Claudia Doumit Dishes on the Fate of Victoria Neuman in “The Boys”
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The climactic father-son battle at Vought Tower between Homelander (Antony Starr) and Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles) finally brings some resolution to this season’s Supe manhunt, and it seems as though everyone goes their separate ways. A powerless Maeve (Dominique McElligott) leaves town to live a normal life with her girlfriend Elena; Butcher (Karl Urban) comes to grips with his death wish; Homelander gets his son Ryan back; and Starlight (Erin Moriarty) is officially a member of the Boys. However, a certain character’s political rise may set up yet another epic catastrophe for “The Boys” to sort through in the near future.
“I only know what’s going to happen with my character and the story when I get the scripts.”
Once again, semi-anti-Supe activist/congresswoman Victoria Neuman (played by Claudia Doumit) delivers a big cliffhanger for “The Boys” in season three – only this time, things get even more complicated. Much like the season two finale that revealed her as the infamous “head popper,” this season peels back another shocking layer to Neuman: she’s the new vice president candidate. Per her alliance with Homelander, this can only mean that she and the Supe will have way more influence in the US government than anyone would like to see. We’ve already seen what Neuman’s gruesome Supe powers can do (case in point: season two’s head-exploding courtroom scene), but viewers can only imagine the damage she’ll cause now with more rank in the capital.
Season three dives deeper into Neuman’s backstory – delving more into her relationship with her daughter Zoe and connections to former Vought CEO Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito) and Homelander. But Neuman herself is still a mystery as this season only begins to scrape the surface of her character. “I only know what’s going to happen with my character and the story when I get the scripts, it’s actually fascinating,” Doumit tells POPSUGAR.
Up until Doumit got the script for the seventh episode of season two, she had no idea her character was the Supe responsible for popping everyone’s heads. So the actor was pleasantly surprised to see her complex role expand in more ways than one in season three. “I was really excited this season because we got to dive into Victoria Neuman’s personal life,” she adds. “That was endlessly fascinating for me, as an actor to explore, because we got to see this character who we’ve been introduced to as unassuming. Then with a big plot twist at the end, we got to see what’s behind her mask, the many masks that she wears, and see her in some soft, vulnerable, heartbreaking moments.”
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Season three of “The Boys” was all about taking down the powers that be, including an out-of-control Homelander and the deadly resurgence of Soldier Boy. But the Boys’ attempt at doing so comes at the cost of some near-fatal doses of Temp-V as Butcher is now dying. In the midst of their mission, Doumit’s character has been slyly pulling strings behind the scenes, arranging shady deals with Homelander and Starlight to keep her Compound V secret under wraps – and also secure her political future. Still, even with her manipulative and shifty ways, it’s difficult to pinpoint whether Neuman is an actual bad guy in the show or working undercover for the greater good.
“. . . you can’t really peg what her motives are and where her allegiances lie.”
“The interesting thing about Neuman as a character is that she doesn’t necessarily fall on either line. She’s not a Supe. She’s not one of the Boys. She exists in her own kind of sphere, so you can’t really peg what her motives are and where her allegiances lie,” Doumit points out. “I do know that she goes on her own morally gray journey this season, and she’s someone who is very strategic, wants to plan ahead, is duplicitous, and always assessing a situation. I like to describe her as a character that’s playing 3D chess. But she’s thrown into some very dire situations this season and she can’t rely on her strategy. She has to make some desperate decisions that benefit her in the moment, but will ultimately cost her.”
One of those decisions includes Neuman injecting her daughter with Compound V – a Hail-Mary move to help the youngster protect herself in the future. Though season three doesn’t show the aftermath of that conclusion, the loose thread with Zoe may find a way to circle back in season four – hopefully to determine whether Neuman’s actions are actually coming from a good place. “I think that’s the beauty of the show. It’s so easy to categorize a character as good or bad, but I think what this show does brilliantly is that all of these characters kind of sit in this morally gray area,” Doumit adds. “Everyone really goes through the gauntlet and I think that’s what appeals to audiences, that no one is strictly bad [and] no one is strictly good.”
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“I’ve learned to not anticipate what’s going to happen with my character because I truly never know and I’m never going to figure it out.”
According to Doumit, she and rest of “The Boys” cast are all kept “blissfully” in the dark about the show’s turmoil at the start of every season. “It’s beautiful and chaotic,” she notes of the formula that adds to the genuine shock value of the finale. Season three’s last surprising twist, which Doumit says she’s “incredibly honored” to get, opens up a whole new realm for “The Boys” in season four. Creator Eric Kripke’s knack for building up unpredictable plot outcomes means the possibilities are endless for the Boys’ next mission. But Doumit admits she doesn’t have a single clue what her next storyline will be.
“I can have all my theories and come up with whatever I think is going to happen, but you just know that Kripke’s going to do the opposite of that and then something better,” she remarks. “So I’ve learned to not anticipate what’s going to happen with my character because I truly never know and I’m never going to figure it out. So I just have to cross my fingers and wait for those mysterious scripts.”
As unorthodox as “The Boys” is, fans know by now that nothing ever ends well on the show. Since filming for season four hasn’t begun yet, distress and agony are the only things that Doumit can guarantee we’ll experience once it arrives. “I don’t have to be a psychic for that,” she says. “It’s all downhill . . . [‘The Boys’] gives you little bread crumbs of hope, purity, and hearts and rainbows [for the future], and then they sh*t all over it. It’s great.”