05 September 2020 12:41
The Boys star Aya Cash has spoken out about performing her character's racist dialogue, which occurs early in the show's second season. Introduced in the season two premiere, Stormfront initially seems to be a refreshingly grounded new member of The Seven, unafraid to speak her mind to Homelander and the suits at Vought International. However, in the climactic ending of episode three, we learn that she is actually racist when she utters an offensive slur to someone before barbarically killing them. Speaking to RadioTimes.com, Cash defended the decision to include such language in the series and discussed the challenge of performing those "uncomfortable" scenes. Get all the latest sci-fi/ fantasy news and views direct to your inbox Thanks!
"So, not shying away from the language, not tiptoeing around that I think is important." The first instance of Stormfront's racism is targeted against Kimiko's brother, Kenji, portrayed by actor Abraham Lim, and Cash explained the preparation that went into filming the scene. "Obviously, everybody has got to read the script," she said. "The people who I have worked with who I had to say those things to, there was absolutely a moment on the day where it's just like 'I'm so sorry, this is tough. Like, is this cool?' "They've read the script, it's not like an out of sequence that they're just jumping into. They know hopefully what is happening so they've also signed on for that and they're like 'it's fine.' "But, you know, it doesn't mean it's not uncomfortable as a human, but I also think unfortunately people who don't look like me hear those things quite often. "And for me not to say that when I'm playing someone who believes those things, would do a disservice to the trauma that people suffer hearing those things all the time. So hopefully it's in service to a bigger conversation." The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke added that the writers had wanted to explore the "issues of white nationalism", as its something that has featured prominently in the real-world news cycle. Season two of the hit series began yesterday on Amazon Prime Video, with the first three episodes made available for subscribers to stream. Advertisement The Boys season 2 is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video, new episodes every Friday. Check out our list of the best movies on Amazon Prime and best Amazon series, or visit our TV Guide to find something else to watch. The Boys does things differently in this stronger second episode, though the gang's story still pales in comparison to those of the Seven. The Boys' first season was most effective when its sights were narrow, focussing on straight-forward stories such as Billy wanting to avenge Becca or Hughie demanding payback for the bloody pile of appendages that was once his girlfriend. The second episode of season 2 does the opposite, widening the scope of the series by fleshing out lesser characters who were overlooked the first time around. Doing so, The Boys proves that it can effectively juggle several interweaving plots without losing any of its energetic charm. "Proper Preparation and Planning" asks each character to confront who they are, and how that's at odds with who they really want to be. There's Homelander, who desperately wants to be a father and gets some much-needed bonding time with his son, Ryan. Yet dreams of playing catch in the yard soon dissipate as Becca flees to her Vought handlers. Homelander ends up spilling everything to his son, revealing his experience growing up without parents. Is the Supe lying? This is Homelander at his unsettling best, with Antony Starr's performance so strikingly subtle you can't tell whether the terrifying Superman spoof will laser someone Becca to death or break down further. Starlight and Queen Maeve, too, are at their own personal junctures: Starlight wants to be as self-confident as Aya Cash's Stormfront, while Maeve would be happiest out of the spotlight and with her one-time lover, Elena. Maeve's relaxed posture and joy at goofing around with Elena not only shows a different side to the Supe, but also imbues her situation with an otherwise untold sense of jeopardy. That happy ending can be ripped out from under her at any moment – and now we have an actual reason to care what happens next. (Image credit: Amazon Studios) Homelander and Maeve aren't the only members of Vought's finest struggling with staring into that abyss: The Deep goes on a psychedelic trip courtesy of some 'shrooms from the Church of the Collective. Blending the potent mix of absurdity and hilarity that The Boys has excels at, Deep progresses from a punchline to a deeply tragic figure in a handful of minutes, with actor Chace Crawford giving his most affecting, three-dimensional work yet – something that is particularly commendable seeing as how he's acting opposite a pair of talking gills. It's undoubtedly one of the hour's highlights. Yet, we need to ask whether The Deep – real name Kevin – really deserves a redemption arc. Even in the morally grey world of The Boys, that's certainly debatable, but it adds more intrigue to The Deep's formerly struggling storyline. That forward momentum continues for the rest of the hour, especially with the introduction of Stormfront. If the seams of The Seven weren't already being ripped apart, they certainly are now. Aya Cash revels in a larger role this time around, deliberately sabotaging press junkets and condescendingly retelling the tale of Pippi Longstocking to a greener-than-goose-shit Starlight. While we've only had a glimpse of her potential to shake things up, it speaks volumes that she's able to fill in any Homelander and Butcher-shaped holes in the script with effortless, confident abandon. Read more... (Image credit: Amazon) The Boys season 2 premiere review: "An entertaining chapter that ultimately holds something back" A-Train's sudden return also adds another piece to the intrigue-filled puzzle – and his recognition of he and Starlight's mutually assured destruction if either of their secrets leak out means that all of the Seven, barring Black Noir, are weighed down by terrible truths. Within the span of one episode, the potential for backstabs and betrayals has skyrocketed tenfold. It's not reached Game of Thrones-levels of politicking and machination, but the extra baggage each Supe is now lumbered with only helps enrich The Boys. It's a premise that will see viewers tuning in week-to-week – a hopefully good gamble by Amazon. Butcher, inevitably, also provides a spark of energy. Wisely, the show doesn't spend much time charting how the Brit made his way from Tony Cicero's back to the boys (that's the focus of an upcoming mini-movie). It's a good thing he's there, too, as the fugitives' pursuit of a terrorist familiar to one of the group doesn't quite excite in the way Vought's stage-managing and Homelander's domestic troubles do. Let's hope Butcher's sucker punch on Hughie is a surefire sign that playtime is over and The Boys have loftier targets to aim for. Besides, the Supes who are in their sights suddenly got a whole lot more interesting. The Boys, rightly, grabs headlines for its laugh-out-lord NSFW content and twisted take on the superhero genre but, for the first time, it almost soars to the heights of prestige television. "Proper Preparation and Planning"'s biggest strength is how it neatly ties together the themes of the episode and the tribulations of its characters in a buttery-smooth way that wouldn't look out of place within an HBO series.