[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for The Boys, Season 2, Episode 3, “Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men.”]
We’re only three episodes into The Boys Season 2, but Erin Moriarty’s Starlight has already been mighty busy. Not only does she finally manage to leak the truth about Compound-V to the world, revealing that superheroes aren’t born but made, but she also has a few key scenes that say a lot about where the character stands right now and where she might be heading.
During a recent edition of Collider Ladies Night, I got the opportunity to have a lengthy chat with Moriarty covering a good deal of her career, including early inspirations and making The Kings of Summer. But, we also touched on some key moments from The Boys Season 2, and we’re about to get into a couple of them here.
First up, there’s an especially tense moment in Episode 3 where Homelander (Antony Starr) corners Starlight in a sense and puts her in a position where she must kill Hughie (Jack Quaid) to appease him. The moment builds to the point where Starlight’s eyes light up, suggesting she’s about to use her power, but then Butcher (Karl Urban) steps in and interrupts. Let’s say Butcher never showed up. Is there any chance that Starlight really would have killed Hughie in the moment? Here’s was Moriarty had to say:
“I have always thought, without a doubt, including when we were filming it, that she would not have killed Hughie. I feel like I know that character in my bones, deeply too. I think the season, sort of one of the big themes for her this season is that she’s wearing a mask and she’s trying to maintain that rock solid facade as much as she can, so in my mind, in that moment, as her eyes light up, she’s reaching into the depths of her brain to figure out what the hell she’s gonna do while pacifying Homelander to signify to him that she’s carbonating with her powers, but I do not think that she would have killed Hughie at all.”
Thanks to the very strong foundation the show built for Hughie and Annie’s relationship in Season 1 that it continues to bolster in Season 2, it really didn’t seem like there was any chance Starlight would have gone through with it – whether there was an interruption or not. But, to indulge us further, Moriarty did walk us through a hypothetical situation of how Starlight might have been able to spare Hughie even if Butcher never showed up:
“My choice was yeah, exactly that, that she’s showing her eyes light up, she’s just kind of trying to figure it out quickly. It’s like when she blasts him and she falls back because she has to. If you want to talk about a hypothetical world, her powers are really powerful so it could be something like blasting the wall next to Hughie and having good aim and creating a distraction and making it seem like there’s been destruction and then figuring it out, but no, no she would not have killed Hughie.”
While this next scene doesn’t put another life on the line, it is an especially memorable moment from the first three episodes of The Boys Season 2 that sends a pretty powerful and very human message – the scene where Annie takes off the Starlight costume piece by piece, revealing what it really takes to make her camera-ready.
“I was so gung-ho about doing that. And they didn’t request this of me but I requested it; I wear that outfit and I really wanted to have that moment where I take off the outfit and the wig and all that stuff, but also, you see me take out the butt and breast implants that they give me for the outfit and I said, I have these little silicon inserts to kind of enhance my body and make it look more like a Barbie. That’s not my own body and so I was like, we need to show that this is not real because if we don’t we’re contributing – even though we’re ultimately making a negative commentary on her outfit, because she is covert, she is playing the game this season. She’s wearing it for a reason. She’s not supporting it; she’s just, like I said, playing the game, but I want people to see that this is not my body. I want people to see that this is not real that, sure, there are women out there with that body, but I just kind of wanted to be able to acknowledge the fact that more often than not, that ideal isn’t something to strive for because it doesn’t exist and perfectionism, especially in bodies, is a futile pursuit and we see it too much in shows. And we’re not aware of how much make-up people wear or what’s helping them achieve that ideal and so I thought, what a cool opportunity to take out these silicon inserts and this butt pad and show that this Barbie-esque physique is totally artificial.”
In addition to sending a body positive message, the moment also tees up Annie’s arc for the rest of the season. Here’s how Moriarty put it:
“And then, the whole point of the scene being that she is wearing a facade and you peek behind it for the first time. It’s a short scene but I think it’s really, really important to show it and I’m really glad we show it in the first episode, straight off the bat. I think it’s really informative of where she’s at, and it sets her up for the rest of her trajectory that season.”
These weren’t the only Season 2 spoilers discussed during this edition of Collider Ladies Night. Be sure to check back as the The Boys Season 2 progresses for more of Moriarty’s thoughts on Annie’s biggest moments. And, if you want more Moriarty right now, be sure to check out her full Ladies Night interview right here.