Nearly two years have passed since season 2 of The Boys first released and fans have been itching for its season 3 return. Ahead of the June 3 premiere, LA Confidential spoke with Laz Alonso, who plays Mother’s Milk, all about the Amazon Prime hit, how his character brings his life full circle and what’s up next for the actor.
How does it feel to finally have Season 3 on the way?
It's a relief because we wrapped it last September. COVID pushed everything back. There's so much that we've been like holding back and people have just been chomping at the bit, wanting to see what we got for season 3 in store.I'm not gonna lie, like COVID did, I think, creatively help the writers come up with a bunch of new stuff. Just all the stuff that happened that year was so out of control, and almost, in many ways, unbelievable. So it did creatively push us to a whole other level. And I think people not being able to work for a whole year also pushed us to a whole other level. When we get back, you're gonna see we're firing on all cylinders.
The cool thing about is that this year of all years is gonna be a year where they give you a lot of context as to Mother's Milk origin story: his backstory, why he's named “Mother's Milk,” where the name came from, his family life. They just go there. It just so happens that his story is also very intimately tied in with the entire season.
What has it been like to embody Mother’s Milk for three seasons?
More than anything, it’s a collaboration with Eric Kripke. He has an open door policy where I've been able to just pitch ideas, pitch dialogue changes, wardrobe ideas, switch scenes up… It really feels like I'm not just an actor memorizing lines and doing what’s said on a piece of paper. I really feel like he allows you to participate in the development of the character and what he goes through during the season. Even in 2020 when we were halted for production for COVID, I was still talking to him constantly and emailing him. When the George Floyd protests were going on, I was talking to him. We were watching TV together and talking about how if any one of our characters would have been out there marching with the protesters it would have been Mother’s Milk.
The OCD part, that stuff to me allows us to really have a real conversation about mental health and how untreated mental health can affect us. It also shows that even though Mother's Milk is the one who we know has mental health issues with OCD, he also shines a light on how everything that's happening in the world affects everyone's mental health, including all of the members of The Boys. He's almost like a mirror that holds up how we're all traumatized and we're all just coping with trauma. And we have to be very careful because the very things that we hate, we can end up turning into them if we don't watch ourselves.
From left: Description: Jack Quaid (Hughie Campbell), Karl Urban (Billy Butcher), Tomer Capone (Frenchie), Karen Fukuhara (Kimiko), Laz Alonso (Mother's Milk)
When did you first know you wanted to be an actor?
Since I was a kid, I always knew I wanted to do it. When I played by myself, I'd be standing on the bed and it was a stage and all these invisible people in the audience were watching me and applauding. I'd be doing all kinds of monologues and shows on rainy days when you couldn't go outside and play back when kids still played outside. It was always something that I'd wanted to do. I just never told anybody because I didn't know a real career or something that you could actually pursue and make a living off of.
I watched a ton of movies as a kid. Not only did I watch a ton of movies, but I watched the same movies like 5, 600 times.I knew all the lines, all the character moments. I knew the emotional journey of the actors. I felt the emotions as the main actor felt it. It was something that when it was time for me to really step in and start auditioning and playing a character, it was very easy for me to transition into another character because I've been doing it my whole life. I just didn't know I was.
I grew up very poor. My family immigrated to the States with nothing and pretty much had to create a life out of nothing, not even speaking the language. But what they had here was opportunity, something they didn't have in the communist dictatorship of Cuba. It was a brand new start. It was a fresh start for our whole family. For me, watching these movies always inspired me to know that I can accomplish anything because these characters did.
They were my first role models growing up. I didn't know any success stories. They were my success stories—these movies that I watched.
Have you gotten a response like that from fans of The Boys about Mother's Milk?
Yes, it’s so cool. To be honest with you, it's a great question that you asked because it’s almost a very full-circle moment when I get people to tell me that my characters have inspired them through rough times and through rough moments and I've entertained them during sad times in their lives and made them laugh and made them feel like they can get through it.
People love watching Mother's Milk. They feel like Mother's Milk is the friend they wish they had. That's what I always hear. He's the guy, he's the friend we all need and wish we had when s**** going wrong. He's gonna be there for you, he's always gonna have words of encouragement. He's gonna talk you off the ledge and he's gonna talk some sense into you and, if he has to, knock some sense into you. But you also know that he's got your back and if you get into some s***, he's gonna be there side by side with you till the end. Hearing how people talk about him just really makes me feel so good about this character that Eric Kripke and I crafted together.
See also: How Laci Mosley Found More With ‘iCarly'
One of your next releases is the psychological thriller Detained, in which you play Detective Avery. What can you tell us about the film?
The biggest thing that I'm proud of is that I'm one of the executive producers on the film. It feels good to wear more than one cap and to be involved in conversations beyond just the character and actually being in the business side of things and helping bring a film to life. That part is really, really cool. The movie to me is a really, really cool story. It's like the films that I grew up on— these whodunit-type films where you're constantly tricking the audience into thinking one thing and then you hit them over the head with something else. And the audience is trying to figure out who's the good guy and who's the bad guy, and right when you think you figured it out, you're surprised again. That kind of storytelling I think is a lot of fun. Detained was one that we were able to do it fairly modestly, but with a very high production value because of the storytelling and performances really brought together…It's dark. It's super dark. We went there on that one.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
Photography by: Jennifer Cooper; Courtesy of Prime Video