During our interview with Amazon Prime Video’s The Boys stars Karl Urban and Jack Quaid at the New York Comic Con, they did their best to describe what this new superhero series is all about. Amazon officially describes the comic book adaptation as an irreverent take on what happens when superheroes abuse their superpowers. Karl Urban believes The Boys will shock, surprise, and entertain viewers. Jack Quaid takes it a step further, describing the series as taking a more realistic yet depraved approach to the superhero genre.
The Boys is based on the comics by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. Amazon’s set a July 26, 2019 premiere date for the eight episode first season.
What did you latch onto with these characters?
Jack Quaid: “For me just reading the scripts and reading the comics, getting to the core of Hughie’s character, I love that he’s just a normal anxious dude who’s just in a crazy, surreal, extraordinary situation. I feel like he reacts to things in the show and in the comics much like I would if I was in his position. I like that he’s a sweet guy. He just ultimately wants the best to come out of all these insane scenarios. He gets to make a lot of decisions along the way and comes to a lot of moral crossroads.”
Karl Urban: “I think what I latched onto about Butcher which was really enjoyable to play was his ability to convince everyone around him to do the most outlandish, wild acts, and to basically service his agenda. That’s a lot of fun.
Butch is a motherf***er. You probably can’t print that.”
Jack Quaid: (Laughing) “Or can you?”
Karl Urban: “But a mother***er with a heart.”
Jack Quaid: “A heart of gold.”
What sets this apart from other superhero projects? What do you think it is that will really grab people?
Jack Quaid: “Well, when I first read the script for the show… So, it’s based off a comic book and I didn’t realize it was based off a comic book. I just thought someone took our real world and put superheroes into it. I think what we do is we really do treat the world like what if superheroes really existed. They would be these saviors of humanity because they have these powers. But, at the end of the day, they’re still people. And when you have powers, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
And then it’s about us, a group of vigilantes who don’t have superpowers, sticking up for the little guy. We’re trying to take down these corrupt superheroes. I think that’s what makes it different. I think it takes a slightly more realistic approach and a way more depraved approach as well.”
Karl Urban: “You’re going to see things in this show that you’ve not seen before. Every script and every episode that we did was really pushing the envelope and raising the bar on the next one. I think it’s going to shock and surprise people, but mostly it’s going to entertain.”
Was there a particular script that shocked and surprised you?
Karl Urban: (Laughing) “Many.”
Jack Quaid: “Several.”
Karl Urban: “Several, even just in the opening. We have a superhero character in the pilot that is relatable to a superhero in a very big popular franchise, and you will see him do something that you have never seen anybody do ever in the history of film or television.”
Jack Quaid: “Oh yeah. Oh my god, yes!”
Karl Urban: “It’s wild.”
Does the series deviate from the comic books in an extreme way?
Karl Urban: “No. I think the comic books were very graphic, tonally, and we don’t have to go as far to achieve the same sort of effect. And obviously we want to find as broad an audience as possible, but it is still hard R. It still serves up quite an edge.”
Jack Quaid: “I describe it as palatably f**ked up.”
What’s the dramatic thrust of the first season?
Karl Urban: “The dramatic thrust of the first season is really for us about bringing the boys together. It’s about assembling a group, defining what their mission is. Their goal, their objective is to take down The Seven, this elite group of corrupt superheroes. So, it’s really a lot of world building and a lot of character introductions and taking the relationships and immediately putting them under great strain and testing them.”
Jack Quaid: “Something our showrunner has said a lot is this is a show about masks – what you present to the public and who you are in private. Every character kind of besides myself and Erin Moriarty who plays Starlight wears some sort of mask when they’re around people or in public. And it’s playing the duality of that. I think that’s a big part of our show.”
Do either of you share similarities with your characters?
Jack Quaid: “Oh my god, yeah. I feel like I would react like Hughie does in any of these situations. I think you’ve got some… (Laughing) Well, maybe not. I don’t know.”
Karl Urban: (Laughing) “Maybe. No, maybe. I don’t know. It’s tough for me to be objective.”
Any movement on Star Trek?
Karl Urban: “I know nothing on Star Trek. No news. Apparently, no news.”
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