Prior to its premiere, The Boys‘third season was hyped up for the arrival of Soldier Boy, but in many ways, it was actually the season of MM.
As the voice of reason among the ragtag group of anti-supes, Laz Alonso’s character shined in scenes both dramatic (his explanation of his OCD) and comedic (his reaction to Herogasm). By tying MM’s past to the introduction of Soldier Boy (who was responsible for killing MM’s grandfather), the Prime Video drama dug deep into one of its most underrated players.
“It’s like [being] a kid in a candy store to have such a large cast and have so much of that screen time dedicated to really filling in a lot of gaps about your character and your character’s backstory,” Alonso tells TVLine. “The character definitely had fans from Season 1 and 2, but they also had a lot of questions on Twitter. You would always hear them [asking] like, ‘Well, why would MM do this? Why don’t they tell us about MM?’ Different things like that, and it really feels good to be able to answer a lot of those questions that were once kind of Twitter tossups. Now people understand the true backstory and what makes him tick.”
Below, Alonso also talks about MM’s rift with Butcher, whether his character will become The Boys’ leader in Season 4, and the “insanely hilarious” Herogasm things he improved.
TVLINE | How much of MM’s backstory and the connection to Soldier Boy did you know in advance going into Season 3? And what kind of conversations did you have with showrunner Eric Kripke about it all?
We actually had a lot of conversations because unlike our other season, where we really just had a few months hiatus and then we’re back at it, this particular season, we had a whole year off because of COVID and 2020. So it really allowed tremendous amounts of conversations . Also, during the George Floyd situations, I was talking to Kripke every day, and I was telling him how our show shows a mirror to society, that I would love to be able to somehow tell this story of abuse and brutality in the Black community through my character. And that’s where Eric Kripke kind of took that and played with it and figured out a way to tie in good ole American idealism with a character like Soldier Boy, this hero in America [who is] revered as our bright and shining armor, and really, behind closed doors, he wasn’t what he projected himself to be. And also, when it came to how he conducted himself among BIPOC communities, he wasn’t as upstanding and as honorable.
TVLINE | This season, we also saw a splintering between Butcher and the rest of The Boys, especially with MM. Has that friendship been permanently damaged?
If it hasn’t been permanently damaged, it is definitely cracked to the point where it is soul be permanently damaged. It’s going to be interesting to see how they move forward, because Butcher broke an ideal bond of trust. These guys were best friends. They both knew each other’s backstories, they both knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and they knew each other’s demons. What Butcher did by lying to MM and hooking up with his arch nemesis behind his back for his own personal revenge, that’s something that they’re going to have to wrestle with and deal with. That’s not something that they’re going to be able to just gloss over. So I can imagine Season 4 will probably address lack of trust [with] Butcher and put his leadership in question as well.
TVLINE | In light of what happens in the season finale, do you see MM taking on more of a leadership role within The Boys in Season 4?
I don’t know because MM really doesn’t want to be the leader of The Boys. That’s something that he fiercely hates having to wear that title. But he is probably the adult in the room, and that includes Butcher, when it comes to letting anger, revenge and impulse guide you. He is usually the voice of reason, the voice of logic, and he keeps the ship afloat.
TVLINE | And MM and the rest of The Boys don’t know about Butcher’s diagnosis, right?
No. It will be interesting to see how it comes up and when.
TVLINE | I’m picturing a Butcher with nothing to lose, more than ever, with this sort of deadline on his life to be a very scary thing potentially for all the characters.
Yeah, if he was hard to control before, now it’s going to be insane.
TVLINE | I love that Annie is now part of The Boys because some of the funniest and emotional scenes this season were between your two characters. So it’s fitting that he welcomes her into the group.
Yeah, they’re kind of the pair that no one saw coming. Kind of like how Butcher and Soldier Boy became like a pair-up duo. Who knew that MM and Annie would work so well together? If you think about the role she played on the supes, they definitely mirror each other, and they’re both the voice of reason. It helps having her there, having an extra person with a logical mind, a nonreactive mind, in the room to try to keep us on mission.
TVLINE | They also now have two people with abilities on The Boys’ side. How do you think that will shake up the dynamics next season?
Starlight [also] discovered some new powers she didn’t know she had… One thing that we saw this season is the tables turned a little bit in our favor with temp V, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens with temp V, because that toothpaste is out of the tube now. So it can end up in a lot of hands, both good and bad. So it’ll be interesting to see what dynamic that plays with the team.
TVLINE | Speaking of Annie and MM, I loved their reactions in the “Herogasm” episode and their kind of oddball buddy comedy energy. What was your favorite memory from filming “Herogasm”?
That episode was filled with a bunch of different crazy moments that, to this day, there are just too many to mention. But I do think that being reunited with Love Sausage, the outtakes were insanely hilarious. Like the minute they yelled, “Cut!” the whole set just burst out laughing. So it’d be nice to one day see those outtakes.
TVLINE | Were you able to improve a lot in that interaction?
Oh yeah, absolutely. That’s where a lot of the stuff that didn’t make the show came from was the improv, because these guys have such a history together that the character Annie wasn’t aware of. So that moment where they kind of reconnected, it was pretty funny.
TVLINE | You have to give me one of your improv lines that got cut.
When Annie was describing MM’s ability to please her, orally, some of that physical humor that I was doing had the entire set just on the floor, and I’ll let you imagine what some of that physical humor was. There was a lot of tongue movements happening during that scene.
TVLINE | In the finale, there’s this great little moment among this massive fight sequence where you say, “F–k your shield, bitch!” to Soldier Boy. Was that scripted or improv?
That was actually scripted. But we played it a bunch of different ways. So the delivery is where the improv kind of came in. Was that funny? Did it come off funny?
TVLINE | Yes. And it felt so satisfying for the character to be able to say that to Soldier Boy.
OK, ’cause we played it a bunch of different ways, like intense and painful… We played it so many different ways. I haven’t watched the season finale yet, so I’m curious to see which one they ended up going with.