Making The Boys: Donald Trump inspiration, comic book changes and exploding meat

Find out which actor in Amazon Prime Video’s The Boys used Donald Trump as inspiration, the technique behind blood-splattering scenes and more juicy behind-the-scenes secrets.

By Alex Fletcher Published: 2 September 2020 - 1.45pm
Amazon Prime Video

The Boys season 2 is only days away and the new episodes are going to be the biggest, bloodiest and most shocking yet.

Amazon Prime Video’s superhero satire is going supersize for season 2 with new episodes released weekly rather than in one batch, and a new companion series – Prime Rewind: Inside The Boys - set to satisfy your cravings for the show.

Hosted by Aisha Tyler, the first episode of Inside The Boys is now available on Prime Video and includes exclusive insider scoops from show creator Eric Kripke and cast members including Antony Star and Erin Moirarty.

Here are three things we learned from Prime Rewind: Inside The Boys – which is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video...

1. Donald Trump was a character reference for Homelander

Aisha Taylor presents Inside The Boys

How did Antony Starr go about playing the disturbing sociopath and twisted leader of The Seven, Homelander? It turns out he got some inspiration from the 45th President of the United States.

"The T-Dog, who is playing President at the moment,” said Starr. “To be honest, he’s really good for some elements. But the problem with [Trump] ironically, is that although he is in some shape or form flesh and blood, but he is [only] one, maybe one-and-a-half, dimensional.

“So he's only usable for some parts of the character.”

Starr added: “[Homeland] the strongest physical guy on the show, thinks he’s a God, but his Kryptonite is his humanity.

“You need light and shade with any character and we have a really cool boss and great writing team who aren’t interested in one-dimensional characters.”

Showrunner Eric Kripke also revealed that the show’s over-arching message that “the stronger you pretend to be, the weaker you are” was aimed at Trump.

2. How they made the blood-splattering Robin death scene

Jack Quaid as Hughie in The Boys Amazon Prime Video

It was the moment viewers who had never read the comic books suddenly realised The Boys wasn’t going to be any ordinary TV show.

The moment Jack Quaid’s Hughie was left holding only his girlfriend Robin’s (Jess Salgueiro) hands after she was killed by a high-velocity A-Train was a staggering and unforgettable moment to kick off season one.

Talking about how they filmed the moment, Eric Kripke said: “None of it was there on the day. That was 100% CG. It was the most complicated shot in that episode.

“Dan Trachtenberg deserves all the props. He was the director of that episode. The whole notion of going slow-mo for Robin’s death was his idea entirely. To be honest, I fought him on it a little bit, because it was scripted as really sudden. But he wanted it to be as poetic as possible.”

He also revealed the unusual techniques used to capture the gory scenes.

“Stephan Fleet is our VFX genius in control of the whole thing,” explained Kripke.

“He had the VFX houses exploding meat in front of green screens and filming it and dropping it into the shot. Just to get the shape of the blood and how many organs should be flying around.

“It probably took six months from start to finish to make that shot.”

3. Why they had to make changes to the original comic book stories

Jack Quaid and Erin Moriarty in The Boys as Hughie and Annie/Starlight Amazon Prime Video

“That is something we really consciously set out to do,” said Kripke. “The original material is pretty f***ing gnarly and Garth was going for something shocking and it’s a little gratuitous, intentionally so.

“If there is going to be something sexually graphic, it’s there to move the story forward. If you’re just being shocking to be shocking, it’s lacking the layers you need for a story.”

Erin Moriarty, who plays Starlight and was involved in a #MeToo storyline in season one, said: “I’m so glad we’re finally serving women in the world of graphic novels that depicts them in a strong light and a nuanced light.”

The Boys season 2 starts on Friday, September 4 on Prime Video.

New episodes of Prime Rewind: Inside The Boys will be released weekly.