Antony Starr is the winner of ComicBook.com's 2020 TV Actor of the Year Golden Issue award. To celebrate his victory, we sat down with the actor to chat all things The Boys, including details about the upcoming third season and the future of the show. It's here the actor tells us he thinks the series still has a few seasons left in the tank.
"Hopefully we won't outstay our welcome and we'll go out when the time is right, when we're in a good place. I think everyone's astute enough, the powers that be are astute enough to make that call," the actor says.
He adds, "That said, I think we've got a good few seasons in us yet. I think we've got a great cast of characters and really interesting premise, and I think, like you said, we can really go anywhere with this. I think it's a pretty healthy show and I think there's a good life for it coming up."
Keep scrolling to see our full chat with Starr.
ComicBook.com: 2021's been off to a weird start. Mr. President Barack Obama revealed his favorite TV shows of the year the past year, and lo and behold, The Boys makes the list.
How the hell does one react to that?
Well that's the question, isn't it? How do you react to that? It's so funny, it's one of those surreal moments when ... It seems, see, I can't even describe it, I'm just blabbering. Look, it's amazing, just the thought that he's seen me ... Well, not me, my character, and my bottom and me performing a profane act on the roof of New York, overlooking New York, is very strange.
If that's the only way I can connect with him, I'll take it. But no, it's great. I mean, every year he comes out with these lists and he's pretty in touch with what's going on and where people are at and what popular culture is centering around. More than anything it's a good nod to the show and to the hard work that everyone's put in.prevnext
In terms of villains, it's pretty easy to compare Homelander to Joffrey on Game of Thrones. You watch the show and Homelander's the character everyone loves to hate, right? It's just this putrid character.
You first get the role and you're reading the script, what's the first thought that comes into mind when you see just how disgusting this Superman wannabe is?
So the funny thing was I didn't know the material, I didn't know the source material, the graphic novels. They were quite secretive about the material, so I only got the first script. I'm in two scenes in that episode. So there was not a lot to go on other than lasering a plane down, and then it sort of kicks off from episode two onwards.
Once I looked at the comics, the source material, I sort of understood where it was going to go. But because it really is a slightly different animal to the graphic novel, it's pulled back in certain ways, I think the spirit and the essence of the comic and the essence of the characters and structure is there. But we've had to tame it down a little, so it was difficult to know where it was going to go.
But there was a great team starting to assemble around it and once I had a talk with Eric Kripke, and we talked about his ideas for it for the character and the show. It was a pretty easy choice to make. It wasn't difficult to get on board with Seth and Evan, and Eric and take the blue pill or the white pill, whatever it is, and see how deep the rabbit hole goes.
You know what? I'm glad I did. I think the show's going from strength to strength and it's truly one of the most enjoyable shows to work on that I've been a part of. So I feel very fortunate.
You know, speaking to Antony Starr, he is far from Homelander. He's certainly not as big of an asshole as Homelander is by any stretch of the imagination. How do you get into this role? Who or what do you look towards to kind of brace yourself for what's about to unfold on set?
First, thanks. [laughs] It's funny, you mentioned young Joffrey before. Because we've been locked up so long in L.A. and things just keep going from bad to worse here with COVID-wise, I rewatched all of Game of Thrones. I had forgotten, I didn't notice maybe, how good that kid is. How good Joffrey actually is.
The one thing that I would say about the big difference, though, is that you're trying to redeem Homelander, but there's really, with Joffrey, nothing to like. There's such an absence of any humanity, there's no reason why or anything of that. You never empathize with him, whereas I think just by comparison, I think that Homelander is evil and despicable, but I think because of the smart writing in season one and some fun choices that we cooked up in season two. There are moments when you see a little bit more going on than just the psychopath, you know?
It does make him the guy that you love to hate, but then every now and then there's these moments...there's moments when you kind of empathize with him and you realize, "Oh, he's trying to help his son," and things like that. It's kind of difficult to model him on anyone, because I know Eric also loves the idea of him, and he's based a lot of how he's written the character on Trump. But the irony of that is if you did make him strictly like Donald Trump then it's sort of a bit thin. It's kind of two dimensional.
