THIS MIGHT SOUND obvious, but perhaps the most important part of a good superhero story is to have a really good superhero at its center. Spider-Man wouldn’t be the Spider-Man we know and love without a charming Peter Parker or Miles Morales performance at its center. Iron Man wouldn’t be Iron Man without that Robert Downey Jr./Tony Stark swagger. And while Gen V is part of The Boys universe—and, thus, satirizing all of the above, along with the rest of the superhero genre—it has an inherent need for a great hero at its center, and actress Jaz Sinclair has proven to be just that with her portrayal of Marie Moreau.
Right off the bat it’s easy to be on Marie’s side. Gen V opens its very first episode with a flashback to the childhood moments when Marie learned she had powers—that resulted in the death of both of her parents, and the estrangement of her younger sister. Every good superhero doesn’t need this kind of tragic backstory, but it helps to add immediate empathy when we meet up with Marie eight years later as she’s getting ready to head off to the (obviously corrupt) Godolkin University, where stars are made in The Boys universe.
Sinclair gives a really solid performance from the get-go as Marie, being both tough and likable character—with a badass, Magneto-esque ability to control blood. Sometimes playing characters who have built up a certain kind of emotional wall can be tricky to play, as the performance (and character) can border on off-putting, but Sinclair showcases her ability to balance likability and strength with an inner uncertainty. We’re rooting for her right from the start.
As we’ve seen with The Boys, though, it’s hard out there for someone who, like Marie, wants to be a good person and do good. This is a world where it’s more about what something looks like than how things actually are. And that’s the core of what Marie has to deal with: does she want to really try to do good (like Starlight in The Boys) or just be in it for the fame (like, say, The Deep).
“She has moments where she has to decide, do I want to look like a hero or do I want to be a hero?” Sinclair told EW in an interview before the season. “And she’s chosen following the rules in moments that have gotten her into some trouble with her friends, but I think that ultimately she’s choosing to be a real hero and to do the right thing, even if it is at her own expense—even though she’s wanted more than anything forever to be in the Seven.”
Jaz Sinclair has a great history on streaming TV
The lead on Gen V is arguably the biggest break of Sinclair’s career to this point, but she’s been working regularly for more than a decade at this point. If you were thinking she looked familiar, you’ve very likely seen her in one thing or another.
While she started with small roles in TV shows like the short-lived Revolution and Rizzoli & Isles, she started making her mark in the mid 2010s when she landed supporting roles in movies like the John Green adaptation Paper Towns and the Morris Chestnut/Regina Hall thriller When The Bough Breaks.
She really broke through once she hit Netflix, though, earning a recurring role in Joe Swanburg’s anthology mumblecore comedy series Easy before landing a regular role alongside Kiernan Shipka on The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. On the latter show, she played Roz Walker, Sabrina’s best friend who has psychic/witch powers.
And if you really think she looks familiar… and feel like the call was coming from inside the house… it’s because she actually had an ever-so-brief appearance in Season 3 of The Boys, during a scene where Hughie was using a computer and investigating a typically-bizarre situation.
Now the real question arises: will we see Jaz Sinclair/Marie Moreau in Season 4 of The Boys? Only time will tell.
Evan is the culture editor for Men’s Health, with bylines in The New York Times, MTV News, Brooklyn Magazine, and VICE. He loves weird movies, watches too much TV, and listens to music more often than he doesn’t.