'We danced everywhere...We danced between takes of different scenes, we danced at Erin Moriarty's birthday party,' the actor says.
As Frenchie, one of the members of the eponymous vigilante group on Prime Video's The Boys, actor Tomer Capone is used to dealing in violence. What he did not expect to read in a script was a musical number. But that is exactly what he and Karen Fukuhara were tasked with in the fifth episode of the third season of the Emmy-nominated drama.
"You read the script and you think you just hallucinated: 'What the hell is that?' And you go back and you read it again. That's what happened with the whale [scene in Season 2]: I read it, I didn't believe it, and I read it again, and it was there," Capone tells Metacritic with a laugh.
In that third season episode, titled "The Last Time to Look on This World of Lies," Frenchie visits Kimiko (Fukuhara) in the hospital, where she is slowly recovering from her Soldier Boy-inflicted injuries. After that long-lost supe stepped out of the chamber in Russia and erupted a ball of light and fire from his chest, Kimiko was flung far and wide and lost her powers in the process. She and Frenchie spend time watching old movies as she heals, and her feeling "normal" excites her to the point of imagining singing and dancing down the hospital halls to "I Got Rhythm." And of course, Frenchie is by her side in that daydream, even belting out a line himself.
"Every single one of us is truly committed and are working so hard in terms of being grounded, and then you have a sequence like the dance [and] you don't know how to prepare for it," Capone says. "You just rehearse the hell out of it, day in, day out. Me and Karen spent weekends together just watching a lot of musicals and then picking bits and pieces of dance moves that we really wanted to put in. We danced everywhere. They didn't need to tell us, 'Rehearsal is happening.' We danced between takes of different scenes, we danced at Erin Moriarty's birthday party; we were like, 'Do you want to see different parts of the dance!?'"
Fukuhara, Capone points out, was doing all of this in between rehearsing for her big stunt sequences as well as recording the song in a recording studio. Originally, she was set to sing the full song, but when he went to watch her record, he had an idea that Frenchie would pop in for a line.
"We tried it and we loved it and Eric [Kripke, creator and showrunner] loved it," he says. That made it into the final cut as an example of how the actors often get "chances to play around" on the show," he notes.
Another example of that are Frenchie's jazz hands when he opens a door during the number; Capone says that because the number was taking place in Kimiko's imagination, there was the freedom to perform even bigger than usual.
"You come to the day — and we were so ready for it, by the way — and we're looking around like, 'This is not The Boys; this is different TV show right now.' There were 30 dancers stretching behind us, ready to go, and to be honest, it was one of the most fun days we ever had on the show. It was a powerful and beautiful experience," he says.
It was also a chance to see a different side of these usually very serious characters.
Frenchie is a slick former killer-for-hire, who has often been conflicted about things he has done and uses drugs to numb or escape some of those feelings. He is not without a conscience, nor a soul, though, which was best evidenced by the way he was able to connect with Kimiko, who at first was only referred to as The Female, when the group found her locked in a cage. Although she cannot speak, they communicate through sign language and meaningful eye contact and facial expressions, and have formed one of the strongest bonds out of all of the characters. That bond was challenged when Frenchie kissed Kimiko in the second season. "He's under the influence — he's back to drugs — and she just chokes them and basically almost kills him. We talked about how she can almost smell that he's different," Capone recalls.
But in Season 3's "The Last Time to Look on This World of Lies," Kimiko turns the tables and kisses Frenchie.
"Frenchie would probably say, you know when you're doing hallucinogens, magic mushrooms, and all that stuff? You are very scared but you kind of love it. More than anything, I think it caught Frenchie by surprise," Capone says. "I always saw Frenchie and Kimiko as two kids that are outsiders in kindergarten, just sitting at the side and holding hands and helping each other out. So, I just took it from there: the innocence of it all."
Frenchie's surprise had him stumbling out of the room, saying he needed coffee. ("Obviously Frenchie is trying to quit smoking, so after that happens, he needs a coffee!" Capone notes.) But before he could really absorb any new feelings and decide how to handle the change in their relationship, he was kidnapped from the hospital because Little Nina (Katia Winter) wants him to pay Cherie's (Jordana Lajoie) debt.
Not unlike how Hughie (Jack Quaid) and Annie (Moriarty) are experiencing relationship issues around who should be saving whom, Frenchie is about to be in major danger from which it won't be so easily for Kimiko to save him without her powers.
"When she loses her powers, there is a lot of concern in terms of the bigger questions of Frenchie's arc for the season, which are, 'Why is he doing what he's doing in the Boys? What's his part in the Boys? Should he take control or be the boss of himself? She's powerless and it was always a thing of her being part of the boys with her powers, so what does it mean [now]?'" Capone says.
This is exacerbated by the fact that the vigilante group is split apart at the moment.
"There's a lot of reflection about their place in the Boys because the Boys was this group of people that had the same agenda, and that's to fight douchebag superheroes. And now, cards are shaken and it is safe to say that there's some new rules in terms of using powers — power against power, which is very interesting and relevant," Capone says.
Where that leaves Frenchie is getting "naked literally and psychologically and spiritually. And there's a lot of speculation in terms of Frenchie's life or death scenario," he teases.
And also, Frenchie would love to try Temp V, Capone points out, as evidenced by his fascination with "those weird things that are happening with Vought and with The Seven, and he's obsessed about superhero powers. He's the biggest nerd of the bunch," as well as his reaction to learning Butcher (Karl Urban) received powers.
That line, Capone says, was another example of him getting to play with delivery on set. Although he usually offers a few options for the director and editor to choose from in post-production, this time he stuck to one: "a clear message to Eric Kripke: Frenchie wants that V!" he says with a laugh.
But, whether or not he gets it remains to be seen as The Boys Season 3
Get to know Tomer Capone:
Israeli actor Capone has worked on a number of international film and television projects, including features One Week and a Day (Metascore: 72), Wedding Doll (66), and Natalie Portman's directorial debut A Tale of Love and Darkness (55), and the TV series Dig (49).