The star of The Boys is often in the show’s most shocking and meme-able scenes, but fans have been surprised by how he adds absurdist pathos to them.
The Boys isn’t known for being a very subtle movie. The hit Prime Video show is, after all, a subversive take on the superhero genre, in which the “heroes”—and those scare quotes are doing some super-human heavy lifting there—usually do more harm than good. The current third season opens with a penis exploding when an amazing shrinking hero (let’s call him a “Ant-ish Man”) crawls into his lover’s urethra, sneezes, and accidentally bursts back to his normal size. And if that wasn’t enough, fans of the original comic series by Garth Ennis were looking forward to the show’s latest episode because it was called “Herogasm,” which was also the name of a famous storyline in the comics. The main part of the episode is a secret, supercharged orgy. “These violent delights have violent ends,” Shakespeare once wrote. He probably would have been eaten to death at Herogasm.
But that doesn’t mean that The Boys doesn’t have any depth. You just have to look for it in some very, very strange places, like when one of its stars, Chace Crawford, is caught mid-coitus with an octopus in a scene from “Herogasm” that became an instant classic. Crawford’s character is called “the Deep,” and he can live under water and talk to sea creatures, sometimes in ways that are too close for comfort.
Crawford used to play the brooding heartthrob Nate Archibald on Gossip Girl. Now, on The Boys, he is a source of both funny moments and a strange kind of sadness. Eric Kripke, who created and runs the show, says that he saw Crawford’s strange combination right away during her “amazing” audition. “It’s hard to find the right balance and mix the colors,” he says, “but Chace did it with ease.” The Deep is a jerk, a narcissist, and an emotionally stunted man-child. He often shows more compassion for the sea creatures he befriends, but he usually ends up killing them in whatever new and horrible way Kripke and his team can come up with.
Kripke says, “Cace is the only reason why The Deep is one of our favorite characters to write for.” “He is really good at making people laugh with his body.” He also says that the cast is told to improvise, but Crawford does so with a steady stream of small lines and moments. “I don’t know if anyone expected me to play the comedic scenes the way I did,” says Crawford.
And while he’s become a fan favorite for being in some of the show’s most shocking and meme-able funny scenes, it’s the subtle ways he gives the character insecurity and a constant sense of existential panic that give the Deep, well, depth. The very violent mistake that made him look sad is just as funny as the sad look on his face.
So we sat down with Crawford to find out how he does it, as well as what went on behind the scenes of “Herogasm” and many other crazy scenes this season.
When you get a new script for The Boys, what do you think?
I give my therapist a call. [laughs] I always say it’s like going through the seven stages of grief. First, you don’t believe it, then you try to change it, and finally, you give up. But I remember reading the first 20 pages of the first episode of this season and thinking, “How are they going to do that?” And they were successful. I always think I know how my stories will end, but they never do. It’s always something that makes no sense at all. And there has been a lot of that this season. Kripke asked me before this season, “Did you see the movie My Octopus Teacher? Did you watch that movie?” And I was like, “I did. It was very sad and moved me a lot. I don’t think that’s where you’ll take it!”
I can’t get over the scene from earlier this season where the Deep was forced to eat Timothy the Octopus while saying, “He’s praying!” How did you make it through that shoot?
Our VFX supervisor, Stephan [Szpak-Fleet], is great. When I saw it in the episode, I thought, “Oh my god, that looks awful!” Since there wasn’t much on the plate when we took the picture. Almost like a mochi with syrup inside. It kind of put me off pancakes for a while. They just put some Scotch tape with strings on my face and pulled a little bit on my face. It was a lot of the same. Then they added all the special effects, and it looks so great. I mean, you can see why our VFX team was nominated for an Emmy last year.
Even funnier, I just got an email a few days ago saying that PETA gave us an award! [laughs] They gave it to Kripke, me, and the VFX team because we didn’t use a real octopus in the scene. It’s amazing and funny at the same time. And it really does take a lot of work! Stephan and the rest of the team go through scenes frame by frame to do things like that so that the special effects look great. On a show like ours, that kind of thing is very important. You can tell when something isn’t done well, and our effects look like they belong in a movie.
