The Boys Star Valorie Curry on Anti-trans, Homophobic Character 5

Valorie Curry has played a lot of characters over the years with whom she had almost nothing in common — a murderous cult member in Fox’s The Following, a paramedic who moonlights for the mob in Amazon’s The Tick, a cryptid researcher in 2016’s Blair Witch sequel — but few have been quite as starkly antithetical to Curry’s personal beliefs as Firecracker.

Firecracker, the latest mutant to join Amazon’s superhero satire The Boys in its new fourth season, is politically divisive, with extremist and often hateful opinions on everything from vaccines and CIA conspiracies to the LGBTQIA community.

Curry, who identifies as a lesbian — she first came out as pansexual on Instagram in 2019, during National Coming Out Day — should have been repelled by Firecracker. But her reaction was just the opposite. “It sounds so gross to say, but I really connected with her right off the bat,” says Curry. She’s happy to play somebody she finds personally abhorrent, who’s “so vocally anti-trans and homophobic,” says Curry, because “it should be somebody from the community who’s getting to make a clown out of her. So there isn’t any ambiguity.”

That’s a testament to The Boys‘ creator Eric Kripke, whose work on the series Curry has admired for years. “The show satirizes so much of what’s happening culturally, whether it’s #MeToo or the Republican Party,” she says. Curry admits some of the conspiracies repeated by Firecracker seemed too wild to take seriously, but when she asked Kripke about one outlandish line, “He’d tell me, ‘That’s actually a direct quote [from a politician],’ ” Curry says.

New characters on season four of The Boys include Sister Sage, aka the smartest person in the world (played by Susan Heyward, left), and Curry as Firecracker, who has super strength and can generate a firework-like effect.

Jasper Savage/Prime Video

The actress also tells THR she’s a big fan of the surprise bisexuality of a veteran character of The Boys this season: “I love casual bisexuality in TV, in books, when somebody is just dating one person and they are dating another and we don’t even need to talk about it. It just is.”

Despite so much fodder for satire with her character, Curry says she hasn’t discounted Firecracker’s humanity. “As an actor, our first job isn’t to judge our characters,” she says. Without giving away any spoilers, Curry hints that “childhood trauma” explains much of Firecracker’s behavior: “Right or wrong, she’s someone who believes she’s been marginalized.”

Curry is feeling the opposite of marginalized these days. She lives in upstate New York and is in a happy relationship with a woman who works outside the industry. She’s excited for her town’s Pride weekend, but probably won’t venture beyond her local neighborhood to celebrate.

“There’s a big queer community here for such a little town,” she says. Though the big events in cities like New York or West Hollywood are tempting, at 38 she considers herself “too old to find it fun,” she says with a laugh. “I’d just be worried about traffic.”

This story first appeared in the June 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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