Antony Starr faces responsibility, on-screen and off

A lesson repeatedly taught by “The boys,” the superhero series on Amazon Prime Video is the danger of fame: don’t be too venerable to p...


A lesson repeatedly taught by “The boys,” the superhero series on Amazon Prime Video is the danger of fame: don’t be too venerable to public figures, she warns, because you never really know what they look like behind the scenes.

The most vivid embodiment of this message in the series is the character of Country, a seemingly righteous crime fighter played by Antony Starr. In the eyes of the rest of the world, Homelander can do no wrong; he is valiant and honorable, with blond hair, a sparkling smile, and a striped, star-studded cape.

But as viewers of “The Boys” well know, this is all window dressing. Beneath these superficialities, Homelander is self-centered, manipulative, and cruel.

“The Boys,” which returns Friday for its third season, is set in a morally gray world where good deeds are not always rewarded and transgressions are not always punished. His other characters can be measured against Homelander and by the choices they will or won’t make to stop him, but he himself is the one person who can’t be redeemed – the show’s unabashed heel.

The actors aren’t the roles they play, but Starr, 46, a New Zealand film and TV star who gained new exposure through ‘The Boys’, knows exactly why he signed on.

As he said in an interview recently, “The standard superhero movies that exist are tied to their moral compass. Even if Superman goes bad, you know he’s coming back to the true north because that’s the model. “

But in “The Boys,” if Homelander were to find a glimmer of goodness in himself, Starr said, “you’re going to have to turn him back into a narcissistic psychopath at some point.”

It’s not a role any performer would want for a long-term mission, but Starr said he enjoys how it provides moments where all pretense is let go and the truth of the character is revealed.

Quoting a favorite phrase from a former drama teacher, Starr explained, “He said you’re never more yourself than when you’re eating alone, and I love that this show gives us those mealtimes alone. , where we really see what’s going on.”

Starr has had to deal with a different kind of reckoning in recent months. Early March, He was stopped after assaulting another man in Alicante, Spain, where Starr was filming. The actor was drinking in a pub late at night when, after a brief confrontation, he punched the man, 21-year-old Bathuel Araujo, twice and hit him with a drink, reported the Spanish newspaper Información.

Starr pleaded guilty in local court. He was given a 12-month suspended sentence and ordered to pay a fine of approximately $5,500.

In our interview nearly three months later, in late May, Starr didn’t dismiss questions about the assault, but he tended to talk about it in general terms.

“You are wrong,” he said. “You own it. You learn from it. You move on.

Starr spoke to me in a video interview from his home in Los Angeles. Freed from his Homelander guise, the actor had dark brown hair and a shaggy beard and wore a pair of rectangular Clark Kent-type glasses.

And he had little fanaticism from his alter ego as he spoke of the country where he now resides. “I love America,” Starr said. “America has been very good to me, but the spinster definitely needs therapy right now.”

Working in the film and television industry in his native New Zealand, Starr broke through with a series of roles, including in the series “Outrageous Fortune”, a comedic crime drama which featured him as identical twin brothers with diametrically different personalities.

In America, he was noted for his lead performance in “Banshees”, an action series about a former convict impersonating the sheriff of a fictional town in Pennsylvania, which aired on Cinemax from 2013 to 2016.

When Starr was first approached to portray Homelander on “The Boys,” which is adapted from a comic book series by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, he was busy with other work and initially turned down a asks to film himself for an audition.

In the first pages of the script given to him, Starr said, “I didn’t have much to do, other than ‘Bad Superman’. So I did the audition almost out of anger. Throw it away. , send it and go, here is your audition.

But as Starr progressed through the trial process and learned more about the series, he became intrigued by the opportunistic Homelander, who has no qualms about using his abilities for his own gain and relishes to punish anyone who might try to expose him for who he really is. He saw an opportunity to connect with audiences by fully playing up the character’s shortcomings.

“I want people to rejoice to see him suffer,” he said. “I want people to really appreciate seeing him do horrible things with a little glint in his eye.”

Erin Moriarty, a ‘Boys’ co-star who plays a more trustworthy and aptly named hero Starlight, said her scenes with Starr can sometimes be “heartbreaking” to film, due to the raw emotion involved and also “the possibility that he might just laser her right there and kill her.

“You have to be able to get rid of it at the end of the day,” Moriarty said. “It might take a second, but it certainly helps that Antony, in addition to being professionally present as a human being, is so different from Homelander and so kind and so funny.”

And as Starr had anticipated, his work on ‘The Boys’ led to other big projects, including his role in the upcoming action flick, directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, which he was working on. in Spain earlier this year.

Information reported that Starr and Araujo had met at the pub. Araujo told Información that a friend with him asked a friend of Starr to calm down the actor who seemed drunk. Araujo said Starr began to swear and push him, and when he pushed back, Starr punched and hit him with a drink. After Starr was kicked out of the pub, the two men met outside, Araujo said, and they got into a fight again.

In our interview, Starr did not discuss what happened the night of the attack. “There’s not much point in me questioning the facts,” he said. ” They’re over there. They have been said. I have nothing to add to that.

He added that he is someone who “believes in responsibility and taking responsibility”.

“I put myself in a negative situation and reacted badly, and the path from there was very clear,” Starr said. “It was just to take ownership of it, which I do, and then really learn from it and move on.”

Had he considered quitting drinking after this incident?

“I wish it were that simple,” he replied. “I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have things on a personal level that they want to work on.”

Contacted on social media, Araujo reaffirmed his previous descriptions of his confrontation with Starr. He said he couldn’t stand the actor the actor no ill will.

“I think all humans have the right to make mistakes and he was no exception,” Araujo wrote. “He lived the consequences of his actions and I hope he learned from it. I wish him well and I hope he doesn’t experience the same thing again.

Moriarty said she has no hesitation in continuing to work with Starr in the future.

“There is no world in which I would feel uncomfortable or in danger,” she said. “I think he’s a wonderful guy who got caught up in an instant and implements the lessons appropriately. It doesn’t affect my perception of him at all, as an actor and as a human.

Since Will Smith’s slap in the face of Chris Rock in late March, Hollywood has had to wonder what kind of consequences are appropriate when celebrities engage in violence, however brief. For Starr, the incident in Spain doesn’t seem to have affected his status on “The Boys.” In recent weeks, Starr continued to appear in magazine articles promoting the show and attended a premiere event with his co-stars in Paris.

Eric Kripke, who developed “The Boys” for television and is its showrunner, declined to comment for this article.

Starr, however, seemed uncomfortable examining himself through a broader cultural lens. “I really kept this issue on a personal level, because it’s a personal issue – a personal issue that I took responsibility for,” he said.

He spoke more enthusiastically about “The Boys” and his seemingly inexhaustible versatility right now.

On the one hand, he said the show could be seen as a caustic parody of countless other movies and TV shows adapted from comic books, one that uses now-familiar elements of the genre to comment on the frustrations and futility of 21st century society. .

Or, Starr said, it can simply be watched as superhero entertainment itself, where good guys and bad guys don colorful costumes and engage in battle until only one side is left standing. .

“You can take it literally,” he said. “Let it overwhelm you and go, aha – there’s blood and gore and fun stuff, and enough drama to make it interesting.”

“I think you can go as far as you want,” he said.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Antony Starr faces responsibility, on-screen and off
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