Irreverent Star PJ Byrne Offers The Boys S04/Gen V Update & More

Actor PJ Byrne prides himself on taking whatever challenge he can as an actor because every project is an opportunity. And his filmography has been impressively diverse, including Netflix's Cobra Kai and Amazon Prime Video's The Boys for TV; on film, he's in Warner Bros' Shazam! Fury of the Gods and Paramount's Babylon. While promoting his Peacock series Irreverent, Byrne spoke to Bleeding Cool about how his hard work and dedication allow him so many high-profile projects along with occasional lead roles, including The Big Cigar on AppleTV+, and the future of his The Boys character Adam Bourke, the director of Vought films like Dawn of the Seven.

Irreverent Star PJ Byrne Talks Peacock Series & Character Empathy
IRREVERENT — "Lotus & Fishes" Episode 102 — Pictured: P.J. Byrne as Mckenzie Boyd– (Photo by: Scott Belzner/Matchbox Productions)

How 'Irreverent' Star PJ Byrne Keeps Busy

Bleeding Cool: You've got a lot on your plate as far as just everything you've been doing lately. How does a show like 'Irreverent,' one that sees you front and center, compare to being part of an ensemble like with 'The Boys,' 'Cobra Kai' or 'Spirited?'

Byrne: I just did another show for AppleTV miniseries where I get to play one of the leads as well called 'The Big Cigar' about Huey Newton and the Black Panthers. Doing this show for me because this is the first time I was one of the leads. I got it by preparing an ungodly amount. For a show like that, I will sit in a hotel room for two weeks and sit there. I need to be better about enjoying life more and getting out there. They sent me to Toronto, and my family's not around. I'm just crazy, so I'm like, I will do a whole all six episodes or, in this case [of 'Irreverent'], all ten episodes.

[The Big Cigar] too, for a month, I had to sit during pre-pandemic and had to do COVID protocol. I spent the two weeks in a hotel room and then two weeks before we started shooting, getting ready with costumes and all that. Every day for 12 to 16 hours, I sat in a hotel room wherever I was living and prepared for this show. That's how I love to work and when I play these smaller parts in movies, I do the same amount of intense work. When you have a bigger part, you just do extrapolate the math, and you need a month.

I understand truly why the Leonardo DiCaprios of the world wants six months to prepare for a part and then shoot a movie for six months because it is the most challenging. If you're doing the work the way it should be done, you have to put in the man hours. Because I'm doing 'Irreverent,' and this incredible job called 'The Big Cigar' for Apple, I knew the man hours that had to go in this. I'm in so many scenes for this other thing as well, and maybe I need to be better about that, working on time issues and maybe enjoying the process more.

It was a gift knowing once I got the job, I have to start working today to prepare for all the stuff that's coming at me because even for these smaller parts, you got to put the work in. With projects like Damien Chazelle's 'Babylon' coming on December 23rd, the more man-hours you put in on the creative side of things, the more comfortable you're on set. The more comfortable you are on set, the more you can get in the zone getting to that special place.

You only get to go to this one space in this one moment in time to shoot it, and you're never going to be able to go back to it. I never want to cheapen that moment by not knowing I did not do all the work and did everything I can to be the best possible actor for that moment. I always want to be good, even if I did a commercial and I started my career doing them. I always want to be prepared and be as good as I can be, and know I did the best work I can. Whether they edit it wrong or not, at least I know I gave it my best. At least I knew I took my shot and the best I could.

I always believe that as long as you put yourself out there. If you're not doing it, someone else will. I always believed in the mantra of "No small parts." James Hong recently got a star on the Walk of Fame, and he's been around forever.

He's one of my idols. He's my guy. Wasn't his IMDB like 400 things or something crazy? I won't even get close to that. It's crazy.

With 'The Boys,' will we see Adam back to direct another film for Vought?

I'm in season four and the spinoff [Gen V].

Irreverent, which also stars Colin Donnell, Kylie Bracknell, Tegan Stimson, and Wayne Blair, is available to stream on Peacock.

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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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