‘The Boys’ is coming to Amazon. Like AMC’s adaptation of ‘Preacher’, the series is based on a comic book by writer Garth Ennis. Like much of Ennis’s work, ‘The Boys’ is known as much for its characters as for its often shocking moments of violence and sexuality. Among the book’s more notable characters are the Female and Mother’s Milk, who in the upcoming adaptation will be played by Karen Fukuhara and Laz Alonso respectively. While at New York Comic Con, we were able to sit down with both Fukuhara and Alonso, during which we discussed the appeal of the show, their characters, and more.
What was the appeal of this project?
KF: I think the best part about ‘The Boys’ is that we’re not afraid to “go there.” I know that the comic is pretty shocking for most first time readers – myself included – but there are lots of things in the material that you would think, “Oh, that can’t be aired! That can’t be shot!” And sure enough, a lot of it is. There’s a lot of tweaks, but I think we kept to the foundation of what was written in the original comics and made it our own.
LA: Yeah, I mean for me it was getting back to working on stuff that I’m excited about, and that people – the audience that watches something that I’m in – that they’ll be excited about. You know? And so last year I made an effort to really be picky and selective over the next thing that I do. You know, a lot of times as actors we can just… one job finishes and, “Alright, what’s the next job?” You know, we forget that why we got into this was to be excited and to make other people excited. And last year I just dialed it back. I decided to work less and just focus on doing things that really, really I feel passionate about. And when I read this script I was like, “I gotta do this show.” Now, I wasn’t a fan of the comics before I auditioned for this, so my interpretation was my interpretation of the material that I was given. And it just so happens afterward that when I got the part and I started reading the comic I realized [there are] so many similarities between me and this character, it was almost freaky in a way. I don’t wanna tell Eric (Kripke, showrunner) that he’s paying me to play myself a lot. [laughs] But it’s rewarding as hell.
KF: It was so funny you mentioned that, because while we were filming one of the scenes… You know, Mother’s Milk is very OCD, like you said. Wants his papers stacked a certain way, the pens a certain way. And then at one point, I think Connie came by and she had to brush dirt on my shoes.
LA: Connie is the on-set wardrobe person that gets us ready.
KF: Right, so she had to put fake dirt on my shoes for continuity. And she accidentally put a little bit on his shoes, which were pristine and white and beautiful.
LA: Yeah, coconut white!
KF: Coconut white! And he starts going, “Connie no! No! You can’t do that!” And I wasn’t sure if it was the character or yourself. [laughs]
LA: It was me! [laughs] She’s on all fours, and she’s got this little bag of dirt, and she’s slammin’ ’em on the ground, and I’m like do the Macarena, “Connie, no!” She’s like, “Gimme your fucking shoes!” and she’s like this little old lady. [laughs] And she got me. She got my shoes.
KF: I was like, “Connie, it’s for me!”
LA: Yeah, the whole set’s like “Connie no!”
How about you Karen, do you find yourself relating to your character at all?
KF: Well, yes and no. [laughs] I think when actors play characters, there is always a part of the character that is within ourselves. And so yeah, I connect with her in certain ways but definitely not in her violent ways. [laughs] In the comics she’s ripping people’s heads off and it’s very violent and she has this urge to kill. For our version, we’ve created a reason for her to do the things that she’s doing, and it’s not really a natural instinct or kind of a hungry feeling to murder someone.
Speaking of that excitement, is there something you’re especially looking forward to audiences seeing?
KF: I mean for me? We’ve been talking about how the show is two different shows – about the Supes and the Boys – kind of married into one entity. So I haven’t personally been able to see any of the dailies for the Supes, and so as a viewer, as an audience member, I’m so excited to see the Deep scenes, the Homelander scenes, what Starlight is doing. That’s just me.
LA: I’m excited for this to get out there because it’s a real big “Fuck you” to superhero culture. [laughs] And thematically, it’s a “Fuck you” to anybody that’s powerful and abuses their power, or just takes their power for granted. You know? It’s a big “Fuck you” to that.
The eight episode first season of ‘The Boys’ will arrive on Amazon in 2019.