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The Boys has built a reputation as one of the most unpredictable shows out there right now, a streaming series with all the trappings and tropes of superhero storytelling wrapped up in celebrity and political satire, with a whole lot of truly gnarly violence and sex jokes thrown in along the way. It's a show that delights in upending the expectations of its audience, so much so that even the show's stars have given up trying to figure out exactly where it's headed.
Speaking to Collider about the series as it nears the finale of its third season over on Prime Video, The Boys co-star Antony Starr, who plays the villainous Superman figure Homelander, said as much when asked what he thought his character's ultimate fate might be. Viewers have known that Homelander's got a sociopathic, deadly edge to his personality for a long time, but Season 3 has seen the character grow increasingly brazen in his efforts to dominate both Vought and the landscape of American public opinion. For Starr, it all points to a guy who'd be happier if he could just slaughter just about everyone in his path, but the actor doesn't see that as the right move for the series.
"I think Homelander’s happy ending would be him annihilating everyone in the world and sitting there in a bloody wasteland on his own, with no one to mess with him," Starr said. "I don’t think there’s a redemption story for Homelander. I wouldn’t really wanna see that, to be honest. I don’t think there’s any intention of doing that either. As for his demise, I don’t know. Every time I try to pick out what might happen in the future, I’m wrong, so I’ve given up speculating. I’m just like, 'You know what? I’ll leave that for the writers and spare myself the embarrassment of being wrong, again and again and again.'"
Homelander was eventually killed off in the original comic book series by writer Garth Ennis and artist Darick Robertson, but one of the chief sources of dramatic tension in the show has become the ways in which characters can beat him without actually killing him, including Starlight's (Erin Moriarty) recent attempts to record his atrocities and threats for the public. In Season 3, Homelander's been able to combat those efforts in part by simply being more brash and combative in the media, which has made him a bigger star among a certain subset of his fans. But of course, Butcher (Karl Urban) and Hughie (Jack Quaid) are still trying to find ways to kill him, even if it means killing themselves in the process, so who knows if he'll make it out of Season 3 alive.
Though he's given up predicting what exactly will happen to his character in the coming episodes of The Boys, Starr did note that he doesn't believe he's done exploring the depths of the character, particularly in terms of his own self-discovery about who he really is and what he really wants.
"I don’t think Homelander is the most spiritually aware chap," Starr said. "I think the guy is going through what most people would go through at puberty, which is this self-identification process, breaking free of the parent figures. But one thing that was actually really fun to play was to look at what Homelander created in himself and the tools he created and used to get himself through hard times. That was a lot of fun. Reflectively, there is one scene that’s a directly reflective experience, when we see this character that he has created, as a boy, in the mirror that he has a conversation with. That was a lot of fun, to mess around with the internal mechanics of this guy. What made him the way that he is and how he did he cope with it? It just adds a lot of context to the character, and in doing that, it deepens the experience for the audience. It’s always fun, finding new territory with this character, and in this case, seeing how deep the rabbit hole goes. I don’t think we’ve hit the bottom yet either. There are layers to mine."
New episodes of The Boys arrive Fridays on Amazon Prime Video.
Looking for more superhero action? Check out Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin all streaming now on Peacock.