The Boys: Eric Kripke on How Jensen Ackles/Soldier Boy Happened & More

As production rolls along on the show's third season, Amazon and showrunner/EP Eric Kripke have also been doing their part to sell the second season of The Boys to Emmy Awards voters (with five nominations including "Best Drama" in play, it makes sense). But because we like to keep our magnifying glass focused on what's to come, we took a look at what Kripke had to say in a recent interview with Vanity Fair. From "Herogasm" and a to-the-point description of Season 3 to the Jensen Ackles/Soldier Boy connection and what the deal is with the Vought News Network (VNN), here's a look at the highlights.

The Boys
Image: Amazon Prime

Kripke Makes It Clear: There Is No Topping "Herogasm": "There will be no topping up 'Herogasm.' Now that I've seen the dailies of this thing, I'm like, 'what have we done?' It's just so crazy," Kripke teased. But as much as Amazon has given them free rein, Kripke understands the responsibility that comes with that freedom. "They've always let us do what we wanted to do but I think because of that it comes with a responsibility to moderate and modulate ourselves. You never want to fall on the side of just being gratuitous and just gross. I don't want this show to be irresponsible. I want it to be shocking and outrageous, but of a moral universe."

America & Its History of Toxic Masculinity Will Be a Primary Focus: "Season 3 delves a lot more into the history of how we got here through this character of Soldier Boy. We were able to dig into both the history of the country and also really look at toxic masculinity, and masculine roles, and what a shit-show that's overall caused. This whole fucking, independent Marlboro man thing."

Jensen Ackles, Soldier Boy & A Chance Call Made Things Happen: "We had written Soldier Boy long before I cast Jensen. The majority of the guys we were looking at for that part were actually quite older than Jensen. Because it's a World War II hero. But it's so funny how these things sometimes happen. Jensen called me and I'm not on the show anymore but we keep in touch and text every so often. But he happened to call me and we were just chatting and I'm like well I'm prepping Season 3 of the show, and I have this character Soldier Boy, and it was a real pain to cast, and I haven't really found anyone. Hey, wait a minute, do you want to do it? I sent him the script, and he's like, oh my God, I totally want to do this. Less than a week later, he was cast. He just happened to call that day, is one of the big reasons he got that part."

Vought News Network (VNN) Represents Exactly What You Think It Does: "I think misinformation is so dangerous and cynical. It's so obvious that they're willing to actively harm people. I mean, look at all this shit about the vaccine cynicism. These kind of networks are outrage machines that specifically slant information in an inaccurate way. Then there's bigger ratings, and then they make more money. It's so wildly irresponsible and destructive to civil discourse and it's straight-up propaganda. That's another big issue of something that we thought richly demanded ridicule."

the boys
Image: Screencap

Speaking of VNN's "Seven on 7" segment hosted by Matthew Edison's VNN anchor Cameron Coleman:

Supersonic's (Miles Gaston Villanueva) sudden rising star is spotlighted, as is the ex-Drummer Boy's personal past with Starlight (Erin Moriarty). Speaking of Starlight, fans are apparently concerned that she's burning the candles at both ends and there's push back on "fake news" about her being exhausted (rumors leaked by Vought?). The Deep (Chace Crawford) has come out with serious allegations against the Chuch of the Collective, with Goran Višnjić's church leader Alastair Adana still missing in action. Giancarlo Esposito's Stan Edgar offers an audio statement addressing Vought stopping the production of Compound V until further studies are done (hmmm…).

A group of Homelander (Antony Starr) devotees formed a human chain to symbolically block "super-terrorists" from entering the United States. It did not go well. Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) was sent as a representative of Vought to the opening of one of the company's LGBTQ teen centers (which we're assuming will have ulterior motives). And finally, A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) held a press conference to announce he is officially out of retirement and rejoining The Seven. He's also prepping a return race, but no one knows who his mysterious opponent will be. Oh, and we get an ad for Vought's Global Wellness Center (website here but not yet live), which we have a feeling will play a major role in what's to come. Here's a look at the full episode, with a ton of clues to pick through before the third season:

Heading into the third season, viewers can look forward to seeing Laurie Holden (The Walking Dead, The Americans) in the recurring role of supe Crimson Countess, along with Sean Patrick Flannery (The Boondock Saints), Nick Wechsler (Revenge), and Miles Gaston Villanueva (Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders) as three original supes characters. Villaneuva plays Supersonic, rumored to possibly have a personal connection with Starlight (Erin Moriarty). Flannery will play the weapon expert-sounding Gunpowder, while Wechsler will be taking on the role of Blue Hawk.

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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