“Every time you saw someone, it was like listening to a war story. “Have you been to set yet?” people ask when they come back from a scene.”
Well, you’d need some major VFX for a man crawling through a urethra to be the first scene of the season.
Yes, as the number of people who watch us grows, we get more money and can make these big set pieces. And that was a big scene, in more ways than one.
In the most recent episode, there is a superhero orgy called “Herogasm.” It was based on a famously bad comics arc. And the show’s version did not let anyone down. How did it feel to film those scenes?
Oh man, it felt like we had been filming for a month. And every time you saw someone, it was like listening to a war story. “Have you been to set yet?”: People coming back from a scene. Crew members were smoking cigarettes outside the studio while saying, “The things I’ve seen…” They had never smoked a day in their lives. When the editors got the daily papers, they would say, “This is some crazy shite!” But our scenes were pretty separate—while I was filming my parts, I didn’t really get to see what the other actors were doing. So you walk onto the set, and there are strange liquids all over, and you don’t know what’s going on. One of the funniest stories was about how we still had all the usual COVID protocols, so people would go to get a pump of hand sanitizer and then realize, “Ugh, this is lube!”
I don’t know where they got these extras, but they were all really cool, and after a minute or so, it helped make everyone feel more at ease on set, you know? Even more so for Jack [Quaid], who was as naked as he has ever been.
Have you ever been filming and thought to yourself, “I don’t know if I can do this?”
Well, Kripke’s amazing. His door is always open, he responds right away to emails, and he will always pick up the phone. And I don’t usually bother anyone! But there was one scene in this episode that made me jump out of bed in the middle of the night. I was like, “What?” the next morning “I need to know how the camera is set up from every angle. What’s going on? Can’t we pass on this? How will I get to sleep?” And Kripke laughed and said, “We’ll never make you do anything you don’t want to do, so let’s talk about this.” So that was the only time I broke down like that.
I think we all know what scene you’re talking about: Starlight walking into the Deep with an octopus wrapped around his crotch, a scene that has become famous.
That’s right, it was the part with the octopus. And it felt like a 40-pound rig was hanging around my neck. Again, Stephan was so great. He saw that I was in a little bit of pain and said, “Let’s just cut off some of those tentacles! I’ll just do it in post.” So he was just cutting the fake arms off.
Still, you did better than Mother’s Milk actor Laz Alonso. He has now met a giant penis that seems to be alive more than once. In this episode, he finds himself in the middle of it in a new way…
I think that him talking about it has made it worse! So now it’s a running gag. God bless that I’m not Laz!
“We try to deal with the characters in a graceful and nuanced way…
In a way, all of the blood, guts, and gore are just for show.”
Moving on to scenes with clothes, is it true that your costume has a little padding in the buttocks?
Did I already say that? I must have! Funny thing is, after all the fittings, early mock-ups, and changes we made to the Deep’s costume, they chose the one with no sleeves. So I was like, “Okay! It looks like every day is arm day!”
But LJ [Laura Jean Shannon], who designs our supersuits and the supersuits for every other superhero show on TV, is amazing. I didn’t know how long and complicated the process was—it took about six months and 13 fittings. The main part of my costume is a wetsuit. But she makes these interiors and foam pads that fit your body perfectly and can help you in some places. Yes, they did help me out in the back. So I no longer worry as much about leg day.
And they want the suits to look like they’ve been worn. I think it’s one of the funniest jokes on the show that we supers never wear anything else but those costumes. I’ve never had a fitting that wasn’t something like, “Try this trench coat on!” Then, when Deep goes grocery shopping, he just puts it on over his costume while still wearing his gloves and everything else.
The scene in season two where he shows that he has gills under his vest was even more shocking because he never takes off his costume. Even more so because he feels unsafe and violated when the woman he’s with puts her hands in them without his permission.
Right? He has so much doubt about them, which is a key part of his character.
