In the Prime Video series, The Boys, no one is more notorious than everyone’s favorite unhinged Supe, Homelander, portrayed by Antony Starr. He is the “hero” we love to hate. Quietly – where he can’t get us with his laser beam eyes.
We got the chance to speak with Starr about how he got the role, the draining yet endlessly entertaining experience of inhabiting Homelander, and what he really thinks of a Homelander/Soldier Boy face-off. (Listen to the full interview with Antony Starr below)
When Starr first saw the pilot script, he had his hands full with another job and only sent in a tape to get his agents off his back.
“I was shooting a movie in New Mexico. And quite frankly, I was just too busy to get to it for about a week,” he recalls, almost apologetically. “I kept pushing it away, saying I don’t have time, I don’t have time. And then out of spite one day almost, I went, ‘Fine! I’ll do it at lunchtime,’ and sat in my trailer at lunchtime with an iPad and did my lines to a spot on the wall, and then sent it and I was like, right. That’s that.…Then I got word that they loved the tape, and they wanted me to redo it, but better quality. That’s when I started really focusing on it…I started looking at the comics and boy oh boy did my eyes get opened. Because that is some source material that they’ve cooked up over there.”
For those of you who have never seen the comics that the series is based on, let’s just say the Prime Video series is letting us off easy.
Most characters on TV, however despicable, have some redeeming qualities, but it’s hard to say the same for Homelander. Starr explains how he inhabits the character and how he stays sane in the cape.
“I tried to make him like a little boy as much as possible,” he begins. “I know friends of mine that have been through the AA program, and they’ve said that people, when they start drinking, cut off at that emotional age. So I liken that to Homie. He just never grew up. He never emotionally developed. So we’ve tried to make him like a little boy. And what do little boys do? They tantrum. They cry and they get upset and they get angsty, and all that. And yeah, it’s a lot of energy—I’d rather do stunts than those scenes energetically, because they’re really, really fucking draining…but I gotta be honest, you don’t really notice it when you’re in the moment. It’s kind of at the end of the day that I’m like, *krrk* spent.”
Starr reflects on the supportive environment on set. “It’s really great to throw yourself in as deep and hard as you can…but you’ve got to maintain your sanity a little bit as well. It’s got to be fun, we’ve got to keep it light and fun as much as possible. Otherwise, you miss so much if it gets too intense. Even when we’re doing the intense scenes, there’s always shifts and changes. And I laugh a lot when we’re doing these very intense scenes, when Homie’s having a little ‘wah wah’ or whatever. Because of the absurdity of it. This grown man who’s like Superman, but it’s just a baby. So we have a lot of fun and that keeps it light.”
Of course we had to save the most important question for last: Homelander versus Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles) with no one else around in an open field. Who wins that fight?
“When you were setting that up,” begins Starr wryly. “I was like, Homelander and Soldier Boy in a field, no one else around, and they…cuddle. Wouldn’t that be lovely?” He smiles, “Like it’s a late episode of fucking Family Ties.”
But seriously, Starr, we want to know.
“I mean…sorry, Jensen. Sorry, J boy. We saw that in season three. We know. If he had been on his own, because I thought—” Starr stops himself. “Homelander thought that Butcher was dead. He lasered and took him out and it was just one-on-one. And it was only three-on-one when Homie got really put in the corner, when he was literally pinned down. Up to that, I had old Soldier Boy dead to rights.”
He backtracks again, assuring us that he is Antony in this moment and not in fact a murderous superhero.
“Homelander. Homelander had him! He got some good licks in and absolutely, I think it will be a hell of a fight. Buut, I did have him up against the wall and I was about to finish him off. And then Butcher came in and kind of saved the day in a very Star Wars moment. Sort of like Lando Calrissian turned up at the last minute. And then it happened like it happens. So I don’t think I really need to answer that.”
It’s settled Jensen fans; the evidence is there.
“I will gently usher you to the moment in the scene where I had him dead to rights.”
Listen to the full interview below and subscribe to The ‘Verse! where we cover shows like The Boys and just about everything else in the sci-fi/fantasy pop culture lexicon.
Subscribe for more of The ‘Verse! on your favorite provider below:
APPLE PODCASTS SPOTIFY GOOGLE PODCASTS STITCHER AMAZON MUSIC ANCHOR BREAKER POCKET CASTS
RADIO PUBLIC CASTBOX iHeartRADIO
See you next time in The ‘Verse! Follow us on Twitter, too.