Aya Cash opens up about her roles in The Girl From Plainville and The Boys | Web Series

Actor Aya Cash has been lucky to land diverse roles in recent times. Viewers know her best as the Nazi anti-superhero Stormfront in The Boys. But very recently, she appeared in a role as far removed from the diabolical world of The Boys as possible. Aya played lawyer Katie Rayburn in The Girl From Plainville, a miniseries based on the infamous death of Conrad Roy III. Speaking with Hindustan Times, Aya detailed the preparation behind playing a real-life lawyer, and how different it is from being a superhero. Also read: The Boys creator Eric Kripke on that ‘wild’, graphic sex scene from season 3

The Girl From Plainville is a dramatic retelling of the death of Conrad Roy in 2014 and the subsequent trial of his girlfriend Michelle Carter, who was found guilty of abetting his suicide. The case received tremendous coverage globally and assistant district attorney Katie Rayburn, who prosecuted Carter, became a mini celebrity. Aya says that she tried to make sure her portrayal of the lawyer did not go into the ‘impression’ or ‘imitation territory’.

The Girl From Plainville (Aya Cash says she did not want her portrayal of Katie Rayburn to be mimicry)
The Girl From Plainville (Aya Cash says she did not want her portrayal of Katie Rayburn to be mimicry)

“I was given a lot of leeway from the creators. When you enter a job, you need to know the rules of that job and what’s the culture there. They were very clear that this was not mimicry and that I could make it my own, fictionalizing a real person. So yes, she is a real person but there was a lot of play. That was the gift I was given. As you see when you watch real court scenes, there is a performance aspect to it. That is what I found interesting is that sometimes people in those performances are not good actors,” she says.

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Playing a lawyer on screen isn’t easy as the dialogue often requires delivering lines laden with complex legal jargon. In Aya’s case, some of her monologues in the courtroom scenes were several minutes long. She jokes that she did ‘law light’ while preparing for the role. “You do have to understand what you are saying in order to make it believable. I need to know. It’s not about getting a law degree but you need to understand the points you are making in order to make them. It’s definitely law light, below the baby bar I would say,” says Aya.

The Girl From Plainville debuted on Hulu in March this year and released in India on Lionsgate Play on June 24. Around the same time, Aya also appeared briefly in the third season of Amazon Prime Video’s The Boys. The actor was a series regular in season two. On that show, Aya plays Stormfront, a villainous superhero with a Nazi past. The actor says the two extremely different roles come with their own set of challenges.

The Boys (Aya Cash as the superhero Stormfront on The Boys)
The Boys (Aya Cash as the superhero Stormfront on The Boys)

“They are such different challenges,” she says, adding, “A lot of the challenges of Stormfront are technical. It’s the suit. It’s having to do this (does a hand gesture) and trust that you don’t look like an idiot because special effects will make that look cool later. Or at times when you are hopping up and down on one foot, which will look like flying (in the final cut). It’s about having to be imaginative in that world in a way that’s more like theatre.” However, she adds that playing Katie is also tough. “In the courtroom you see a lot of the reality that you will see on the screen a lot. The fact that there are cameras is something that happens in a courtroom. It’s all based in reality so in some ways that’s easier. In other ways, it’s harder to be an expert in something you are not an expert in. To make sure you bring that believability to someone else’s expertise when you do not have that is also a big challenge,” she says.

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Talking about her experience on The Boys, the actor says she was lucky to not have to rely too much on CGI while filming. She elaborates, “I was lucky I had zero green screen on The Boys. When you see me up in the air, it’s because I’m on a rig and I found that really fun. But obviously, when I lose limbs, that’s different and I obviously have functional prosthetics. I was lucky that a lot of it was practical. I think that would be harder for me, something like acting with a tennis ball because the joy that I get from acting is in interacting with another person.”