Jack Quaid interview: ‘The Boys’
“He’s always in danger. He cannot catch a break!” Jack Quaid jokes about playing Hughie Campbell on “The Boys,” an average Joe turned unlikely vigilante in a world in which iconic superheroes have a chokehold on society. “Everyone’s going to doubt him, but when push comes to shove, he’s the only Boy to actually kill a supe,” he says proudly. “He may not be the most capable, but he’s arguably had the most impact!” Watch our exclusive video interview with Quaid above.
“The Boys” depicts a world in which real-life superheroes are revered as celebrity gods keeping the community safe. Writer/director Eric Kripke developed the series for the screen, based on the comic book series of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. Quaid stars alongside Karl Urban, Antony Starr, Chace Crawford and Erin Moriarty, with Aya Cash joining the show for its second season among its large and diverse ensemble. The satirical action drama explores what happens when these heroes go rogue and abuse their powers, telling a highly entertaining cautionary tale about celebrity worship, materialism, fame and greed.
After a successful first first season, the sophomore edition of “The Boys” exploded (pardon the pun) with critics and viewers. On Rotten Tomatoes, while season 1 holds a respectable fresh rating of 84%, season 2 increased to a staggering 97% “fresh” rating. Upon its second season debut late last year, “The Boys” became one of Amazon’s genuine blockbusters, regularly topping streaming charts and doubling its viewership from season to season.
The core of the show is about the violent acrimony between the powerful “supes” and the misfit band of vigilantes hell-bent on destroying them, dubbed “the Boys.” And while the bad blood between the two sides remained the overall point of the show, season 2 was driven in large part by its female characters, as season two introduces a new “supe” to the dynamic, with the charismatic, sarcastic and ultimately terrifying Stormfront (Cash) joining the Seven, who we soon learn is an immortal Nazi. The plot to take her down over the season was not only highly entertaining but also strangely relevant to the social upheaval felt across the country as The Boys contended with a despicable white supremacist superhero.
Quaid acknowledges that he most likely holds the record among his “The Boys” cast as the actor that contends with the most blood, guts and brain-matter being splattered all over him. “It means you have to spend a lot days covered in goo, a lot of days hyperventilating, but it’s fun; it’s a joy to play,” he admits. He also loves that his everyman hero always seems to find himself in the most precarious position, whether that be holding his girlfriend’s dismembered hands after A-Train obliterated her in the pilot episode, or in the season 2 premiere, when Hughie witnesses the first of many horrifying head explosions, which sets the scene for a particularly gory and confronting sophomore season.
Season 2 opens with the Boys as fugitives on the run. They meet with their ally, CIA deputy director Susan Raynor (Jennifer Esposito), who is trying to track down a new supe terrorist. In the middle of their encounter, her nose starts bleeding before her head abruptly and graphically combusts. “That was my first day shooting season 2, that scene,” Quaid reveals. “It was the perfect scene to start that season with because it had everything that I knew from season 1 within it, like blood getting on me, and insane stuff happening. I’m pretty sure after the first take when the blood hit me, everyone went ‘welcome back, Jack, you’re back on the show now!’ That was a crazy day.”