Karl Urban and Jensen Ackles on “The Boys”: “The possibilities are endless”

Jensen Ackles had entered the city only a few hours before NME sitting with him and Karl Urban in a London hotel on a rainy Friday morning, but you wouldn’t know it. The couple’s easy, relaxed camaraderie is on full screen, exchanging funny pranks and sometimes ending each other’s sentences as they discuss their very first on-screen collaboration.

We are here to talk about the upcoming third season of The Boysthe superhero satirical show that debuted Main Video in July 2019 (note: light spoilers are ahead). Adapted from the 2006-2012 comic book series by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson of the same name, it imagines a world where superpowered individuals (“Supes”) are marketed and monetized by the powerful but morally bankrupt Vought International corporation. Its violent, NSFW joys and superhero-for-evil storytelling style made it a winning alternative to the purer heroism of the. Marvel Cinematic Universeand success and acclaim naturally followed.

“When it appeared, [The Boys’ showrunner Eric] Kripke emailed us saying, ‘Hey, this is really connected,’ ”recalls New Zealander Urban. “But you really feel that when you go out in public and start interacting with people who express their affection for what you’ve done, and that’s as lovable as an actor.”

Urban returns for season three as The Boys‘leader Billy Butcher. This time, his search for the ultimate weapon for once and for all to take down the socipatian “superhero” Homelander (played by Antony Starr) leads him to Ackles’ Soldier Boy, a new starring addition for season three. The Boys is a spectacle that the Supernatural star was eager to join: “The opening sequence of season one when the body explodes, I’ve been all-in on it from that moment on, and then it just kept getting more layered. It resonates on a bunch of levels.”

Forecast is on a fever pitch for the third season. “I’ll have people coming to me saying,‘ Oh man, I can’t wait for the third season, ’” Ackles continues. “It’s just a testament to what these guys have put together over the past two seasons. It’s a really great show. “

Urban and Ackles only met for the first time on the cast of The Boys, but they quickly became friends while filming. “I was just super-excited to discover that Jensen was not only such a great guy, but such a valuable thing to have on the cast,” Urban says.

“Jensen is a real team player, and we’re so lucky to have him” – Karl Urban

“When you’re in the trenches with someone who has the ability like Jensen to assess the situation and then actually come up with a solution that helps everyone, that’s the kind of guy he is. He’s a real team player, and we’re so lucky to have him. “

The BoysThe third season was filmed in Toronto in 2021, when almost everything was still closed COVID-19 pandemic. But the pair still managed to play a few rounds of golf on his days off. So who is the best golfer? “The first time we played, I think it came to the last hole,” says Ackles. “He had me in one fell swoop. I had a bad ride, but I somehow got into the green in pairs and I think I hit him with one blow. ”

“When I got home, I had an MRI on my shoulder and I had a partial tear on my scapular,” Urban fires back, his competitive streak shining through. “I don’t know if I told you, but I was hurt.” Ackles replies playfully: “All I hear are excuses …”

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“The Boys” season three (Image: Prime Video / Press)

A a rematch with a proper and healthy Urban is certainly on the cards, but Ackles ’main focus has remained on his work on The Boys. Marking his small-screen reunion with Kripke, who created Supernatural in 2005, the Dallas-born actor stayed in touch with The Boys‘showrunner as the CW series ended in November 2020 after 15 years on the air.

“I was such a fan of The Boys jam. I told Kripke I’d come and just do a little part: ‘Just put me in a coach!’ ”Ackles laughs. “He’s the one who came up with the idea and said, ‘It’s this role we’re starting to talk about for season three.’ first two lines, I was like, “Oh, I have to fight for this.” And I did. ”

The part that Ackles so coveted was Soldier Boy, the original Vought Supe that was created during World War II. In a way, that makes him The Boys‘version of Captain America: a superpowered individual of history who is discovered in a now unknown gift. Being that it is The Boyshowever, you can expect him to be less likeable than the Marvel scout.

“The opening sequence of season one when the body explodes, I’ve been all-in from that moment” – Jensen Ackles

“It was interesting to come in as the new guy, but to play as the guy who was supposed to be there the longest,” says Ackles. “I just tapped my inner grandfather. [Soldier Boy] is a very analogous person living in this new digital land. We see him walking the streets of New York, and a guy walks with a Bluetooth headset. He’s just talking, but to Soldier Boy, he seems to be talking to himself. So it was interesting to navigate that. “

While most of our time with Soldier Boy in season three is set in the present, there are several flashbacks. One such glimpse into the past sees the Supe sing and rap on a Top of the Pops-esque show – Vought’s marketing tactics were less developed then – and although we only see a snippet, Ackles teases that there’s much more to come.

“It’s this solid-gold video where I have dancers and I do a Blondie song. And then I did another song by Robert Mitchum. It’s so bad! You’ll have to wait for the special features for the whole thing, but we filmed it! ”

Jensen Ackles as Soldier Boy in “The Boys” (Image: Prime Video / Press)

Ackles’ musical performances may be ridiculously bad, but they probably weren’t as demanding as his first day on the cast. In the scene where The Boys first meet Soldier Boy in the present after Butcher and his team break him out of a cryogenic chamber, the actor is naked: talk about being thrown at the deep end. “It was fun to join a new cast and show off and meet new crew with just your bait and gear in a sock,” Ackles says, before Urban Fries enters, “It’s just like he’s walking!”

