Erin Moriarty has crashed onto the superhero scene in a big way with Amazon's The Boys. In a recent interview, she discussed the super-powered landscape, how she fits into it, and who her all-time favorite heroes are.
The Boys isn't a typical superhero show. It's an ultra-violent, self-referential, dark satire. It follows a group of vigilantes called "The Boys," that aim to keep the high-powered, famous superheroes who constantly abuse their power in check. Aside from making you laugh, the show also has a lot of commentaries on our society: celebrity worship, #METOO, corporate influence and marketing. The series, which premiered in July, comes from showrunner Eric Kripke (Supernatural) and is based on the comic books by Darick Robertson.
Erin Moriarty plays Annie, aka Starlight. Through her character, we're introduced to "The Seven" with fresh, innocent eyes. A new member of the team, Annie is horrified to see the ruthlessness of some her co-heroes, and she learns that things aren't always the way the media portrays them.
In a recent interview with CNET, Moriarty talked about our world of superheroes. Marvel films consistently dominate the box office. Greg Berlanti fills 5 one-hour timeslots a week with DC characters for The CW. Lord and Miller are reportedly working on even more Spider-Man projects for the small screen. Plus, there's these: Titans, Doom Patrol, Gotham, Pennyworth, Cloak and Dagger, Agents of Shield, Legion, and do I need to go on? In Moriarty's eyes, she says this.
"We've been sort of oversaturated with this genre, things are changing. Some of the bigger studios that pump out these films and TV shows are increasingly aware of that, so they're defying the formula we expect."
Moriarty thinks the "really irreverent and iconoclastic" The Boys is a product of this, and possibly the answer. She enjoys the latest marvel movies. Particularly Thor: Ragnarok because it is a comedy that "pokes fun" at the superhero genre. "I like that they're self-aware," she said.
But none could be more self-aware than The Boys. The actress said the Amazon series draws a "comparison between superheroes and celebrities or people high up in politics," where people are put on pedestals and revered as "pseudo gods," or "superior beings." This, she says is dangerous because "power corrupts," and she thinks The Boys is a good way to bring it into the conversation about superheroes.
Within all this volume, Moriarty can still choose her favorite. When asked who her all-time favorite superheroes are, she had a common answer: Mr. Stark. Her choice, however, isn't because of his character arc, anti-hero tendencies or "I love you 3,000," it's because of the man beneath the suit. "My favorite superheroes are always a reflection of my love for the actors' performance," she said. She also had this to say about Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man.
"I think that was one of the first superhero films I saw that had tons of nuance and levity and felt like a character-driven superhero movie."
She took a small break from Feige's Marvel Cinematic Universe to give some love to visionary director Guillermo del Toro. "I loved Hellboy, too," she said. "I thought Ron Perlman in that was great." She credits Perlman's nuance for making her feel like she was watching an "acting performance" rather than "just an action figure."
So what's special about The Boys? Why should we watch it? According to her,
"At the end of the day, we need entertainment. [The Boys] provides escapism while also being somewhat informative and giving into the zeitgeist."
This interview was conducted by CNET.