure to check out Antony as Homelander when season 2 of The Boys drops on Amazon Prime starting September 4.
DC Fanboy! Superman is the greatest comic book character of all time. Favorite movies are Man of Steel, Goonies, Back To the Future