The Boys' Claudia Doumit Didn't Know Victoria Neuman Was A Supe When She Auditioned

If your head almost popped when the true nature of Victoria Neuman was revealed on "The Boys," you weren't alone. Actress Claudia Doumit, who joined the show as Neuman in season 2, had the same reaction when she auditioned.

Neuman first appeared under the guise of a simple human congresswoman who was seemingly anti-superhero and anti-Vought International. At a congressional hearing meant to expose the true nature of the company and Compound V, the drug that gives "supes" their powers, she looked on in horror as heads popped all around her, killing off the judge and witnesses — anyone who was a potential threat to Vought.

The season finale came with the twist that Neuman herself was the Head Popper, a secret supe hiding in plain sight. In an interview with TV Line, Doumit revealed:

"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***?" 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."

Doumit could have played Ashley

Season 3 of "The Boys" has revealed more of Victoria Neuman's backstory: how she was adopted by Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito) at an early age and has been conspiring with him to further Vought's agenda. While working alongside each other at the Federal Bureau of Superhuman Affairs, she and Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid) developed a good relationship, but he became increasingly wary of her and started going out of his way to avoid her after witnessing her explode her old superhuman best friend in a dark alley one night.

Scenes like that have made Neuman a menacing figure at times, even as she has smiled disarmingly and told Hughie, "You shouldn't be afraid of a powerful woman." Though Neuman has allied herself with Homelander (Anthony Starr), there is some question as to whether she might even be more powerful than him, able to pop his head and end his reign of terror once and for all.

This is a far cry from the role Doumit originally auditioned for on "The Boys." In the same interview, she revealed that she first read for the part of Ashley Barrett, the Director of Talent Relations at Vought, in season 1. However, she lost out to Colby Minifie, who has since established her own unique presence on the show.

In the end, while some actors might prefer to be looped in on their character's full arc ahead of time, having Doumit remain ignorant of Neuman's supe status enabled her to convincingly portray the crusading congresswoman as human, laying the groundwork for a future twist that would hit the audience the same way the season 2 scripts for "The Boys" hit her.