So I always take that with a pinch of salt and then try to add a little more depth to the character, to be honest, because he needs to be his own entity. He can't just be a sort of attempt of a copy of someone else. It's got to be a real guy with real issues. I mean, he's got a lot of issues, but yeah, I get ... But to get going to the question, I don't approach it with any sort of specific method or plan, because each situation might require a different way of thinking in approach. And I think that keeps the material fresh as well, like not to get too formulaic about it.prevnext
Season 3 Plans
Some people involved with the show have already started traveling north to begin their quarantines before they begin work on the show. When do you head up that way?
We haven't got a specific date yet, but in the not-too-distant future, within a month or so. I think because of COVID and because we're shooting in the winter which is going to be a little difficult, it limits us to interiors, initially. So it's a very staggered intake of cast to the shooting schedule this season.
I'll head up soon. Honestly, I'm chomping at the bit to get back into it, but there's just a lot of new regulations. It's a whole new world with COVID that we have to adhere to a bunch of new regulations, so very soon. Can't be soon enough.
You had mentioned it was very secretive at the beginning. Has that been relaxed now that you guys have been on the series? Have you read the Season Three scripts?
Yeah, I think once we're onboard and they know who they've got and they want to, then it loosens up. I think initially that it's they didn't want to fire the scripts all over the place, but definitely once you're part of the team they've been very open with the material. Which is great, because we get to have that really good exchange with Eric of ideas and really collaborate and create something really special, hopefully.
I think I've read the first four or five of season three. It's a lot of fun, I got to say it. It's a hell of a lot of fun. It's strange, because we care so much about what we're doing and what we're going to be doing with these episodes and we have very little control over it initially, especially.prevnext
Future of Show & Spinoff
Season Three, that's kind of the goal. You look at other streaming platforms, and even in the Golden Age of Television you have to get over the two season hump and you're looking pretty good. Now The Boys is a franchise and there's even a spinoff in the works.
As Anthony Starr the actor, how far do you see something like The Boys going? Do you think it's still a long-term thing? Are you taking it season by season, or how are you approaching this?
Yeah, I take it season by season. The length of the run needs to be dictated by the strength of the story, the qualities of the stories that they can come up with. I think, inevitably, shows, if you've got your ear to the ground, you can sense when the train's coming and you and need to get off the tracks.
Hopefully we won't outstay our welcome and we'll go out when the time is right, when we're in a good place. I think everyone's astute enough, the powers that be are astute enough to make that call. That said, I think we've got a good few seasons in us yet. I think we've got a great cast of characters and really interesting premise, and I think, like you said, we can really go anywhere with this. I think it's a pretty healthy show and I think there's a good life for it coming up.
Are you involved in the spinoff at all?
Well that, if you can believe it, it's the most secret of all. It's an enigma wrapped in a riddle. I haven't heard anything about that. They're very much keeping that under wraps, so your guess is as good as mine.prevnext
Other Cape Aspirations
When it comes to superhero cinema, it's the talk of the town — billion dollar franchise, and all. Even then most franchises come to an end. We did just see Iron Man killed of, after all.
Once The Boys does come to an end ,do you still have superhero aspirations? I mean, were you a comic reader before this and you're like, "Man, I'm going to Hollywood and I want to play so and so." Do you still want to don a cape after Homelander?
Do you know what? I think I've got a new appreciation for how taxing it is to wear the superhero outfits, so it'd have to be the right role for the right people. I've followed the comic book movies and shows, of course, because they really hit their stride with pop culture over the last sort of decade or more. So, of course, I follow all those films, and watch them, I'm a fan, but it wasn't something I'm begging and gagging to do.
It was just something that if the opportunity comes up, great, but if it's a fun, interesting role and character then, yeah, cool. I'd take it on. I treat it like anything else. It's really about the people involved, the material, and the character. And if it all sits up and looks like it'll be fun and interesting, and do something creatively fresh with, then great.
The first two seasons of The Boys are now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.prev