Arriving on the scene in 2007, actor Nathan Mitchell has had roles in everything from Aliens in America, iZombie, Arrow, and Supernatural; however, his biggest break came in 2019 when he took on the role of Black Noir in the Amazon series THE BOYS, based on the comic book of the same name. In THE BOYS, Black Noir is a silent, superpowered Ninja who is as mysterious as he is deadly. For Season 2, I had the opportunity to chat with Nathan Mitchell where he discussed everything from Black Noir’s silent emotions to his deadly Almond Joy scene.
Synopsis: On the run from the law, hunted by the Supers, the Boys desperately try to regroup and fight back against Vought in a more intense, more insane Season 2. In hiding, Hughie (Jack Quaid), Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso), Frenchie (Tomer Capon) and Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) try to adjust to a new normal with Butcher (Karl Urban) nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, Starlight (Erin Moriarty) must navigate her place in The Seven as Homelander (Antony Starr) sets his sights on taking complete control. His power is threatened with the addition of Stormfront (Aya Cash), a social media savvy new Supe, who has an agenda of her own. On top of that, the Supervillain threat takes center stage and makes waves as Vought seeks to capitalize on the nation’s paranoia.
Thank you so much for speaking with me today! To start things off, what is your favorite part about playing Black Noir?
Nathan Mitchell: My favorite part is the moments of randomness and awkwardness that I get to bring to him because you don’t expect that. You see this…it’s like a singular vibe, dark, menacing, you know, this like Ninja that could just rip you to shreds. I have fun playing with the other moments, the moments they counter those expectations. Reaching for the hors d’oeuvres, really wanting to play the piano. Like for me, the psychology of that moment was like, he was at this party and Stillwell promised him he could play the piano, now there’s this other dude playing the piano, and that dude is like, he’s going to get the fuck out (laughs). Just doing those random, weird things and bringing life to that in a silent way is really fun for me.
Before filming, were you familiar with the source material and what type of training did you have to do to prepare for the role?
Nathan Mitchell: I was not familiar with the source material before. I Googled it, you know, upon getting the audition and it’s a wild world, that comic book. Before actually diving in and reading it, I would just like glance at the Wikipedia and just be like, okay, this happens, and I’m done…okay, this happens, and I’m done. (laughs). I was like, Oh man, I almost don’t want this world to exist in real life it’s so terrifying. And then, you know, finally diving in and going, “I got this, this is pretty cool.” And training wise, I’ve done Taekwondo from the age of six to 16. It was a big part of my life growing up and I’ve always been someone who physically expresses myself, you know? It just kind of flowed naturally into who I was so that was just a great part of it.
We have yet to see Black Noir speak but we do see a lot of emotional reach from him, especially when he learns that he was made via a lab and Compound V. What do you think that means for Black Noir as a whole?
Nathan Mitchell: What it means specifically, I cannot get into but I will say that he clearly has feelings about it and you see that. You expect him to be ruthless. You expect him not to care, to show this cold deficiency, but when you see that it makes him cry, it makes you think like, “What’s going on here? What is the backstory? Is it bringing up something? Is it a revelation, what’s happening?” But I think the interesting thing is it evokes feelings and whatever evokes feelings for Black Noir is particularly special.
There’s a scene towards the end of Season 2 where it’s revealed that you have a nut allergy after Queen Maeve shoves an Almond Joy in your mouth. I had read that you have a nut allergy so can you talk a little bit about how that scene came to be?
Nathan Mitchell: It’s actually something Karl Urban came up with. Basically we were on our way to Comic Con and I was telling the flight attendant that I had a nut allergy and [Karl] was like, “What would happen if you had a nut allergy?” And I was like, you know, probably go into anaphylactic shock and it wouldn’t be pretty. And he was like, “Oh, that’s interesting, I’m gonna pitch that to Eric” and I’m like “Oh, okay.” So I’m sitting in the plane and somebody actually didn’t hear [the announcement], I think they were in the washroom or something, so they start eating nuts. I smell it and I’m like “Where is this coming from” and by the time I find them, they’ve been eating it for a little bit and it’s in the air. So I was just like sitting in the airplane, covering my nose with my shirt and Laz Alonso was right beside me and he’d look over every now and again. And then we landed and I’m like, “Thank God, I can breathe” and Laz was like “What happened” and I’m like, “Oh someone was eating nuts, it was tough” and he’s like “Oh, I thought that was me, I thought I smelled” and I’m like “No, no, no, it was the nuts, it was the nuts, man.” So a couple of days later, I think we’re all in the hall and Karl pitched it to Eric and they’re just like, “Yeah, that’s pretty funny, let’s do it” and that’s how it was born.
The second season of THE BOYS is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. For more on the series, check out our review here.