The last time we talked with Antony Starr of The Boys, he told us why it’s good to be so bad as Homelander. We spoke about how Starr often gets recognized on airplanes after his Supe botched a transatlantic plane rescue (before casually dooming all passengers to death to save his own reputation), and Homelander’s kept the awfulness going through Season 2. He did, however, get a run for his Vought International money in being the baddest Supe (and most outstanding supervillain), due to Aya Cash’s Stormfront and her Nazi ties as the weekly episodes continued to unfurl.
Still, Homelander hung in there, determined to laser the hell out of anyone who annoys him. He was finally able to move past losing (read: killing) his mother figure and that milk addiction. Homelander briefly found love, but everything crashed down around him during the season finale that landed on Friday, October 9. Now, everyone who matters is gone or detests him, and Homelander found himself coping in his own wretched way. Oh boy, I was surprised to see him finish the season with a scene that showrunner Eric Kripke revealed had been cut by Amazon from Season 1.
As Kripke originally wrote in a Reddit AMA, that part was the “ONE SCENE that Amazon said F*CK NO, you have to cut.” Kripke didn’t understand the decision (given that the show included a superhero orgy, a head-busting oral sex scene, and more), but this scene involved Homelander being lectured by Elisabeth Shue’s Madeline Stilwell. He reacted by standing at the top of the Chrystler building, where he “pulled his pants down and started jerking off, mumbling ‘I can do whatever I want’ over and over again until he climaxed all over New York City.” As Kripke put it, “Antony was the BEST in that scene,” and I gotta say, the scene still fares well (if I can rate that) in Season 2.
Granted, the refilmed scene now plays out in a different context. Queen Maeve had threatened to expose his evil deeds to the public if he didn’t stop terrorizing his fellow Supes, and she also told him that he was unworthy of love. Even though that’s probably true, Homelander was sufficiently rattled enough to release his pent-up aggression upon NYC. Well, Antony Starr was gracious enough to discuss the “jerking off” scene with us ahead of the season finale. Yes, of course, I asked, so let’s do this.
There’s a particularly graphic scene of yours that we must discuss. We won’t spoil it beforehand, but it’s nuts. Eric Kripke said that Amazon cut it from Season 1.
Yeahhhhh. [Laughs] I know the one!
And to my surprise, it now lives.
Well, they used that scene to replace another scene, which didn’t quite work. And it took me a minute to wrap my head around it, but now, I’ve grown to love it. It’s definitely — oh, that scene, how do I describe it? — a moment of pure weakness and need, which I think fits with one of the fundamentals of the character. He’s the strongest physical character on the show but the weakest character, psychologically.
People are going to have strong reactions when they see it, but it really tells us where Homelander is, going into Season 3.
It’s one of those things where, like a lot of things in this show, outwardly it’s easy to get distracted by the visuals of it. Like so many scenes in this show are big, and they’re out there, and there’s a lot going on or something very intense visually, but if we look at what’s going on in story terms, usually, it’s quite about what’s going on in the character. And I think that full-circle moment.. and the phrase that he’s uttering in that scene?
“I can do anything I want.” Yes, that felt very… urgent.
The first time it was ever spoken, it was a moment of self-realization and emancipation, but this is going full circle in a very desperate, needy, and dare I say, vulnerable condition. Really desperate trying in a very mixed-up way to find himself again. To me, it’s a moment of pure identity crisis where there’s all sorts of — again, it’s very difficult to describe without ruining it for anyone who hasn’t seen it! — there’s all these different elements of this character coming at once, and trying to dig something up from the past that has made him feel powerful before. Yet it’s quite clear (if you look at what’s going on internally) it’s not working. It’s a desperate grasp, so I was like, “Oh wow, that scene’s gonna go there?” But to me, it works.
‘The Boys’ Season 2 finale is now streaming on Amazon Prime.