Tomer Capone Shines as ‘Frenchie’ in The Boys – Exclusive Interview

by | May 30, 2024

Read our exclusive interview with Tomer Capone as he discusses his role as 'Frenchie' in Amazon's hit series The Boys, his transition from Israeli productions, and the impact of his military background on his acting career.

Tomer Capone, the versatile actor who has seamlessly transitioned from local productions to the international stage, now stars as the vigilante ‘Frenchie’ in Amazon’s Emmy-nominated series, *The Boys*. Making his American series debut, Capone brings a unique blend of intensity and authenticity to the role, which has captivated audiences worldwide. In an interview with Sofia Deus, Talent and Features Editor, Capone discusses the stark contrasts between Israeli and American film industries, his transformative military experiences, and the complex character of ‘Frenchie’. His journey from independent films to the grand scale of Hollywood productions is a testament to his adaptability and profound dedication to his craft. As *The Boys* gears up for its highly anticipated fourth season, Capone reflects on the challenges and triumphs that have shaped his career, underscoring the relentless pursuit of growth and the importance of empathy in his approach to acting.

Photography @Daniel Kaminsky

SD – Tell me as an actor, you see seamlessly transitioned between Israeli productions like powder. And when he was flying to the American scene with the voice, what has been the most significant difference in your approach to acting between these cultures?

TC – Oh, that’s a great question. Yeah, definitely, you know, till the point when I got ‘Frenchie’ and I began “The Boys” I’d been doing mostly local TV and movies in Israel. The scale, you know, is like two different universes. Compared to what people think, the industry in Israel is very small, very independent, and very low budget. And we make magic from nothing. I mean, I wish I could tell you otherwise, but that is the truth of what’s happening. And with that, things started and I was getting into some productions here and there that were overseas. And I therefore got a little taste of what the Hollywood production scale is like. That said, nothing prepared me for working on something like “The Boys” and going to work and seeing 250 kilograms (about 551.16 lb.) of animatronic whale going down in the beaches of Toronto which kind of makes the experience much more realistic, yet at the same time, out of this world. The guys out there make it seem very real; even including the blood. And that does make a difference. Other than that, to be honest, if I’m looking at it from an actor’s perspective, at the end of the day, you know, my job is between action and cut. And this is where my work starts and ends. And it is the same in Israel. You hear action, you get into character, and you need to be in the moment. And so, in those terms, I feel very comfortable in front of the camera and crew regardless of where the production originates. It’s the scale of it all that’s the major difference; almost other worldly.

SD – You come from serving in the Israeli defense forces, to starring in an award-winning series and films, you had quite a journey. How has your military experience influenced your acting career, if at all?

TC – I mean, yeah, I would lie if I sat here, and I said that it did not. At the end of the day, I did not choose my nationality or in which part of the world I was going to be, but my military service was definitely a major part of my life. For me, and I am talking personally, it shaped me for the better it. You know, these days, it is not easy being from this part of the world, obviously, we can talk about the elephant in the room; it is not something that I am hiding from. As an actor, as someone that is known here and now overseas, I am going through an overly complex time in my life where a lot of questions are being asked. I am asking myself those questions more than anything. I have not done this sort of interview for quite a while. How do you answer these questions…saying something profound and connecting to just the humanity of what we’re all made of and what we strive for? So, making this answer as

short as I can. I think, being in this military tech environment did the opposite and gave me a lot of humanity, and more than anything, made me and shaped me into a man of peace. It turned me into someone who always tries to understand how it feels to be in someone else’s shoes. See the other side’s perspective. You know, and that is something that I’m definitely taking with me for any new gig, any new job, any new script, any new character, any new meeting with any new person. Just taking a couple of steps back and trying to think, well, this could have easily been me. So, the whole exploration of how it is and what it is, helps to make peace with beliefs and trying as much as possible to support, to expand and open your heart to ideas, thoughts, struggles and pains, and be as non-judgmental as possible, even in crazy times.

SD – Absolutely. Thank you for that great answer. The Boys have garnered a dedicated fan base globally. What drew you to the role of Frenchie, and how do you relate to your characters complexity?

