Modern television is often accused of going too far in an attempt to be edgy and provocative. No matter which side of the argument you fall on, one thing that cannot be denied is that modern shows have given us some of the greatest, most reprehensible villains ever. Vying for the title of most reprehensible villain is Prince Joffrey from Game of Thrones, and Homelander from The Boys. Antony Starr, who plays Homelander, recently weighed in on the frequent comparisons between the two characters.
"Because we've been locked up so long in L.A. and things just keep going from bad to worse here, I rewatched all of Game of Thrones. I had forgotten, I didn't notice maybe, how good that kid is. How good Joffrey actually is. The one thing that I would say about the big difference, though, is that you're trying to redeem Homelander, but there's really, with Joffrey, nothing to like. There's such an absence of any humanity, there's no reason why or anything of that."
Much like in the source novels by G.R.R. Martin, Joffrey in the Game of Thrones show is a spoiled, cruel tyrant who abuses his power as ruler of Westeros frequently. The character set a high bar for future villains in the series. According to Starr, what makes Homelander a more developed character is that you sometimes get humanizing moments that were largely absent for Joffrey.
"You never empathize with [Joffrey], whereas I think just by comparison, I think that Homelander is evil and despicable, but I think because of the smart writing in season one and some fun choices that we cooked up in season two. There are moments when you see a little bit more going on than just the psychopath, you know? It does make him the guy that you love to hate, but then every now and then there's these moments...there's moments when you kind of empathize with him and you realize, "Oh, he's trying to help his son," and things like that."
While Joffrey is both cruel and a king, his capacity for destruction pales in comparison to Homelander, the most powerful superhero on Earth, who hides his psychopathic nature under a thin veneer of charm and good humor. For Antony Starr, it was important to approach playing Homelander as a real person rather than a caricature, who would react to each new situation in a unique manner.
"I always take that with a pinch of salt and then try to add a little more depth to the character, to be honest, because he needs to be his own entity. He can't just be a sort of attempt of a copy of someone else. It's got to be a real guy with real issues. I mean, he's got a lot of issues, but yeah, I get ... But to get going to the question, I don't approach it with any sort of specific method or plan, because each situation might require a different way of thinking in approach. And I think that keeps the material fresh as well, like not to get too formulaic about it."
Amazon Studios' The Boys stars Karl Urban as Billy Butcher, Jack Quaid as Hughie, Laz Alonso as Mother's Milk, Tomer Kapon as Frenchie, Karen Fukuhara as Kimiko, Erin Moriarty as Annie January, Chace Crawford as the Deep, Antony Starr as Homelander and Aya Cash as Stormfront. Seasons 1 and 2 are currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video. This news originated at ComicBook.com.