The Boys is Amazon’s foray into the superhero world, but with a twist. In the series, based on the comic book series of the same name, a group of vigilantes led by Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) and Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid) are working to bring down the superheroes of the world, particularly those in the Seven, an elite and wealthy group of superheroes with more power than the world truly knows. Why would The Boys want to take down the people who are protecting their world? Because these superheroes are corrupt, battling addictions and sociopathic. The show dives not just into their superhuman abilities, but also their massive flaws and deep secrets.
While at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Shadow And Act had the pleasure of talking to Jessie T. Usher and Laz Alonso, who play on opposite teams of this dark superhero dramedy, as A-Train and Mother’s Milk, respectively.
A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) is a speedster and part of the illustrious Seven. It’s his surprising actions in the premiere that kick-off The Boys’ revenge journey. While A-Train is one of the beloved superheroes, he’s also a train wreck, struggling with a lot of things that non-superhumans deal with regularly.
On what Usher hopes people away from his of A-Train portrayal and the show overall, beyond his questionable and unsettling actions:
“We try to come up with super characters that regular people can relate to. So, in the beginning, you hate A-Train for one reason but then you start to see that he’s dealing with something that we kind of all deal with. He is in the limelight for something very specific, his super speed, and he can get wrapped up in that and lose himself. He is loved and adored because he’s the fastest man in the world, but it doesn’t mean he’s the only super speedster in the world. He’s always under a microscope, and if people stop liking him, everything will crumble. Like he’s always under the gun to make sure his next time is like his latest time in life. You know if it doesn’t then it means everything crumbles for him. And that’s kind of where you find A-Train, you know somewhere in that mix. We humanize him and I think eventually you will empathize,” Usher said.
On A-Train’s interactions with other members of the Seven, particularly the other Black man superhero, Black Noir:
“I can’t give too much away about how the two interact, but I can say that they come together outside of their super missions. They share an outside relationship that no one knows about or would expect of them. I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but it’s there and I am happy to see it,” he added.
On the converse, while The Boys will most definitely become a pain in the Seven’s behinds, there is one very methodical team member that may bring a different set of skills and perspective to the fight, Mother’s Milk (Alonso).
Alonso on playing the only man of color on The Boys squad fighting to protect and avenge those they love, while unmasking the true nature of the Seven:
“Being the only brother of the bunch for me is a lot of responsibility because I represent a lot more than just myself and what I love about this brother is that he is unlike a lot of the stereotypical characters that I’ve played in the past. He goes against what you normally see a Black male playing. I love that he’s the one that tries to get the team to go about it another way, not just kill,” he said. “To me, this role is an opportunity to start breaking stereotypes. You know we have to start using our platforms to break stereotypes and what better way than entertainment.”
The style inspiration for the character:
“While Mother’s Milk has his look, I took some inspiration from Mr. T in the ‘80s. I added gold to honor him.”
Something unexpected that fans should know about Mother’s Milk:
“He’s the smartest one of The Boys. He is a family man, tremendously committed to morality and he’s the only one that has a moral compass.”
The Boys is a wild ride from literally the very first minute. It is unfiltered, adventurous, raunchy, and will keep you own your toes. Watch it when it premieres on Amazon Prime this Friday, July 26th.