As Congresswoman Victoria Neuman, Claudia Doumit‘s alter ego on The Boys has formed an uneasy alliance with Homelander — but the actress could have been walking alongside the supe inside the halls of Vought Tower as a very different character.
Doumit — who worked with The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke on NBC’s Timeless — auditioned in Season 1 for the role of Vought International Director of Talent Relations Ashley Barrett, a part that ultimately went to actress Colby Minifie.
“I originally came in [to read] in the first season, didn’t do a good job, and when the casting came for the second season, I just remember telling myself like, ‘Don’t worry about it. You probably won’t get it,'” Doumit tells TVLine. “I remember just setting really low expectations for myself. So I was incredibly happy when I got the gig because Neuman is such a great character, and I’ve loved every minute of playing her. It just worked out for the best that I didn’t get cast originally in that first season because I think Neuman is far more my speed.”
Plus, Doumit has nothing but love and praise for her castmate after losing out on Ashley, exclaiming, “Colby Minifie crushes that role! She is perfect at playing Ashley.” And ultimately, the challenge of portraying the mysterious Victoria — who was revealed at the end of Season 2 to be a supe capable of exploding heads — has proven to be extremely rewarding for Doumit.
With the current third season set to wrap up this Friday, TVLine chatted with Doumit about Victoria’s agenda, whether she can take out Homelander, and what to expect from the season finale.
TVLINE | Your Timeless costars Malcolm Barrett and Goran Višnjić were on The Boys as well, but your characters didn’t really overlap. Were you disappointed that you didn’t get to have more, or any scenes, with them?
Oh my gosh, yes! I really wanted to work with them, but those worlds don’t really collide, do they? But whenever Malcolm came up to shoot in Toronto, we’d catch up. There’s no way we can be in the same city and we don’t see each other. And Goran, we didn’t even see each other! Our schedules didn’t line up at all. So I was so upset about that. But if you think about it, we kind of worked together.
TVLINE | You did get the honor of getting to pop his head as Alastair. Was that a bit of a delight for you after chasing his character Flynn around for two plus seasons on Timeless?
[Laughs] It’s the Timeless ending we all wanted, we were waiting for. [Laughs] I just love that Kripke brings in people that he’s worked with on other projects. I love that he does that with everything he does. So it just felt like a bit of a family reunion. It was fun.
TVLINE | When did you first find out that Victoria Neuman was a supe and that she was responsible for blowing up all those heads last season?
I had no idea that Neuman was a supe until I got the script for the episode. So I was playing this progressive Democrat who’s hellbent on taking down this evil corporation, and here I am thinking she’s for the people and she’s a hero of sort, and really she’s [a supe like] the rest of them. So I didn’t know until I got the script. It was definitely a “what the f–k?” moment, followed by so much excitement, because it’s the perfect thing for that character. It was also great because I didn’t play any sneaky moments. I played her with such purity, and I played her in such a genuine way so that when that twist actually does get revealed, it was real. It was real for the audience, and it was real for me as the actor. I absolutely loved it. It was a very chaotic but fun surprise.
TVLINE | We’ve learned so much more about her past and her life this season, but she’s also even more of an enigma in some ways. It’s really difficult to pinpoint what she’s going to do or who she’s going to side with in any given moment. Where would you say her allegiances lie?
You can never really pin her down. She is an incredibly strategic character. She’s also quite duplicitous, she’s highly manipulative. So it’s actually very hard to see where her cards actually lie. But this season, you see a definite shift in her allegiances. She makes some really heartbreaking sacrifices of those closest to her. As you see, she’s teamed up with one of the one of the show’s most horrific characters [in Homelander] that you just absolutely love to hate. Who knows where it will go, but I think a team-up of Homelander and Neuman probably would not end well.
TVLINE | She has this really unique superpower. Is she powerful enough to take down Homelander?
We’ve had discussions about this. There’s a brief glimpse that you get in Season 3, where Homelander is all of a sudden in her room, and I think he says something along the lines of, “You’re thinking of popping my melon right now, aren’t you?” and then he goes, “Go ahead, give it a try. See if it works.” I think in that moment, she probably is assessing whether or not she can kill Homelander, and I don’t think it would be as simple as any of her other kills. I think she knows that, and I think she’s doing what she does best in that situation, which is playing the slow game and playing by strategy. She’s very much that kind of a character. So she probably has an inkling of how that would go down, and maybe the situation would just need to be better aligned for her. She’s a smart woman, she’s intelligent character. She knows when she’s in a good position, and she knows when she needs to fight. So I think she’s maybe seeing what the odds are with her and Homelander. Keep your friends close and keep your enemies closer, and that’ll just give her a chance to analyze Homelander’s weaknesses.
TVLINE | In the last episode, Victoria handed Homelander a piece of paper, and there’s this hint of a transaction that she wants from him. What can you tease about how that is going to play out in the finale?
Oh, I know exactly what’s on that piece of paper! [Laughs] It’s a very strong card Neuman has up her sleeve. … She changes her approach based on the interaction she’s having, based on the character that she’s having a conversation with. Outside of Edgar and outside of her daughter, outside of those people that she loves and trusts — I mean, it doesn’t end well for Edgar, really — but every interaction Neuman has, she is assessing what she can gain from that person and she is seeing what their desires are. She’s seeing what their wants and needs are and how that can ultimately benefit her. She’s always seeing how the person across from her can benefit her needs and get her ahead. She’s obviously done that with Homelander as well, and she just happens to have gotten her hands on something that Homelander desperately needs or wants, and that that transaction is the beginning of that very messy allyship between those two characters. I think also Homelander is kind of Neuman’s last go-to because you see in Episode 6 that she’s also previously approached Starlight to team up, and she gave Starlight a very different pitch. She came from the heart for that one, but she knows what Homelander wants.
TVLINE | How would you describe the season finale?
There’s definitely a shocking moment. There’s a heartbreaking moment that I, as the actor, didn’t know about until we were filming like the second half of the season, and it was such a sad reveal!