TC – Oh, wow you know what, it has been rough and quite a ride. It has been a roller coaster ride more than anything. In terms of “The Boys,” man, I cannot believe we are already about to start filming the fifth season. I just cannot believe how time passed so quickly. And how organic this experience has been in terms of even joining in with the story and the character. When I got the audition, I wasn’t familiar with the novel, but briefly went through the comic book and reading the script. Initially, I was scared, like I wasn’t the right person for the job… obviously I’m not French you know, the challenge was overwhelming, in a way. But once I got to the set, they’d already completed the first episode since ‘Frenchie’ is introduced in the second episode, so they kind of had already started the engine of the show and the world within. Going in there with my fake French accent was a good decision for a couple of weeks, since everybody thought I was really French, until some French speakers came to set and I got busted. But other than that, listen, at the end of the day, I can’t say enough and give enough praise to the people who created this show. From Eric Kripke, obviously, and Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Sony, Amazon, the crews we work in with in Toronto, and obviously the cast; everyone is so dedicated and so passionate about this project. Once on set, and witnessing the aforementioned animatronic whale, etc., it kind of articulates what an amazing job these people are doing with shaping this crazy world of “The Boys.” And then obviously, you get into the playground with a bunch of the most talented people I’ve ever known; actors and artists, makes everything like a sports team in a way. Every day you get a chance to prove yourself and try new stuff. Really, I think more than anything it is just the quality of the work, the people, and the refinement that makes this show. I guess what I’m trying to say is that, at the end of the day, it’s about

the people that surround you and allow you to bring what you do to the table. So, all praises to those people. I give them all the respect in the world.

SD – Slingshot, you are set to star alongside esteemed actors like Lawrence Fishburne and Casey Affleck, what was it like working with such a talented ensemble and how did you prepare for your role?

TC – The world of “Slingshot” is happening in outer space. We play three astronauts that are wandering in space looking for water; hopefully in the Sci Fi future and not the real future. And the first thing I thought to myself was how can I understand astronauts or a mission to space? So, one of my friends just got the Oculus, the Facebook Oculus, the meta-Oculus. And he said, listen, Nasa developed this Oculus which you put on and you essentially go on a mission to space with real astronauts. And even gravity feels real when you’re experiencing it. So, I remember I brought that to set and I hooked up Lawrence Fishburne and we were all spacing out between takes, just you know, being overwhelmed from the experience and the disorientation of being in space. So, that was a big part of it. Unfortunately, I cannot talk a lot about the movie because everything is under the radar in terms of spilling the plot and such. But the experience was amazing. It is like, a whole other ballgame with a whole other team. It was like gold going into the playground with those two amazing, talented people. It just gets you even more focused, more motivated and more intense because you don’t want to mess up. You know, it is like music in a way. Man, they know how to play their jazz. So, you better get your rhythm going, you know what I mean? But overall, it was very, very interesting and I cannot wait to see the outcome.

Photography @Daniel Kaminsky

SD – Yes. Well, I look forward to it too. As I have been waiting for, you know, the new season of The Boys.

TC – It is coming. Nothing will stop “The Boys.” And it’s gonna be insane. It is like that world is getting weirder. We’re really pushing the limits this season inclusive of Frenchie’s storyline. I am super excited because it is so different. There is nothing like it for an actor to take a script of something that you think you already read, or know where the story goes. And then you read it and go, wow. Again, praising our amazing script writers. I did not think they were gonna take ‘Frenchie’ to this depth. That’s a challenge. And I think that in the writing room, Eric Kripke, the creator of the show and showrunner, want to challenge us as performers. They also want to challenge the audience. And that is what makes the show so much fun.

SD – Natalie Portman hand-picked you for romantically in her directorial debut A Tale of Love and Darkness. Right. What was your initial reaction to being chosen? And what did you learn when working with someone as experienced as Portman?

TC – Wow. You’re now taking me back now to when I started my career a few years ago, way back like remembering life as a struggling actor. Not everything came easy to me when I started running around to auditions and, I had SO many jobs. I think at the time I was doing construction to pay rent when I got a phone call to come and meet Natalie Portman. Now at the time I was in Tel Aviv, and I asked my agent, what do you mean? As I’m standing with a can of paint at my friend’s, and I said, when am I flying? She said, “You are not flying, she is in Tel Aviv.” She is making a movie, and we are scheduling your meeting for tomorrow. I was already familiar with “The Tale of Love and Darkness” script by famous Israeli author Amos Oz. I went and bought the book because I had not yet read it. And I read like 600 pages, or something like that. That was a long night. And by the time I finished it, I was bicycling with the book to the audition, and finished reading it in the elevator as I was about to meet her. The book was amazing. So, I had a lot to talk about. And she was impressed by how passionate I was about what I just read. Almost more passionate about the book than meeting Natalie Portman. And who knows, maybe that’s what got me the job. But in terms of working with her, that was her directorial debut and it was essentially my first experience as well; at least working on something so profound. It was before “Fauda” and “Hostages;” the two big Israeli shows that I did. So, I was just starting my acting career. And I remember that she was so kind and open to letting me just observe everything that was going around on set. Because the role was not a big, leading role, I had a considerable amount of downtime on set. I therefore had an opportunity to just explore and look at all the different departments and ask questions. And you know, it was fun. It was also a period piece which enhanced this new medium of making movies and telling the story. Everything was so interesting, and it was like being in the most amazing school for a couple of months. And obviously she is a pro. She’s Natalie Portman for a reason.

