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Why The Boys' lesbian star Valorie Curry is glad she's the one who mocks her hateful right-wing character

Why The Boys' lesbian star Valorie Curry is glad she's the one who mocks her hateful right-wing character

Valorie Curry as Firecracker in The Boys
Jasper Savage/Prime Video

Valorie Curry as Firecracker in The Boys

The Boys' new supe Firecracker punches down on queer people. The show's lesbian star Valorie Curry tells The Advocate why it's important that she got to portray her.

“Purpose,” The Boys' new anti-LGBTQ+ conspiracy theory-spewing supehero (supe), Firecracker, says is what she’s selling to scads of alt-right activists attending a convention.

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“Which would you rather believe? That you belong in a community of warriors battling a secret evil or that you’re a lonely inconsequential nobody that no one will ever remember?” Valorie Curry’s Firecracker tells Sister Sage (Susan Heyward), another new supe whose power is that she is the most intelligent person on the planet.

With that line early in Firecracker’s story arc, The Boys’ writers, led by Eric Kripke, gets to the heart of how Donald Trump and craven politicians wield influence and control over straight cisgender white men and the women who love them. And Curry, who is a lesbian, says calling out hatred including homophobia and transphobia via Firecracker should be done by someone who is queer.

“I love that I get to play her because I think it should be one of our own that gets to make an ass out of her, that gets to satirize her and make a clown out of her. And also, to lampoon these people and their absurdity and their ignorance and their violence, I'm glad that it's coming from within the community, getting to take those shots,” Curry tells The Advocate.

The Boys is about a ragtag group of mostly men working to expose the hypocrisy and danger of the superheroes who make up the Seven, the best supes on the planet in a world where a chemical compound has bestowed many who walk among us with powers. The Seven’s north star is the twisted, bizarro world Superman-esque Homelander (Antony Starr), whose ultra-patriotism is just fascism wrapped in an American flag. Since its premiere in the summer of 2019, the series has confronted real issues like sexual assault and the #MeToo era when Chace Crawford’s the Deep coerced new Seven member Starlight (Erin Moriarty) into giving him oral sex.

Susan Heyward as Sister Sage and Valorie Curry as Firecracker in The Boys Susan Heyward as Sister Sage and Valorie Curry as Firecracker in The Boys Jasper Savage/Prime Video

“The show premiered on the heels of #MeToo, and I thought it was just such a wonderful commentary on that and depiction of that in a very real way,” Curry says. And as happened in the years since #MeToo with several men whose sexual predations of harassment and assault were exposed and then largely forgiven, she adds, “It’s amazing how the Deep has managed to have some kind of still is redemption in people's hearts.”

Now in season 4, The Boys tells a complicated queer love story between Frenchie (Tomer Capone) and a man whose family he harmed. It also tackles issues of consent and bullying, including the revelation that Firecracker’s vendetta against do-gooder Starlight derives from the revelation that Starlight bullied her during their pageant years. That backstory adds another layer to The Boys’ consistent interrogation of cycles of abuse.

It’s also one of the few shows on TV to directly confront Donald Trump and his supporters — a far cry from The Boys, the legal drama The Good Fight is another series that faced Trump and fascism head-on. The host of a Pizzagate-inspired online series Truthbomb, where she spouts conspiracy theories and hate speech on the regular, Firecracker, clad in short shorts with a heaving cleavage in all-American red white and blue, is an amalgamation of the worst of white women Trump supporters like South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert. And she openly punches down on queer and trans people. With more than 400 anti-LGBTQ+ bills circulating around the country and conservative politicians using trans people as scapegoats to win elections, Firecracker's rhetoric is explosive.

Valorie Curry as Firecracker and Chace Crawford as The Deep in The Boys Valorie Curry as Firecracker and Chace Crawford as The Deep in The Boys Jasper Savage/Prime Video

“I was happy that the writers chose to go as far as they did with her rhetoric because that’s the rhetoric we actually see that is truth,” Curry says. “Often some of the worst things that Firecracker says are quotes from elected officials. And so I'm glad that they didn't make it general and they didn't soften it.”

A star of shows including The Following, The Tick, and House of Lies, Curry came out as queer in a post on National Coming Out Day in 2019 and now identifies as a lesbian. She says that after eight months of inhabiting Firecracker, the embodiment of femininity created by and for men (with the purpose of shining a light on it), she was compelled to shed the trappings of her character.

“I kept joking, but not really, towards the end of the season that I could not wait to just run to the woods and just be a genderless gnome in the woods because I had never carried that sort of objectifying femininity before,” Curry says. “And then also having to do it in a way that is so hateful.”

“I really hope that in the way that she’s portrayed in the show and the way that she is villainized and ugly, I hope that it serves that purpose,” she adds. “To show really what's happening. And yes, she is a joke, but this isn't a joke.”

Watch The Advocate's interview with Curry, Susan Heyward, and Colbie Minifie (Ashley) below.

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Tracy E. Gilchrist

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.
Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.