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Antony Starr of ‘The Boys’ on Homelander’s redeemability: It’s like asking ‘Jaws’ shark to be vegan

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New Delhi, June 13: Redemption for Homelander, the psychopathic superhero from “The Boys”, is somewhat like the shark in “Jaws” becoming vegan and how many people would be interested in that, asks actor Antony Starr about the “narcissistic character” that has made him famous. Starr said he worked closely with creator Eric Kripke to develop the character in the superhero satire now in its fourth season.
“We have a great working relationship and I think we’ve parented this character into something that’s three dimensional and is more multifaceted than your average moustache twitty villain. That’s why people relate to it,” Starr told PTI in a virtual interview.
In “The Boys”, adapted from the comic book series of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, Homelander is the leader of The Seven, a group of superheroes managed by the powerful corporation Vought International.
The character presents himself as the quintessential superhero with all the likeable qualities he is charming, patriotic, and all-powerful. Beneath the facade, however, is a deeply flawed and malevolent individual, who is racist, neurotic, psychopathic, narcissist and much more.
Can Homelander ever be redeemed?
“I mean, it’s kind of like the shark in ‘Jaws’ becoming vegan. Like, who wants to see that?” he said referring to the killer shark from Steven Spielberg’s 1974 cult classic film.
But never say never, he added.
“Personally, I’m an optimist. So I’d love to say yes but in truth, I’m not sure. What Eric said… one of the strong themes in the show is that if someone does the wrong thing, they get punished. In Homelander’s case, he’s racked up enough on the wrong things to make him pretty irredeemable, but I don’t know.”
It has been fun for the actor as well as the show’s fans all over the world to explore the depth of Homelander’s insanity every season.
“Homelander is a bit spooky, there’s a lot of narcissism. There’s a lot of negative traits with the whole killing people thing. It could be very easy to stereotype and say narcissistic psychopath,” the New Zealand-born actor said.
Starr believes there is another side too.
“There’s a lot of vulnerability in there, regardless of how disgusting a lot of his behaviour is. There are these little moments where he tries to be a good father, for example, and it’s kind of endearing. You always hope that the bad guy might be able to turn good. But I’m not sure that he can,” the actor added. The other superhero figuring prominently is Deep.
Chace Crawford, who plays the Aquaman-like superhero, said the show explores an entire gamut of gray instead of presenting the quintessential good versus bad story.
“I think the gray area and the spectrum of the show is not black and white. Humans aren’t black and white. And I think we talked about it early on. They let us show what we want to show and explore the nuance there… It lends itself to sort of showing glimpses into their human nature,” he said. Just like Homelander, Deep’s redemption is also out of the question, especially after the sexual assault scene with Starlight, played by Erin Moriarty, in the first season, the actor said. “After the sexual assault stuff, it’s kind of hard to have a full circle moment. Maybe if he had his own show. I’m teasing, we could go there…
” he’s like a train wreck happening. You want to see it happen. We kind of want to see him get his comeuppance in some way and fail over. And it’s kind of satisfying,” Crawford said. (PTI)


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