SD – You know, I have been a fan of Portman since Matilda in the film Leon.

TC – That is one of my favorite movies. Obviously, you can imagine that I took so much from Jean Reno’s character for ‘Frenchie.” In my head, Leon is Frenchie’s father in a way…

SD – Having won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in and a Day, you have proven your versatility. What draws you to diverse roles in how you approach each character differently.

TC – Great question. For a long time, I felt that I had not gotten the chance or the choice to say yes or no, it was like, I needed to pay the rent. I need to work, to provide. I need to if I want to be an actor. So, initially, it was just jumping from role to role, to whatever was offered which ultimately proved to be a lot of amazing experiences. But then along the way came “One Week and a Day.” And it was different. It was a comedy. It was this quirky kind of Big Lebowski vibe, and I remember going into it praying that the director who did not personally know me, wouldn’t be locked into this mind frame of me being a new young action star or whatever. And I had to throw it all out the window. That is the first time I really understood what versatility as an actor is all about. And now the battle is within being in the moment, and trusting yourself and your instincts. Going with your inner child, and really do the work yourself, and kind of cleaning up any misperception that you think people might think of you. I love challenges, and this role was just that. I thought either I’d fail miserably or crush it and something amazing is going to come from it. Fortunately, something amazing happened out of it. That was the most amazing discovering for me. You should never take the easy path. Always challenge yourself. You have one life and it’s not easy to navigate. You have to live, spread the love, and do the best you can. So that was a profound, and important experience for me.

SD – Hostages. One on one, Fauda and The Boys resume you post a wide range of genres. Is there a particular genre or type of role you are eager to explore further in your career?

TC – From “One Week and a Day,” which was a wacky, weird, romantic comedy which I didn’t think I’d do in a million years, I learned that if you lock yourself into something, you get closed-minded about it. That’s why I’ve chosen to diversify my roles since inclusive of “The Boys.” At the end of the day, I’m an actor, I get a script which is my bread and butter. And if the bread and butter is good, I want to consume it, so it is all about the written word. If I can do my best to serve the script, channel the character, and transcend from there. Keep it simple.

SD – With The Boys season 4 the rising what can fans expect from your characters arc? And how do you think the show continues to resonate with the audiences?

TC – Well, this is the most secure secret in the world, so in terms of the fourth season of “The Boys,” the only thing I can give you is “Expect the unexpected from Frenchie”.

Photography @Daniel Kaminsky

SD – Reflecting on your journey from your first film to starring in a major international production, what advice would you give to aspiring actors looking to follow in your footsteps?

TC – Oh, wow, I feel like I’m still seeking that advice from others. But I think that itself might the answer. I mean, never stop looking for inspirations, be curious, and open-minded. And look for inspiration in everything that comes your way. This profession is not an easy one. It takes a lot of courage to even say that I am going to be an actor in this lifetime. It sounds very easy, but it is not. You know what I mean? It is like, all odds are against you. And there are a lot of back noises that you have to kind of silence and stay true to yourself. This is what I mean, when I say, believe in yourself, and what you can become and accomplish. And keep it carefully and nurture it and talk to it and be your own friend, because the road is going to be windy with many ups and downs. It’s not an easy ride. But if you remain true to yourself, you’ll find those pure moments within yourself. I didn’t necessarily believe that at first, but now I’m a bit older and wiser. I’m really trying to kind of sponge the reactions of fans when it comes to ‘Frenchie’ and other characters in the hopes that they get inspired by my performance. I used to take it for granted because I was so shy about it and so insecure with who and what I was. But now I am taking it all in. Even if it is just for a second, I have a responsibility. So, keep on moving on.

SD – Fantastic. Thank you so much. We managed to go through all this.

TC – Listen, I have not done this for ages. It was beautiful. Thank you so much. We are about to begin the junket for “The Boys” and you were the first interview I have done in the last six months, so happy thank you so much for the consideration and the amazing questions. Most appreciated.

SD – I read it somewhere while I was doing research that you got married. So, I just want to say congratulations. I wish you both all the happiness in the world.

TC – Amazing. Thank you.

Premiering June 13 on Prime Video.

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