Your character has become a funny one, which is a bit strange. When we first meet him in the first episode of the show, he is trying to get Starlight, the newest member of the Seven, to have oral sex with him. He is a jerk and a stalker. But he’s also a broken man-child who wants to be seen as a hero. He’s also a fuck-up, which is the punchline to many of the big visual jokes in the show. How do you keep everything in check?
You know, when I read the pilot, that scene wasn’t even there. But it’s a big part of one of the early comics. It’s even shot the same way from behind. And they wanted to put it back in as a big starting point for Erin Moriarty’s character, who plays Starlight. She just got back from Indiana and was excited to be a superhero. Then she had this terrible never-meet-your-heroes moment. I was scared to shoot that. But Krikpe was so cool when he told us everything. He said, “Listen, the weirder the comedy and the crazier the violence, the more we need to handle scenes like that with nuance and realism.” Our show isn’t really black and white, and there aren’t any pure good guys. Deep is such a spoiled brat that he didn’t even realize that what he was doing was so wrong. For him, it was a normal part of growing up that had happened before. That’s very gloomy. Then we see more of how deeply flawed and insecure he is, like when he gets attacked in that [season 2] gill scene.
So there’s a big change in tone between scenes like when the Deep is trying to save a dolphin from Oceanland and accidentally throws it out the window of his car. I’m not sure if anyone really knew if the dolphin scene was going to work or not. But because everyone on set worked together so well, they let me improvise a lot and just go with it, and it turned out to be one of the most popular scenes. So they just ran with it, and they keep throwing me curveballs, which are always things you’ve never seen on TV before. Then we try to deal with the characters in a graceful and nuanced way.
It seems strange to say that this show is sometimes about subtleties, but it is.
In fact, it does. In a way, all of the blood, guts, and gore are just for show.
On “The Boys,” the show’s heroes are often used to look at different parts of our culture that are broken or don’t work right. Did you know from the start that your character would become a symbol for asking questions about toxic masculinity?
I think it was pretty clear from the first episode onward. I knew that the character would make fun of rich, white, male, privileged assholes like that. This is where the satire comes in. I think we all know people like this to some degree. It’s just someone who isn’t very self-aware, is a total narcissist, and looks at everything through the lens of “How does this improve my status?” He’s like an athlete who maybe wasn’t a great player but doesn’t want to be kicked off the team because he needs the celebrity status that comes with being on the team, which can be addicting. And the Deep has hit rock bottom after being sent to Sandusky, Ohio in season two, where he ends up swearing at kids in a water park. So it all comes down to a deep need to be seen as important, right? He’s always trying to prove himself, but he doesn’t know how. Like when he says sorry to the public on camera this season. We’ve seen this happen a lot in real life, and I’m sure you could find a lot of examples on YouTube. “I did it. I said I’m sorry. I spoke those words. Are you all cool now?” But that’s the gray area we play in, which is so refreshing compared to traditional superhero stories in which right and wrong are often very clear.
So much of The Boys is a cynical look at how superheroes would work in the real world: as unchecked sociopaths, unstable weapons of war, and puppets of powerful corporations. After being on this show, would you be able to act seriously in a Marvel or DC movie? Would you be interested?
I have to admit that I would love to! But yeah, it might be hard to do now without laughing. And at this point, they might not let me!
The Boys: Erin Moriarty Teases Shocking Season 4 Storylines
Season 4 of Prime Video’s The Boys has already begun production, and the group is already teasing spectators with all of the surprises in store. Specifical
Season 4 of Prime Video’s The Boys has already begun production, and the group is already teasing spectators with all of the surprises in store. Specifically, actress Erin Moriarty, who teased something unusual on social media.
Moriarty remarked in an Instagram story, “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Attached was a photo showing herself and co-stars Jack Quaid, Karen Fukuhara, Tomer Capone, and Laz Alonso gazing out of a vault-like area, similar to the one they were in during Season 3.
