The third season of Prime Video’s The Boys was, to say the least, intense. Every season the show finds more ways to push the envelope on its satirical take on superheroes that is driven by social commentary. This season was no different as it would take you from feeling pity and anger to hair-raising suspense to shock comedy within moments of each other.
It revolves around the addition of a new “Supe”, Soldier Boy, played by Jensen Ackles. Long thought dead, it is revealed that Solider Boy is not only alive, but he is also looking for a little payback. This walking, talking example of toxic masculinity from the 1950s serves as this season’s main antagonist in the wildly creative and dark Eric Kripke series. Soldier Boy also brings with him a case of PTSD after being used as a lab rat for Russian scientists, a subject which is handled gracefully in the not always graceful series. (Hear the full interview below.)
Awards Radar had a chance to speak with Ackles about his role as Solider Boy. Even with hindsight being 20/20, it is amazing to think that this is a role he almost didn’t have.
On how he landed the role of Solider Boy:
“Who do I have to kill to get this? And he (Eric Kripke, Showrunner) said, I’m gonna be honest with you, man. There’s a short list of names Amazon and Sony have for this role because it is going to be a pretty pivotal role for season three. And he’s like, I would have to go to bat pretty heavily to get you in the running. And I said, ‘Okay, well, what do I need to do to craft you the largest bat possible?’”
On his working relationship with showrunner Eric Kripke:
“Knowing Kripke as well as I do, and him knowing me as well as he does. There was a definite shorthand there. He knew the tools that I had in my bag of tricks, and he laid out a really kind of definitive plan, and kind of a foundation of what this character was coming from. Where he wanted to go. And so, he did let me play but, you know, this is the great thing about Kripke. What he did is he just gave me a roadmap and he’s like, now just go play.”
On playing a character with PTSD/Shell Shock:
“So I started to kind of dive into just reading accounts of other people’s PTSD, whether it was from trauma, from an accident, or whether it was war related, or whether it was child abuse related. And, it seems so specific and so tailored to that individual, that I felt like, I would just be mirroring somebody else’s PTSD, if I kind of read into it too much. So I backed away from diving too deep into that research and just kind of read and had conversations with Kripke. Read the backstory on Soldier Boy, obviously, knowing where he was coming from knowing what he had gone through.
You know, he’s somebody who deals with things much differently than someone in today’s society. And it wasn’t something that existed in his era. It wasn’t something that they talked about in his era. So he just muscled up and just dealt with it. That was something that I think was a really interesting dialogue on what we all currently know as PTSD. And I love the fact that they call it shell shock, you know, that it didn’t really have a name. Much like the term anxiety. That doesn’t exist in his world. He’s like, No, you mean you’re scared. And I wanted to bring that kind of gruff, almost uneducated version of it to the character.”
On the difficulties of acting during a scene usually found in adult films:
“Just keep the blinders on. Don’t pay attention to the threesome, having whatever kind of positional sex that is next to you. You’ve got a mission to do. You’ve got it, and you got to do it. And this is one of the many reasons why the show is just so unique and exceptional is that you can have such a rich layered story within a massive superhero orgy. And it’s like where else are you gonna get that? Bridgeton? Probably not.”
Enjoy our full conversation with Jensen Ackles below. Find more of our interviews with the cast of The Boys (coming very soon) and much, much more by following The ‘Verse!
Seasons one to three of The Boys are currently streaming exclusively on Prime Video.