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Erin Moriarty, who plays Annie January aka Starlight in Amazon’s hit Prime Video series The Boys, teases a more exciting, complicated and dynamic story in Season 3 (premiering June 3), including her relationship with Homelander (Antony Starr) and Hughie (Jack Quaid).
“I was excited about exploring the Annie and Hughie dynamic in a way that we've not been able to do before, which is that they're together, they're committing to this relationship, at the beginning things are stable, and really witnessing the love and the bond there,” Moriarty told Yahoo Canada.
“Because in Season 3, some time has passed, we get to explore new dynamics and complications that arise when you've been with someone for a little while,... compounded with the fact that both Hughie and Annie are in complicated positions and situations this season.”
“Complicated positions and situations” is certainly an incredibly accurate way to describe the outset of the new season of The Boys. It’s more blunt, more violent, more outrageous and hilarious, in a way that is always incredibly captivating, with even higher stakes.
Season 3 of the series also marks the introduction of the legend of Soldier Boy, the first Superhero, and the entrance of Supernatural star Jensen Ackles into the series. We don’t want to spoil too much for fans but if you had any concerns about this being a repeat of Dean Winchester or any unnecessary duplication with other characters in The Boys, it’s a completely new and welcome addition.
Homelander is a 'massive obstacle' for Starlight
For Starlight in particular, Erin Moriarty is ready for fans to see the “sense of identity and confidence” she has established in herself.
“We've seen her identity kind of waver, we've seen her go through an identity crisis, and I think that her sense of identity has solidified and her confidence has solidified,” Moriarty explained.
“In addition to that,...things have gotten even wilder and crazier and I'm excited for people to see how that manifests this season. I'm going to say specifically with The Deep, who has never failed to entertain.”
One thing that is evident early on in Season 3 is that the relationship, and tension, between Starlight and Homelander is certainly heightened.
“These two characters have a history and these two characters at this specific point in time, we both need to come to this scene with the perspective of the micro-meaning, where are we coming from at this moment,” Moriarty explained. “The best thing that you can ask for is another actor and a scene partner who's willing to dive deep with you and talk things out, and really make sure you're grasping all of the levels and nuances.”
The actor called Homelander a “massive obstacle” for Starlight in Season 3, as the character continues to expand in power and confidence.
“Obviously Homelander is an immensely insecure person, it's not like he's going to be a supportive coworker,” Moriarty teased. “If she is gaining power and confidence, that's not going to translate well to Homelander and I think this season she's really trying to navigate the grey moral waters of Vought.”
“She's got Homelander standing up in front of her as this massive obstacle that's impossible to get around and becomes increasingly impossible because he's spiralling into a psychosis this season. So it's really, really complicated and I think that she's constantly rotating between standing up to him and wondering if she's going to survive him.”
'She ends up being one of the strongest characters on the show'
Certainly from where we first saw Starlight in Season 1 of The Boys, it’s been a particularly dynamic journey for the character, a welcome challenge for Erin Moriarty, who stressed that it’s great to see “kick ass lead female characters that are complicated, nuanced, paradoxical, but ultimately really strong.”
“It was particularly interesting from the perspective of a woman to read a character like this, the concept of the naive ingenue I think is antiquated, I think we've had enough of it,” Moriarty said. “When you first meet Starlight, you think that's what she's going to be, she's from Iowa, she's very earnest and the looks are totally deceptive, because she ends up being one of the strongest characters on the show.”
“She maintains that earnest quality, that moral compass, her vulnerability, while simultaneously staying strong, especially in the face of adversity and when she's exposed to this big dark world that she didn't know existed. It just motivates her further to make the world a better place… Thinking that you're meeting a female character that you can pigeonhole, that you've seen a million times and realizing that she's extremely nuanced, and incredibly strong whilst being vulnerable, I think exploring that is really great.”
'What if you did take superheroes in the world that we all know, would they really be so super?'
The Boys quickly rose to fame being dubbed the most intense, gruesome, unapologetically courageous and funny superhero show we’ve seen. From Moriarty’s perspective, while The Boys “ticks the box” of being in the beloved superhero genre, what’s really novel is the question it asks, “what if you did take superheroes in the world that we all know, would they really be so super?”
“The real answer is probably not, you'd probably have a mixed bag and that world would not be far off from our own,” Moriarty said.
“We're making political, social, religious zeitgeisty commentary that sets us apart and kind of spins the genre on its head, and takes superheroes that we've kind of put on a pedestal for decades in the media, and we're doing the opposite. We're showing that actually, in our current world, that's not what happens with power, people often take advantage of it.”