Art and culture

Tribute Following Death of ‘Gen V’ Star

Five months ago, I spoke with Chance Perdomo about the Season 1 finale of “The Boys” spinoff “Gen V,” and I could feel his excitement vibrating through the phone.

While any young star is likely to be thrilled to speak about their latest project, this interview felt palpably important to Chance, as it was the first time the 27-year-old British-American actor had been able to even promote Amazon’s “Gen V” due to his commitment to the SAG-AFTRA strike, which concluded one week after the finale aired.

Bursting with desire to get into the details about his superhero college character Andre Anderson, Perdomo paused at the start of our call to tell me he remembered the interviews I had done with him during his days starring as Ambrose Spellman in Netflix’s “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina“: “God bless, thank you, love. That was four or five years ago.”

That’s the kind of star Chance was — genuinely gracious for everything he had; everything I believe he had rightfully earned.

And as we ended our conversation 15 minutes later, I promised Chance that, as Variety‘s “Boys” superfan, I would give him many more opportunities to talk when “Gen V” came back sans strike: “Amen, I look forward to it. God bless you and I hope you had a beautiful day. It was lovely chatting with you. And I can’t wait for Season 2.”

Perdomo died Saturday as the result of a motorcycle accident, in which authorities say no one else was involved in. Immediately, Amazon Prime Video, “Gen V” studio Sony Pictures Television and the producers of “Gen V” released statements in remembrance of the star, noting their shock and pain over the sudden loss.

Voices across social media soon joined in mourning Perdomo, who, before he was well known to U.S. audiences, was nominated for a BAFTA for best actor in a leading role in 2018 for his performance in “Killed by My Debt.”

It’s surreal listening back to Chance’s voice now knowing he won’t ever have the opportunity to talk about “Gen V,” or any other project, ever again: his laugh about the insane, vulgar and gory scenes he adored shooting on the superhero show, his insightful comments on his character’s psyche and the messages about society that both “Gen V” and “The Boys” aim to convey, and his admiration for every cast, crew and creative member who worked alongside him.

The fact he won’t be able to experience every amazing opportunity that was sure to be coming his way, based on his skill as an actor and his integrity as a human. To use language “The Boys” is sure to forgive me for, that fucking sucks.

I didn’t know Chance beyond these interviews that occurred during key moments in his career, mile markers that were meant to be just the start for him.

But in the brief intersection of life I had with him, I saw his light and his potential and his humor and his kindness and how much he deserved more than he will ever get. And I mourn that, just as I’m sure many fans do.

So I offer him this tribute, and a chance to get out some of his words I hadn’t had room to publish in that original story. Ideas about the future of his “Gen V” character, Andre, Chance was so excited to share as he celebrated the Season 2 renewal months after it had been picked up, again, because of his commitment to holding the line during the actors strike.

“I think Andre’s journey is one from weakness to strength,” Perdomo said. “There’s an adage that says, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. And I think he’s quite numb in his life and he’ll fall for anything.”

Perdomo continued: “Going into Season 2, I hope he tries to explore ways to be able to optimize the usage of his powers so that he can do the bare minimum for maximum effect, because there’s no world in which he can’t use his powers, but he has to find a way to be able to find a nice balance. And I think when we find them at the end, he’s invigorated, he knows more so what kind of hero he wants to be. He comes in to join the fight, despite knowing what that would do to him. So I think he’s got a very interesting hero’s journey to figure out, how best can I be a hero without killing myself? And then the question is, is he willing to go out and kill himself for the right cause?”

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