Spoilers for The Boys Season 3 follow!
In a media landscape inundated with stories about superheroes, it is harder than ever for these works to stand out and establish an identity of their own. Part of why Amazon Prime Video’s The Boys has been such a success is because of its genuinely refreshing perspective on the genre. Based on Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s comic book series of the same name, showrunner Eric Kripke (Supernatural) and producing duo Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have already formed their own corner of superhero culture far away from the bright worlds of Marvel and DC. Instead of following the exploits of its superpowered characters, The Boys foregrounds a team of superhuman killing underdogs who share their name with the show. Amongst the Boys, led by Billy Butcher (Karl Urban), is Frenchie (Tomer Capone), a mysterious everyman who introduces much of the levity in their interactions.
Over the course of the show’s three seasons, Frenchie has transformed from a brutal mercenary to a romantic who is in many ways a voice of reason in contrast to the more zealous Butcher. Frenchie’s level-headed role in the fight against Homelander (Antony Starr) and his team of supes known as “The Seven” cannot be understated. His intimate relationship with mute superhuman teammate Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) and the deeper insights into his background revealed in The Boys Season 3 paint a much deeper picture of someone who has experienced serious trauma and walked away with a greater sense of empathy. After appearing in a number of popular television shows overseas, like Fauda, Israeli actor Tomer Capone made his film debut in the Natalie Portman-directed drama A Tale of Love and Darkness. He would go on to star in the Netflix series When Heroes Fly before joining The Boys.
We sat down with Tomer Capone to discuss Frenchie’s arc in the third season and what it could mean for his character in The Boys Season 4. Capone breaks down Frenchie with Kimiko’s surprise musical number and why the duo makes up the heart of this Prime Video original series. This is the final installment in our FYC interview series with The Boys cast, featuring Jack Quaid (Hughie Campbell), Jessie T. Usher (A-Train), Laz Alonso (Mother’s Milk), Chace Crawford (The Deep), Jensen Ackles (Soldier Boy), and Kimiko herself, Karen Fukuhara.
Exclusive FYC Interview with Tomer Capone for The Boys on Prime Video
The Boys Season 3 dives a bit more into Frenchie’s backstory and the world he came from before joining the team. Was getting the chance to be a different person around different people fun to play?
Tomer Capone: Always. As an actor, what you strive for and what you pray for is to get more material and backstory for your character. That’s where you can really make a coffin and explore the way you’re going to approach the character in the new season. Luckily, I was very happy to read again that new characters are coming in and revealing new sides of Frenchie’s origin story, shedding light on this mysterious, weird, twisted, crazy French guy.
We first see Frenchie as a mystery, and then when we get a glimpse of new characters that come in from his past, it’s a blast to constantly rediscover the character that way. Of course, that is the most fascinating part for me as an actor to play with on set. Also, the most talented actors are coming and popping in from Frenchie’s world, it’s a lot of fun and they are just so extraordinary.
Up to this point, we’ve been told that Frenchie’s past weighs on him heavily and he’s trying to atone for it. Do you think having that past catch up with him is unsettling or is it encouraging to see how far he’s come from that point?
Tomer Capone: It’s funny, it’s like that saying you can’t go forward if you don’t examine your past and make peace with it. One of the biggest things The Boys explores, not only in Frenchie, is letting go – reminiscing with your traumas, your past, forgiveness, day to day life that everybody is dealing with. The struggle of Frenchie, obviously, he did some crazy shit. It’s not like he stole a candy bar from 7-11. He did some horrific things, but seeing him twisting and turning, I think his actions are moving toward redemption. So, when I’m portraying him, I’ll pick optimism anytime.
This season gives you more scenes with Kimiko, and that relationship is arguably one of the most optimistic bright spots of the whole show. Was that always part of the plan or did that come out of the chemistry between you two?
Tomer Capone: I want to say that we brought it to the table, but I can’t argue with anyone because from day one, Frenchie calls Kimiko mon coeur, which means “my heart,” and that sets the tone for the two. They’re the heart of The Boys. This season, we went a little wild with the two, talking about the dance sequence, of course, which was the most, I think, optimistic scene the show has ever seen. You shoot The Boys and every day you get some blood on you, or somebody’s arm is going to tear apart, or some other body part is going to be thrown away, and there’s a lot of gore and action.
Then on the day of the dancing scene, me and Karen looked at each other and we looked back and there were like 30 professional dancers doing stretches! They were all colorful and beautiful and we said, “What is this show? We don’t recognize it, it’s so cheery! It’s so beautiful, so fantastic and happy.” We shot that for almost a week. The whole sequence felt like it was from a completely different TV show. In terms of Frenchie and Kimiko, I think their bond is optimistic and beautiful because the two of them are such outsiders. Obviously, Frenchie is not American. He’s the underground man, he’s the outcast, the underdog. And with Kimiko not having the ability to speak, they build their own bridges. They’re finding different ways to find each other than the rest of the world would.
