The Boys is a twisted reflection of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, turning Disney’s idealized superheroes into drug-addicted perverts willing to slap their name on anything for a buck. There’s even an in-universe cinematic universe, where “supes” star as fictionalized versions of themselves in a movie franchise managed by their corporate overlords at the equally corrupt Vought International.
And just like in the Marvel movies, there’s one actor who connects the Vought Cinematic Universe. But instead of Samuel L. Jackson, the VCU is held together by… Seth Rogen.
“In The Boys, he is Seth Rogen who has a recurring role,” showrunner Eric Kripke tells Inverse. “He’s the Sam Jackson of the VCU.”
Getting Seth Rogen to make the rare cameo was easy since he’s a producer on The Boys, but turning the stoner comedy legend into the show’s version of Agent Nick Fury is yet another brilliant example of how the Amazon series takes modern superhero cinema and reduces it to something much more lowbrow and much more realistic. The show’s second season, which premieres on September 4, takes this even further, introducing a new Nazi superhero designed to reflect the allure of modern online racism.
“These days with social media, there’s a lot of hateful ideology that is wrapped up in a very slick package to appeal to certain young people,” Kripke says, “and we wanted to reflect that.”
In an interview with Inverse, Kripke discussed how Seth Rogen became the Samuel L. Jackson of The Boys, Season 2’s new character Stormfront, and Bill Joel. Believe it or not, we talked about Billy Joel a lot.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.