This great revelation (ejm) is all the more exciting for the action that precedes it. This season sees Butcher gain superpowers of his own after taking an experimental drug known as Compound V, bringing a new dimension to the excessive violence that has become a staple of the show. However, it begs the question: it is The Boys‘leader went on a dark road?

“I think Butcher’s bow this season is how much it costs to make yourself the thing you’re trying to destroy? Is it worth doing it yourself? How much does it cost? ” Municipal proposals. “He’s making a choice this season that has a disastrous effect on everyone else around him, and it’s forcing everyone to make the same choice: you’re either with him or against him. And if you’re against him, you’d better stay out of his way.”

“Butcher is making a choice this season that has a disastrous effect on everyone else around him” – Karl Urban

While Butcher may have laser eyes, Soldier Boy often relies on his trustworthy shield when he is in the heat of battle. Ackles did much of his own stunt work, and examined a number of theater props in the process. “The shields had different weight variations: they were really heavy, but also rubberized for the stunts,” he says. “But I swung that thing so hard that I tore the handles off their backs!”

As for the relationship between their characters, Urban and Ackles tease that although their goals may initially align, it is not long before conflict arises. “For Butcher this season, he is determined to level the playing field,” Urban explains. “It’s not just about leveling up, [he’s] using all he can. He recognizes a powerful asset in Soldier Boy, and if he can use Soldier Boy to help take down Homelander, he will. But throughout the story, he realizes that this is easier said than done, and that Soldier Boy has his own agenda. “

Ackles adds: “Butcher’s idea is basically the idea of ​​’you help me, and I’ll help you.’ That’s how it starts. But then the train gets off the road very quickly.”

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Karl Urban and Antony Starr in “The Boys” season three (Image: Prime Video / Press)

The Boys it is not the first time that either Urban or Ackles have swum in comic waters. In 2012, Urban played the titular lawmaker in the grainy science fiction of Pete Travis and Alex Garland. Dredd, and while it deservedly won critical acclaim, it did not earn enough money at the box office for a sequel to be green lit. That hasn’t stopped us from talking about a spin-off or TV series coming to life in the next few years, and Urban wants to see more Dredd on our screens.

“I think there is such a wealth of material [Judge Dredd co-creator] John Wagner and company. has written over the years, and I would really love to see more of that world out there, ”Urban says.“ The way the technological development of film and television creation has progressed, especially in recent years with the introduction of The Volume. [a virtual production stage that is surrounded by screens that extend the set] which they used in the Cosmic Wars and Mandalorian shows, I think, it opens up a world of opportunity when one can foresee a world, like a mega-city, in a fully realized way. So I’m excited to see if it’s with me or not. “

Ackles, meanwhile, enjoyed success in the animated sphere. 2010s Batman: Under the Red Hood – in which he speaks BatmanJason Todd’s former partner – is widely regarded as one of the best Dc cartoons, as he voiced the Dark Knight himself in the two-part animated adaptation of The Long Halloween pasintjare. There are more of the latter on the way.

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Jensen Ackles (Image: Main Video / Press)

“When I was asked to do the Red HoodI was just excited to be a part of some sort of Batman franchise and jumped at the chance, “Ackles thinks.” And then when they called and said we’d level you, I was even more excited! I did about four roles as Batman. because they’re doing some Justice League stuff. “

While Ackles will also be acting as Sheriff Beau Arlen in the American crime drama series Great Heaven – he recently updated to a regular series for the next third season – Urban will soon move to his fourth Star Trek a film in which he will reprise the role of Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy.

For a while, it looked like Quentin Tarantino was headed to Star Trek movie with the current cast of characters. The idea was eventually rejected, but Urban was excited by the prospect: “I’m a huge Tarantino fan. I love his films, and the opportunity to work with him would be a great opportunity. “

“With The Boysthe possibilities are endless ”- Karl Urban

That continues to leave the question of what follows for Urban and Ackles on their respective journeys with The Boys. Assuming both Butcher and Soldier Boy come out of season three alive – which is no guarantee in a show as unpredictable as The Boys – we could see a lot more of the pair below in the line.

“We all have a lot of fun doing it The Boys. The possibilities are endless, ”says Urban. “I think Kripke has a very definite story in his mind, and I don’t think he has any intention of going beyond his welcome. All I know is that Kripke is not a fan of how the comics ended. So whatever we do will be different, for sure. We’ll see. “

Just completed a 15-season run on Supernaturalhowever, Ackles recognizes the same “lightning in a bottle” with The Boys. And while his and Urban’s future in the show is uncertain, it’s a safe bet that they’ll at least live to make fun of each other another day. This is not the end of their budding bromance, or golfing competitions: it is certainly just the beginning.

The third season of “The Boys” has been available for streaming on Prime Video since June 3rd

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