CONNECTED: The Boys BTS Photos Reveal the Massive Sets Used for Season 3’s Termite Scene
Vernon Sanders, Amazon Studios’ head of global television, previously teased the escalation of The Boys, saying before Season 3’s release, “We knew from our first conversation with Eric Kripke and the creative team about Season Three of The Boys that the show was going to get even bolder – an impressive feat given the show’s Emmy-nominated second season… The Boys keeps pushing narrative limits while simultaneously being compulsively entertaining and threading the line on social satire that seems all too true.”
Season 4 was announced before of Season 3’s broadcast, with actor Karl Urban announcing in March, “I’m filming The Boys until the end of the year.” This followed previous claims, dating back to 2021, that Prime Video had approved a fourth season.
RELATED: Cameron Coleman’s The Boys Vought claims he was ‘forced’ to take VNN+ off the air.
In Season 3, Billy Butcher and Hughie used a temporary version of Compound V to take on the Vought and members of The Seven. Butcher and the Boys, desperate to bring Homelander down, searched for and awoke a dormant supe, Soldier Boy. While specifics about the new season’s narrative are scant, actor Jensen Ackles hinted that the Seven’s previous leader may not have met his end.
Season 4 of The Boys won’t be available on Prime Video for a while, but the Vought Universe has lots more in store. Prime Video is producing a spinoff series set on a supe college in addition to a second season of the anthology series The Boys Presents: Diabolical! The project, dubbed Gen-V, is the franchise’s first live-action spinoff. Jaz Sinclair as Marie Moreau, Chance Perdomo as Emma Shaw, Shelley Conn, Maddie Phillips, London Thor, Derek Luh, Asa Germann, Patrick Schwarzenegger as Golden Boy, Sean Patrick Thomas as Polarity, and Marco Pigossi as Doctor Edison Cardosa are among the cast members.
The Boys’ first three seasons, as well as The Boys Presents: Diabolical!, are now accessible on Prime Video.
Jensen Ackles Landing The Role On The Boys Just As Supernatural Was Ending (And Beat Movie Stars To Do It)
Jensen Ackles is no longer Dean Winchester from Supernatural, and his follow-up role as Soldier Boy on The Boys took a drastically different turn. His new
Jensen Ackles is no longer Dean Winchester from Supernatural, and his follow-up role as Soldier Boy on The Boys took a drastically different turn. His new post resulted in a Supernatural reunion, since creator Eric Kripke also oversees the Amazon Prime program. The actor has spoken openly about how he landed Soldier Boy just as Supernatural was wrapping up. It even included defeating some Hollywood stars.
Eric Kripke described how Jensen Ackles got the part of Soldier Boy in 2021, but now it’s Ackles’ turn to tell his side of the tale. In a recent interview with Men’s Health, he discussed his experience on The Boys and how he got the part of Supe. Soldier Boy was originally intended for an older actor, but when Ackles contacted Kripke to ask his thoughts on a different project, the discussion took an unexpected turn: “I said, ‘So what’s going on over there at The Boys?” We were about to finish watching Supernatural when I realized, ‘You know, I’m going to be jobless.’ I just tossed it out there playfully. ‘Look, dude, if you want to come over to The Boys, I’ll bring you over here no problem,’ he offered right away. I’d be delighted to have you.’ ‘Sign me up!’ I said.
Given that Supernatural was nearing the end of its 15-season run, it’s no surprise that Ackles leaped at the chance to join The Boys! The actor said that Kripke gave him several audition tapes and that he instantly wanted in.
However, Ackles was skeptical that he would even receive the role. While he didn’t say who since he’d be blacklisted, he did say that after hearing who was on the shortlist, he was certain he wasn’t going to get Soldier Boy: I do know that there were certain names that I believe the network was considering. A brief list of names was provided. And when [Kripke] recited a handful of those names to me, I said to myself, ‘Oh, well, there’s no way.’ I don’t stand a chance. Those people are Hollywood stars.’
