NYCC 2018: Interviews with the Cast & Crew of ‘The Boys’

Eric Kripke’s newest television venture, The Boys, is an R-rated series revolving around a group of CIA operatives whose job is to keep superheroes in line. The story comes from the mind of Garth Ennis, who also wrote the Preacher comic book, with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg joining as Executive Producers. With such a familiar team behind the show, fans can expect a similar tone as the gritty AMC series even though Kripke will of course put his own unique spin on it. Check out the New York Comic Con interviews below and be sure to watch the premiere on Amazon Prime in early 2019.

Neither Jack Quaid and Karl Urban, who play Billy Butcher and Hughie respectively, read The Boys in comic form before getting cast. For Urban, what attracted him to this project was the script, and he explained that “this was a narrative I had not seen before… Taking the whole superhero world and flipping it.” Instead of focusing on the heroism behind super powers, the series deals more with the elitism and entitlement. “They would be just as corrupt and morally questionable as the [elites] in this world.”

Quaid will not be doing a Scottish accent for Hughie, he does plan to keep the heart of the character intact. “He’s a four-foot Scotsman who’s bald and has a goatee, so we’re not going that way… But we’re doing our own thing with it as well.” But beyond his own character, Quaid is excited for how far the series pushes the envelope. “Every episode has at least one scene where I say to myself I’ve never seen that on TV before.”

Laz Alonso and Karen Fukihara, who have taken on the roles of Mother’s Milk and Female, were equally as enthused about how out there Amazon let them get. “Here it was just – let your freak flag fly,” Alonso gushed. “That to me was the most liberating part of working on this show.” He especially enjoyed the way that The Boys gives a “big middle finger” to the superhero media’s tendency to protect its characters rather than reveal their ugly layers. That being said, “in season one, at least, I will not be breastfeeding.”

Fukihara’s character is one of the few who actually has super powers, but she promised that her otherwise silent character will have more depth and lines in the series. “We created more background on where she comes from and how that connects to the Female joining the boys.” The actors had the chance to check out their pilot episode last week, and both were impressed by how grounded the story was despite the graphic nature of the violence.

Anthony Starr and Chace Crawford, portraying The Homelander and The Deep, shared what they were most looking forward to about The Boys. “I thought [my character] was hilarious and something I could really have fun with,” Crawford said. “It’s a great creative team,” Starr added. But aside from that, this story was a great inversion of the traditional view of superhero stories. Of course, that doesn’t mean they’re going to be mocking DC and Marvel. “There’s a wink and a nod here and there, but we’re not in the game of running things down.”

Despite not going as far as the graphic novel, both actors were amazed by how many boundaries were pushed while maintaining a consistent tone. Starr explained, “If you see these terrible things happening, you’re probably laughing while they’re happening.” Crawford continued, “It was such a collaborative effort… Everyone was really letting us play and even improv a little bit [and] do our own thing.”

Showrunner Eric Kripke and Executive Producer Evan Goldberg spoke highly of Garth Ennis’ work, but promised that The Boys was far less toned down than Preacher. Kripke even teased that the F word was originally used 53 times in the script, while Goldberg promised that an violence was character-based and not gratuitous. “We tried to ground the show in a more reality-based universe,” he revealed. “Let’s not do anything that couldn’t happen in our world, and let’s deal with it from a character perspective.”


(Video editor Matt Wheeler)