TV

Aya Cash Said Her ‘The Boys’ Character Is Based On Some Real-Life White Nationalists

Aya Cash has been the breakout star of Season 2 of The Boys, as the actress has gone from a pivotal role in You’re The Worst to actively trying to be the worst member of The Seven. We won’t spoil what happened in the latest episode that came out Friday, as Amazon is committing to its weekly episode schedule and not many people have had time to see it yet, but if you’ve seen a few episodes of Season 2 you know a turn is coming.

Cash’s Stormfront has been a welcome wrinkle in the show’s second season, publicly sniping at Vought and using undermined tactics online to sway public opinion to her twisted desires. And if you get the sensation that it’s a very familiar pattern to some people in real life, as it turns out, that was certainly intentional. In an interview with Vulture about her role in Season 2, Cash admitted that showrunner Eric Kripke used some real-life right wing trolls as the basis for Stormfront’s public-facing persona.

The interview has some immediate spoilers for the show’s fifth episode, so tread lightly. But what is not spoiled here, unfortunately, is exactly who the character was based on. Cash said she was careful to make sure the show was being “thoughtful” about the role and not only how it would initially play with readers, but the sinister turn it would later take. And what convinced her to take the part was that Kripke was taking a “deep dive” on some conservative personalities to dig into their psyche.

“He talked a lot about real-world examples of the people he was basing Stormfront on. I’m not gonna name names, because I don’t want to promote those people, but they exist. He had been going on a deep dive on those people and how they handled media and messaging, and that felt very thoughtful. It’s not “look at this badass new superhero,” it’s “look what happens when you give power to these people.””

Cash said the character helped her evaluate her own “blind spots” when it comes to how good virtues can be weaponized for bad purposes. And though Cash was adamant about not revealing which alt-right icons the character was inspired by, she did offer some clues when she admitted what she first imagined the character would look like. The Stormfront from the comics, mind you, was a man who from the start appeared to be a white supremacist. This Stormfront’s reveal has happened more slowly, which made Cash wonder if the character would look like who it was inspired by.

At first I thought she was going to be bleach blonde, with pink lipstick, holding an AK-47. But then when they started putting me in things, it was much edgier, and actually a better critique than being as on-the-nose as that. There was a really short wig at one point, and I had extensions at another. Finally they just said “we’re going to shave part of your head” and I was like “OK, I think you’re paying me enough to do that.”

We’ll have to see if the show’s spinoff set at a supe university will feature a younger version of Stormfront. If we’re reading between the very specific lines here, at least one person this Stormfront was based on seems to spend a lot of time getting chased off those campuses in real life.

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