If you found yourself liking Aya Cash’s Stormfront in the first two episodes of Amazon Prime’s The Boys, you were probably super shocked at her behavior in episode three. Though, you probably shouldn’t have been. The gender-swapped version of the comic-book character stayed true to her comic-book roots. In The Boys comics, Stormfront is a bonafide Nazi. And a major racist. Which, we see is an aspect of the character that will remain in the show. So, no. You should not be stanning Stormfront. Even if she did come across as a feminist icon in the first two episodes. Which, does frustrate me a little that the character pointing out the misogynistic aspects of Vought is the extreme racist.
Actress Cash spoke in October of 2019 about the character. Specifically the challenges of being Jewish and playing a character like Stormfront:
“I knew in the comics that [Stormfront] was a male, he had been a part of Nazi youth and that was a big part of the character, and that I was going to play a bad guy with a capital B,” she told EW. “My agents actually were like, ‘You need to figure out if this is something you wanna do.’ It didn’t concern me, not because I don’t think there needs to be a sensitive conversation around it, but simply because I think the only reason people are nervous or skittish about this is because it feels so real versus the bad guy who lets the plane with all the children [go down] — which is also a character on this show and nobody seems to ask that question ‘are you worried about being that kind of bad guy?'”
Cash also recalled how Kripke comforted Cash and put her at ease through multiple conversations:
“We had a meeting before I auditioned. I basically said, ‘I would do this job as long as the showrunner is smarter than me,'” she recalled. “We sat down and we talked. He knows what he’s talking about. We can have a dialogue about extremism and about racism and it’s gonna be done in a way that both honors what is true in that and also has some fun with it because this is a satire. This is something that turns things on its head.”
Showrunner Eric Kripke spoke via Zoom about the character:
“Which is you can’t present a character that is exactly who they appear to be. But we knew the character needed to be a main character. You almost always play a game as a screenwriter, which is [asking] ‘OK, who are they really? Well, then our first impression of them is going to be the opposite of that.’ We need her to not seem like a racist piece of sh— so then it’s a surprise that she is. Another part, as far as gender-swapping the role, was the idea of introducing a female figure to the Seven who has no fear of Homelander (Antony Starr). That would be “his worst nightmare.”
Kripke also added, talking about the research that went into creating Stormfront. Specifically, going down the rabbit hole of alt-right trolls/forums on social media. Which, was “horrific”, according to Kripke:
“So many of them are couched in new media, specifically reaching out to young people and gamers. The videos are like these cute girls who are saying the most hateful sh— but they are young and their noses are pierced. ‘Be a free thinker!’ They put on a new set of clothes but it’s the same hateful sh— that people have been saying for a thousand years… We wanted to recreate that experience for the audience, that the monsters are not wearing 1960s crewcuts. They are attractive and they’re savvy and you have to be aware of that.”
What did you think of Stormfront and that shocking third episode?