Recently, Nightmarish Conjurings had the opportunity to be part of a special “Girls Get It Done” Virtual Press Day, a play on the in-world experience of “Vought’s” own press day from episode 202 of THE BOYS. During the event, we had the chance to interview the amazing womxn featured on the show and talk with them about their kickass characters. When we spoke to Shantel VanSanten, who plays Becca, the wife of Billy Butcher and former Vought employee, she discussed everything from balancing the emotional fortitude of Becca as well as the challenges she ends up facing.
In talking about dealing with not only Homelander antics but re-uniting with Billy Butcher, as well as raising a child superhero, Shantel VanSanten discussed the emotional multitasking that was required. “I mean yeah, she just has a few things to juggle right?” laughed VanSanten. “I remember like even in reading episode four I’m like how do I play the history of the lie, the choices I made, the reuniting, the excitement of that, the love story, the torn between the mother – like how do I do this? [I thought to myself] I don’t know what I’m doing, maybe I should quit. There were a lot of moments like that and you just [have to] take it scene by scene.”
Even from the start of Season 1, VanSanten experienced unique challenges that came with playing Becca. “I mean, from day one on this show I stepped on set and had to do a sex scene with Karl Urban. Then I went from doing a sex scene, to giving birth to a superhero where I had a giant tube that ran from my neck, down my spine, out my butt crack and underneath a sheet that just spewed blood on everybody,” explained VanSanten. “I hadn’t read all the episodes, I didn’t get to read the graphic novel yet, and I looked at [show creator] Eric Kripke and I was like, ‘What in the kind of [bleep] show am I doing, this is so messed up’ and he’s like ‘Exactly!'”, laughed VanSanten.
Even though playing Becca came with her own set of challenges, VanSanten saw the chance to really illuminate Becca strengths to show how her actions have begun to change her. “[P]laying Becca it was, it was difficult and interesting and a challenge and it’s every actor’s dream to be able to do that.” VanSanten elaborated saying, “There are slight moments I wish that I got of levity, but that’s not Becca’s world. Becca doesn’t lean into the easy choice, she gets uncomfortable. She faces her rapist, she calls it out, she’s not going to live in the gray and she’s also not going to fight for everything that she’s fought for thus far.”
But even though there were a lot of over the top antics, the message of the show and the conversation that would elicit was important for VanSanten. “To know that in between the moments of entertainment there’s undertones of hopefully making people feel uncomfortable and calling to light the things that are happening in our world and, if you will, characters of our world currently, I think is so important,” explains VanSanten. “[The show] runs that fine line where people will still tune in, even though they’re uncomfortable and are being called out and I feel proud to be a part of that type of show.”
Series 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.
The second season of THE BOYS is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. For more on the series, check out our review here.