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The Woman Who Plays Stormfront Is Completely Different In Real Life

This content was paid for by New York Comic Con and created by Looper.

The Boys' second season really upped the ante from what we saw in the first. Homelander (Antony Starr) is more deranged than ever. Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid) is finally sticking up for himself more and playing a more active role in the direction the Boys take. Plus, pretty much everyone has beef with the newest member of the Seven, Stormfront.

As we learn throughout season 2, Stormfront was the first successful test subject for the Compound V serum all the way back in the 1940s in Nazi Germany. She later immigrated to the United States where she's gone by different monikers over the years, including Liberty, whom everyone thought retired from the superhero game. Now in the 21st century, the superpowered bigot makes a return as the social media-savvy Stormfront, who uses memes to get her white supremacist messaging out to the masses in a more sly manner. 

It should go without saying, but the actress who portrays Stormfront, Aya Cash, who you may recognize from You're the Worst and Fosse/Verdon, is very different from her superhero counterpart. For starters, Cash is Jewish, but that hasn't stopped her from needing to set the record straight for fans who can't tell the difference between a TV show and reality. 

Aya Cash has received backlash for her portrayal of Stormfront

Stormfront does truly unforgivable things during her time on The Boys. In an interview with Refinery29, Cash mentions how she's received some hatred from fans of the show, saying, "I guess I wasn't expecting people to confuse me with my character. But that's because I know me, and people don't know me." 

The Boys makes a strong attempt to show that Stormfront's ideology is wrong. Even the main villain in the show, Homelander, looks baffled when she brings up the idea of white genocide. The show uses Stormfront to talk about the very real presence of neo-Nazis in the United States in the form of the alt-right. 

Cash also says she only took on the role because it took a critical approach to the ideas being perpetuated by Stormfront, saying, "It's a satire, so, obviously, Stormfront flies — these people don't fly in our world. But they do a lot of the other things that she does. It was important to show that and to show the newer dangers of white supremacy: the way that they have been using the internet and using narratives." 

While Stormfront is the villain of The Boys season 2, it seems like the role has caused Cash more problems then she expected, with some fans thinking the character was a reflection of the actress when that couldn't be further from the truth. 

Aya Cash discusses the horrors of playing such an evil character

The cast of The Boys sat down for an interview back in October at New York Comic Con to discuss season 2. The topic soon turned to Cash's character when she was asked, "How is it to play a person that's so completely opposite of who you are in real life?" 

Cash first thanked the questioner for understanding there's a difference between actors and the characters they play. She then got into the difficulties of playing the role, saying, "Some ways it's fun, and in some ways it's just as horrifying as watching her. So when there are moments where I have to do really terrible, awful things, it — it doesn't necessarily feel good on the day."

Cash goes on to say that she also managed to find ways to have fun while filming some difficult scenes — like chasing Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) and Kenji (Abraham Lim) through an apartment complex — because you kind of have to in order to retain your sanity. Cash explained: "Some of the most fun that I had on set was that day where I'm chasing Kimiko and Kenji around, and because Karen and Abraham are such a blast to work with, you know, we were singing and dancing and playing around the whole day up until those moments where, you know, the horror happens."

It's not hard to see how getting in the mindset of a racist killer could negatively affect an actor. It speaks to Cash's resilience that she managed to still have fun on-set despite the terrible things her character has to do.

Aya Cash thinks fans need to look at Stormfront's arc as a whole before judging

Both the New York Comic Con interview, as well as her piece with Refinery29, took place early on when The Boys season 2 first started airing. Fans had only just seen Stormfront go from the wisecracking newest member of the Seven to a murderous, racist psychopath. Those unfamiliar with the comics may have thought the show might have been glorifying Stormfront by making her likable at the beginning. 

As Cash explained during New York Comic Con, however, there's a good reason why that was done: "I think it's important to show her humanity in the beginning, because this sort of hatred is wrapped up in these pretty packages these days. And it's not necessarily people flag-waving — although those people exist as well. There's more insidious, sort of, manipulation that is happening that I think The Boys is pointing at with Stormfront by making her sort of cute and sweet in the beginning, so people who are so outraged with the turn, hopefully once they've seen the entire season and can look back on what's happened to her and see that it's not a glorification, but the banality of evil is real."

The same way actor Antony Starr is nothing like Homelander, Aya Cash shares nothing in common with Stormfront's beliefs. It's actually a testament to how great of an actress she is that she was able to make viewers hate the character so viscerally. You can see Stormfront in all of her vileness on The Boys season 2 with every episode streaming now on Amazon Prime.