To call The Boys a violent show would be a huge understatement. The Amazon Prime Video series pushes the boundaries of gore, gore, and bizarre with each season. And with the third season just days away, fans expect the show to up the ante this year. But violence isn’t the series’ only USP. It also has a diverse cast at its helm. Two of the cast members – Karen Fukuhara and Claudia Doumit – sit down to chat with Hindustan Times about season 3, representation on the show and how they feel about playing powerful women on screen. Read also : Trailer The Boys 3: Karl Urban acquires superpowers to fight the Seven, Jensen Ackles makes a sensational entrance
The Boys is based on the comic book of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. Many would say the series actually tones down some of the graphic content of the comic, but it still manages to shock the most. However, while the first season felt like a punch in the face for new viewers, many people assume the show can’t hurt them anymore. The actors disagree. Between laughs, Karen said, “It’s just bananas in this writers room.” Claudia adds: “Yes, I was shocked! I think every season: ‘How are they going to do better?’ And they surpass that.
Karen plays the mutant Kimiko on the show, while Claudia is anti-superhero congresswoman Victoria Neuman. The second season cliffhanger teased some interesting arcs for both characters. But the two actors remain silent on any spoiler. When asked about the plot points, Claudia smiled and said, “They’re watching us! Let’s just say there will be fun times, bloodshed. Well, viewers will find out when the first three episodes of Season 3 begin airing on June 3.
The Boys is an irreverent take on superheroes, presenting a universe where super-powered beings aren’t the good guys but the power-drunk abusers. While it balances its tone between satire and parody, The Boys is essentially a superhero show; and one where the women play both good guys and bad guys without it being fancy. Speaking of which, Karen says, “I think it’s a nice trend happening in the superhero genre, especially because it’s been so male-centric over the years. I love watching Black Widow because it’s nice to see a woman who primarily has a relationship with her sister. It’s good to see something like this on the big screen and I hope we do the same.
Claudia adds that what’s refreshing to see is that the show doesn’t sexualize its women, which the action and superhero genres have been guilty of in the past. Giving the example of a cheesy 1991 superhero movie called Samurai Cop, Claudia says, “I just watched it for the first time and I’m not kidding, every ten minutes in that movie, b**b shot. Every ten minutes, the woman undresses. And looking at this I thought ‘what’s the point of all this’ and then I thought ‘I’m so glad it’s come this far’, rightly so, long overdue.
But it’s not just the genre where The Boys gets good representation. It also extends to ethnic minorities. Karen was born to Japanese parents while Claudia is part Lebanese. And they believe that mainstream shows like The Boys have a big role to play in normalizing ethnic minorities around the world. Speaking of an incident where a gunman killed 10 African Americans in Buffalo last month, Karen said: “I read an article that he was motivated by another white supremacist shooter from another country. He said he was inspired because he saw him as a hero. And going back to our question, I think representation is really important — and I can only speak for Asians — but we’ve been misrepresented and underrepresented in the past and we’ve always been the target of the joke. It’s an example of how people see us and how they may treat us. And so, changing that narrative and that perspective and bringing our true identity to the screen can only help the way we are perceived. I hope this will teach others how to treat another human being.
Claudia stresses the importance of pop culture in teaching people about the world, saying shows and movies now allow the new generation to experience things they were once deprived of. She says, “Art imitates life and life imitates art. So it’s so important to see the correct representation, the correct perspective of the different people on the screen. Growing up, that’s really how I discovered the world. I absorbed pop culture and learned so much from these worlds that were created in front of me on a screen. It was very influential and I never really saw anyone on screen who looked like me. So being able to be on screen makes me happy. And I hope young girls can see someone like them on screen and be like, “Oh cool, I exist in the world.”