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How The Boys Scored That A-List Cameo For The Season 3 Premiere

Contains spoilers for "The Boys" Season 3, Episode 1, "Payback"

The Prime Video series "The Boys" has found a sizeable audience since its debut back in 2019, thanks to its willingness to push boundaries in its subversive portrayal of superheroes. The show is based on the comics series of the same name penned by writer Garth Ennis and illustrator Darick Robertson and was brought to the screen by Eric Kripke, who had previously created the long-running CW series "Supernatural."

Fans have remained intensely loyal to the show, taking delight in whatever "The Boys" serves up. And make no mistake — this hit series doesn't hold back when it comes to scenes that are hard to watch or otherwise seem to go too far. As a result, the explicit nature of "The Boys" has not diminished the excitement for its third season, which critics have been praising ahead of its June 3 release. The third season premiere, which included the debut of the first three episodes, brought with it a major unexpected cameo of an A-lister more likely to be seen headlining a major theatrical blockbuster.

With the first three episodes of the third season out, Kripke is now speaking about how "The Boys" landed that top-tier actor for a brief role for the show's third season first episode, titled "Payback."

The Boys got some help from executive producer Seth Rogen

On "The Boys" Season 3 premiere, Charlize Theron appears as a fictional version of Stormfront in the in-universe movie "Dawn of The Seven," the "Justice League"-style blockbuster Vought is making about The Seven. In Season 2, fans are introduced to the actual Stormfront, played by Aya Cash, who turned out to have deep ties to the Nazi regime and had been operating in service of the party's ideals since the 1930s. In "Dawn of The Seven," Homelander (Antony Starr) confronts Stormfront, and she proceeds to monologue about her evil plans, which, in turn, motivates The Seven to fight her.

Speaking to Variety, showrunner Eric Kripke credited executive producer Seth Rogen with getting Theron on the show. "Like most cameos on our show, it follows the rigorous and stringent screening process of whoever returns Seth Rogen's phone calls," he joked. Rogen and Theron had an existing relationship due to working together on the 2019 romantic comedy "Long Shot," and, per Kripke, the agreement to have Theron cameo on "The Boys" came shortly afterward.

He also praised how game Theron was for the whole process, noting Theron's role was more intense than a simple walk-on cameo. "I actually feel kind of bad about it because I'm sure [Rogen] positioned it like, 'Hey, do us a favor, pop on camera, and it's a cameo.' Then the next call is our costume designer, 'OK, you need to come in, and we need to design this super suit,'" Kripke continued.

Theron, however, was fully committed. Kripke praised her willingness and ability to deliver any dialogue, saying that seeing her onscreen hadn't prepared him for the level of commitment Theron would show. He added that "The Boys" was "really lucky to have her."

This is not the first connection between the MCU and The Boys

Eric Kripke also added that the connection Charlize Theron's appearance on the show draws between "The Boys" and the Marvel Cinematic Universe was more fortunate happenstance than careful planning. In "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," Theron appears in a mid-credits sequence as Clea, a long-running comics character and romantic interest of Doctor Strange's who has finally made her debut in the MCU.

Kripke commented on this, saying that he was unaware of the connection but happy about it. "I did not know [the 'Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness' cameo] was happening. My assumption is we asked her before. But I was in the theater watching 'Doctor Strange' with my kids, and then that cameo came up, and I was like, 'Yes!' Anything we can do to draw a line between us and Marvel is a good day."

"The Boys" have previously made deliberate allusions to the MCU. In the second season episode "We Gotta Go Now," the in-universe movie Vought is shooting features a character asking Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) how she was going to get through an army of mutants. To this, Aya Cash's Stormfront responds, "Don't worry, girls get it done" as the female superheroes line up — a clear nod to a similar scene involving several female superheroes in "Avengers: Endgame."