As controversial as it might be, anti-heroes and supervillains achieving surprising levels of popularity among fans isn’t exactly a new phenomenon, as characters from Darth Vader, Loki, Harley Quinn to the Joker have proven time and time again. One antagonist who has gained a cult following however has the actor who plays him perplexed — namely, the evil Superman analogue Homelander from The Boys, who’s played by Antony Starr.
“There’s a very strange thing that’s happened with the character, though he is clearly not a good guy. A lot of people have glommed onto him,” Starr said in an interview with the LA Times. “There’s a weird element out there that actually kind of idolize him. I’ve seen some s— on Twitter and I’m like, ‘Wait, What? You are missing the point entirely!’”
Starr went on to add that the character of Homelander in The Boys explores the question, “What if Superman were a narcissistic sociopath?”
Despite that, Starr also has a deep understanding of the character he’s portraying, one who he goes on to describe as an “incredibly emotionally stunted” one.
“He’s the loneliest guy in the world. He’s got no one to relate to but himself,” Starr added. “His isolation is immaculate. It’s almost perfect. He’s not stupid; he’s incredibly emotionally stunted.”
Starr also mentioned showrunner Eric Kripke’s thoughts on the Homelander character, one who Kripke describes as a satirical take on former president Donald Trump. (Starr has disparaged Trump supporters cosplaying as Homelander in the past, describing their actions as the “art of ignorant dumbfu—y.”)
“[Kripke] has said many times, ‘He’s Trump!’ — [but] if you made it too directly Trump, it becomes very two-dimensional,'” Starr continued, adding that making Homelander exactly like Trump would’ve been too on the nose and the the character also bears resemblance to other presidents.
“I understand exactly what Eric means, and [Homelander murdering a protester before a crowd] was his ‘Fifth Avenue’ moment, 100%. But with the speechy stuff, if you want someone who can string a sentence together, who does that better than … Obama?”
Starr also agrees with Kripke’s sentiment that The Boys is a “dark satire about late stage capitalism.”
“You can take it however you want,” Starr added. “If you want to just watch something that’s thoroughly entertaining, a little crazy, and you’ve got a stomach for it,” says the actor, “you can do that. But there’s so many details that are put in there, so many Easter eggs, so many conversation-starting episodes and moments, I think it’s a bit of an all-play. One of the things about the show that I’m really proud of is that we do unapologetically provoke conversation.”
What do you think of the fact that Antony Starr disparages ‘The Boys’ fans who idolize Homelander? Do you agree that those fans are missing the point? Let us know in the comments.
The Boys Season 4 has wrapped production and is slated to air on Amazon Prime in early 2024.