Fortunately, Jensen Ackles was cast as Soldier Boy, and the rest is history. It makes me wonder who else was up for the position and who made Ackles so concerned that he wouldn’t win it. Maybe one of those actors will appear as a different hero in The Boys Season 4, when it airs?
Meanwhile, Ackles was not the only Supernatural performer to go right into a new project once the show wrapped. Jared Padalecki agreed to play the title character in the Walker revival before the last season of Supernatural had even wrapped (and prior to the COVID shutdowns). Walker launched in SPN’s timeslot the following year, and the third season is already in the works, with prequel series Walker: Independence set to debut this autumn. In addition, Ackles’ Supernatural prequel The Winchesters will air in a few months.
There isn’t much information regarding The Boys Season 4 or if Soldier Boy will return. It’s unclear if he’ll return to cause more havoc now that he’s been taken back under and frozen in the season finale. Jensen Ackles, on the other hand, has been cast as a series regular on ABC’s Big Sky.
Season 3 of The Boys is now accessible with an Amazon Prime membership, while all 15 seasons of Supernatural are available with a Netflix subscription.
In One Important Way, The Boys’ Soldier Boy Outperforms Captain America
While The Boys’ Soldier Boy seemed to be a crude parody of Marvel Comics’ Captain America, the copycat supe actually outperformed the original in one essen
While The Boys’ Soldier Boy seemed to be a crude parody of Marvel Comics’ Captain America, the copycat supe actually outperformed the original in one essential way—at least in terms of the live-action version.
Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles) is a Super Soldier in the Amazon Prime Video original series The Boys who was produced via the usage of Compound V—a serum that can convert individuals into superhumans. Soldier Boy was originally only extraordinarily strong and invulnerable. However, after extensive testing in a Russian laboratory, Soldier Boy obtained the ability to take away the abilities of other superheroes with a catastrophic explosion that he can generate from inside his own body. While that powerful skill is amazing (and one that Captain America lacks), it isn’t the reason The Boys’ Soldier Boy is more impressive than Captain America. The true explanation is significantly more subtle, but immensely more helpful in combat settings.
Related: Captain America Became The Leader Of The Avengers Fans Think in Opposite Ways
The Avengers receive a distress call from a region of the planet that has been taken over by communist tyranny in Avengers #18 by Stan Lee and Don Heck, which was a huge matter given that this issue was published not long after the ‘Red Scare’ in the United States. Following a distress signal from a place in eastern Asia, the Avengers are met by communist officials from that region who pose as people in danger in order to deceive the Avengers into falling into their trap, all as part of their strategy to show that communism was better to capitalism. When the Avengers realize their error in taking this call, they are promptly attacked with a knockout gas that renders all of them unconscious, including Captain America.
M.M. tosses a smoke grenade at Soldier Boy in The Boys season 3 episode 6 titled ‘Herogasm,’ but Soldier Boy picks up the grenade and inhales the deadly smoke merely for the head rush, indicating that it has absolutely no effect on him at all. Captain America’s physique isn’t as powerful as Soldier Boy’s, as seen by Cap being put unconscious by the same chemical that took out Hawkeye, who is practically just an ordinary human, in Avengers #18. Being resistant to sleeper gas during a combat is very valuable since it is generally one of the first things an adversary would attempt to employ to target a group of heroes they intend to capture. Soldier Boy can only be knocked unconscious by a fatal nerve poison, therefore if he had been in Captain America’s place in this Avengers issue, the enemies would have had no idea what struck them.
Of course, this comparison is only valid between the comic book Captain America and the live-action Soldier Boy, since Soldier Boy in the comics cannot compete with any version of Captain America. Butcher immediately kills the Soldier Boy from The Boys comics after he is repeatedly insulted and molested by Homelander. Soldier Boy in the comics is the polar opposite of Captain America in terms of strength and ferocious courage. While The Boys’ live-action Soldier Boy is similarly a dark twist on a Captain America-like figure, he is more strong than the original since his body can withstand much more torture than Marvel’s top Super Soldier.
Following that, Captain America’s Avengers training is much too grueling for the MCU.
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