So my next question was actually about the musical sequence. How did you feel when you first found out that you were going to do a dance number on The Boys?
Tomer Capone: It was like reading the scene with the whale in season two. You read it and you can’t believe this is what you’re going to do. So you go back to the script and read it again just to make sure you read it right and you are actually going inside the whale, and that you’re actually going to do a musical number on the show. I had to read it twice to believe it. That’s what I love about the show, that’s what I love about the cast, and that’s one of the major things that makes The Boys what it is. All of us – everyone on camera and behind the camera – jump in the water so quickly and with such passion, hope, and fearlessness.
It’s easy jumping in the water when you’re working with such an amazing cast and crew. The dance was one of those moments where you’re like, “I’m scared, I don’t know how to dance, I don’t know how to do it, but I trust the process and I trust everyone around me.” It was a grueling couple of weeks of training, and I’m very happy about the outcome. Usually, I don’t watch myself on film. It’s weird. But I will watch action sequences, I like to watch the action. Now, I discovered that I also like to watch me dancing. So it’s another thumbs up for me!
The rest of the show’s characters, you could say, are getting pulled into the center of the conflict, whereas Frenchie seems to be the lone voice saying, “Let’s pull back, let’s be realistic.” Where do you think that comes from, and do you think realistically that peace is in his future?
Tomer Capone: Yeah, the energy definitely goes in that direction in [The Boys Season 4]. But, in terms of season three, it comes from Frenchie’s past. We all see the fucked up things he went through as a child and as an adult, the trouble that he got into. And he’s maturing as the season goes by; he’s maturing with me, with the audience, with the story, with all of us. He’s realizing that violence and killing, it’s not all worth it. So, it’s funny to think about the way Frenchie has gone from season one sticking an ass bomb in one of the superheroes, and now in season three, you’re saying he’s the reasoned voice. It’s a cool thing to say. To some degree, I agree. But it all comes from his messed-up past for sure.
A couple of your teammates got to play around with superpowers this season. Can you see that happening for Frenchie?
Tomer Capone: I just wired a lot of money to Eric Kripke. He has not responded. And if it’s not going to happen, Eric Kripke stole my money.
That’s on the record now.
Tomer Capone: “We want V for Frenchie!” That should be a sticker.
If you could pick, what superpower do you want to play with?
Tomer Capone: That’s a good one. I’m stepping out from Frenchie’s world here. Me, as an actor, I think The Deep’s powers are the most hilarious that just make for the most bizarre, funniest scenes I’ve ever seen on TV. It would be fun to talk to sea animals and shellfish. That is something I’m not sure I want to explore, but it would be hilarious for sure.
Yeah, there’s potential there. Fish probably have stories. One of the final scenes of the season sees Frenchie leading a vote on Starlight’s membership in the team. Did that feel like, not a return to a status quo, but a fresh start?
Tomer Capone: That’s a hard one to answer because it leads to so many stories, not spoiling season four. But it was one of those moments where you knew and felt that something new is starting. The Boys to this point had only Kimiko as a superhero. Now, there are some new big muscles coming into the team. All I can tell you is that it’s definitely exciting and interesting [in season four].
Do you have any really memorable moments from filming The Boys Season 3? Anything that sticks out to you?
Tomer Capone: It’s funny. One of my friends recently asked me, “Do you miss it?” We just wrapped season four, I think a month and a half ago, two months ago? It was grueling and it was tough. Every season, we work so hard on this show, in front of the camera and behind the camera. It’s exhausting. Then when you get to the finish line, you’re like, “I’m going to finally get a break, that was a heavy time working.” And to be honest, I can’t wait to jump right back in. I’m truly just thinking about reading the new scripts and coming back. I miss everyone, and I think that’s what makes the show what it is. It comes from the love and passion that all of us have for this amazing roller coaster that’s called The Boys.
So, to your question, there is never a dull day filming The Boys. Hands down, the best job I ever had in my life. It’s one of those things where you’re playing the character and you don’t want to play any other character. You’re happy about where you’re at, and you’re thrilled with coming every day because you know it’s going to be twisted, bloody, tough, funny, and packed with action. Just the camaraderie of all of us on the show makes so many laughs and so many emotional moments. It makes the whole experience even stronger.
Is there anything you think you’ve learned about yourself from playing Frenchie on The Boys?
Tomer Capone: You know what? I’m starting to believe that maybe in another life I was a Frenchman. A real Frenchman. Who knows? Or I convinced myself very hard. What did I gain? Again, every day on The Boys for me, as an actor, it’s my first big overseas project. Every day working with the crew, seeing what they’re doing, it’s a learning experience. It’s a humbling, amazing cinematic learning experience. I’m a geek of the show. If I weren’t in it, I would probably be a fan of it. I joined the most amazing school on how to make a really rocking cool TV show.