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EXCLUSIVE: Nathan Mitchell on unmasking Black Noir after 30 episodes in The Boys; struggling to portray violent Supe: “He can survive…”

en Bollywood News EXCLUSIVE: Nathan Mitchell on unmasking Black Noir after 30 episodes in The Boys; struggling to portray violent Supe: “He can survive…”

Bollywood Hungama hopped on a Zoom call with Nathan Mitchell about his character, the new version of Black Noir and the final unmasking of the character for the first time.

The latest season of The Boys has brought a surprising twist to the character of Black Noir. After a brutal demise in season 3, Black Noir is back, but not quite the same. Actor Nathan Mitchell, who played the original silent Black Noir, returns to embody a new iteration – a talkative, frustrated actor struggling to portray the violent Supe.

EXCLUSIVE Nathan Mitchell on unmasking Black Noir after 30 episodes in The Boys; struggling to portray violent Supe He can survive...

EXCLUSIVE: Nathan Mitchell on unmasking Black Noir after 30 episodes in The Boys; struggling to portray violent Supe: “He can survive…”

With the original Black Noir gone, Vought needed a replacement. However, instead of another Supe, they opted for an actor to fill the suit. This new Black Noir, still played by Mitchell, is a stark contrast to his predecessor. Gone is the silent, deadly figure, replaced by a man brimming with questions and anxieties about his role. This Black Noir is an alumnus of Godolkin College, the prestigious Supe training ground. He approaches his role with the seriousness of a dedicated actor, much to the amusement (and annoyance) of those around him.

While the new Black Noir seems oddly unfazed by the violence surrounding him, he expresses genuine confusion about the murderous aspects of his character. He grapples with reconciling the acting with the reality, a struggle that injects a surprising dose of humour into the show. The revelation of the new Black Noir has been a highlight of season 4. Mitchell's portrayal adds a layer of meta-humour and self-awareness to the show, all while keeping the character's future shrouded in uncertainty.

Bollywood Hungama hopped on a Zoom call with Nathan Mitchell about his character, the new version of Black Noir and the final unmasking of the character for the first time in the series.

Season 4 throws a curveball with a very different Black Noir. What was your initial reaction to learning about this new take on the character after having three seasons without any dialogues? In season 3, we see a deeper understanding of his past, his love for cartoons and his past with Soldier Boy. How did you get to know that Black Noir will die in season 3 and then you will be coming back for another season but with a new version of it? 
I had Eric say, 'I have some good news, I have some bad news'. And I said, 'Okay, give me the bad news.' And he said, 'Okay, the bad news is Black Noir is going to die, but the good news is, you're coming back.' And so he gave me the choice. He said, 'If I wanted to, I could portray Black Noir in season three, but Black Noir in season three would be dying, so I could also let someone else portray that role and be the new Black Noir.' And so I decided to do that. It was a difficult decision at first because I love Irving. I love old Noir so much. And there's a part of me that wanted to just, you know, stay with the character wherever he went. But obviously, I love the show more. I wanted to continue to portray this character in this suit as much as I could. So he (Eric Kripke) discussed the future of this character with me, and that, he would be this actor who's coming in to replace Noir. He'd be confused, but eventually, he figured out, hopefully, that it was going to provide the opportunity for a lot of fun.

Is it exciting or challenging to look at this character in a different way now? There's a great scene in "Dirty Business" where you discuss struggling to get into the "Black Noir" mindset. Was it fun to explore this meta aspect of the character, blurring the lines between actor and supes?
It feels great because there are ways in which I can relate to stepping into this suit for the first time, I was like, 'Who is this guy? What does he want? What's he doing? Like, how do I do this?' When I first put on the suit, it felt like I was stepping into this big black room and everything was pitch black all around me. I could move my arm, but I couldn't see myself move my arm, because the suit just the way you move in it, is so different than when you're not in it. So there was, for me, a long period of adjustment. It felt like I was taking leaps and not sure how it would come across or unfold. And so that feeling of being unsure and not exactly having a full grasp on the character from the first day, that's something I related to. I brought into the role, and it allowed me to highlight in a really fun way.

Black Noir seems hesitant about violence, yet brutally attacks in the "meet and greet" scene. Is this a character inconsistency, or a way to cope with his situation? 
I think because he's an actor, he's so eager to perform his role and to do his job well. What happened in that first episode is he got an order, and he's like, 'Okay, I'm going to be my character. I'm going to do the thing.' And he commits to it without thinking about it. So Homelander says, 'I want you to kill these people.' He's like, 'Okay, that's the role. I'm going to do it.' He doesn't think and he smashes him over the head. Afterwards, he's like, 'Wait a second, what did I just do? I don't really like that.' He does it without thinking. And then in the next episodes, he's grappling with what 'I have to do, I have to commit violent acts with this role, but I don't want to commit violent acts, but I want to be the best at this role. So what do I do?' And so, that moment was really acting before he was thinking, and then grappling with that action, and then the future actions that would be asked of him.

The scene with The Deep suggests Black Noir might be more perceptive than previously thought. The face reveal of Black Noir happens for the very first time in the series and that got the audience more interested. What was your initial reaction when you read that part in the script? Because in comics Black Noir was created as a clone of the Homelander, created to replace him if he ever went rogue? 

I was over the moon. Again, it's not something that I expected to happen when I got this role. So when I got the scene, it was an amazingly written scene by our writers. I was just incredibly excited. I was so happy to get the opportunity to show my face and to speak. It is a different path than we take in the comics. I understand the people who want to see what's in the comic be on the page. And that's what thankfully, we still have the comics, right? But the fun thing about the show is it is an adaptation, and I think this change allows more of the spotlight to be on Homelander as the primary villain, and it gives us as the audience something we're not expecting. You know, that's a fun commentary on the entertainment industry and how corporations and some shows operate.

Black Noir seems comfortable questioning Homelander's orders, unlike the original version. With Homelander becoming increasingly volatile, how long do you think the new Black Noir can survive in The Seven? Is there any potential for him to find an ally among the Boys? Given the show's unpredictable nature, can you tease any surprising developments for Black Noir in Season 5 and beyond?
I think that Black Noir can survive as long as he doesn't buck orders too much. When he speaks, it's like it's among The Seven. So they know he can speak. So it's not a big surprise, even though he shouldn't be.  I think as long as he kind of stays in that lane, he has a good chance of surviving. And The Boys isn't paying his checks. Vought is paying his checks. I think as long as he's given a role, I think he'll be with Vought, in The Seven or you might go off and do something else again, you know.

ALSO READ: The Boys’ ardent fan Bobby Deol turns into ‘Baby’ Deol in this hilarious video, watch


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