INTERVIEW – The American actor, revealed in Supernatural, embodies Soldier Boy. This new character from season 3, available on Prime Video, proves that the satirical series still has a bright future ahead of it.
“There’s nothing this actor can’t do”told us Eric Kripke about Jensen Ackles. It is surely for this reason that the showrunner of The Boys gave him the role of Soldier Boy. In this series, adapted from the eponymous comic strip created by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, this capital character makes its grand entrance in season 3.
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A boon for the American actor who had already collaborated with Eric Kripke in supernatural. In this fantasy series, created by his longtime friend, Jensen Ackles played Dean Winchester, hunters of supernatural creatures. In The Boys, he lends his features to a disturbing character, the first superhero in fictional history, back for revenge. We met the actor during his visit to Paris, happier than ever to have joined the cast of this miraculous satire made in the USA.
LE FIGARO. – Who is your character Soldier Boy, new in this season 3 of The Boys ?
Jensen Ackles. – Soldier Boy is Vought’s first superhero. As of World War II, he and his team were the Original Seven. You really feel that my character comes from another era. Back in our modern world, he feels like a real misfit! This superhero was tossed aside and then forgotten. He does not seek to familiarize himself with our era, his only objective is to take revenge on those who betrayed him at the time. Through this quest, we discover his truly toxic personality. Ultimately, Soldier Boy is just as twisted as any other current superhero.
Did you watch The Boys before joining the cast?
Sure! Before I even knew I was going to play Soldier Boy, I was already a big fan of the show. When the arrival of my character was decided for season 3, I watched season 2 as soon as it was released and said to myself (laughing, editor’s note): “Oh, oh, oh (sic), I really must not miss myself!” . I was terrified of coming into these new episodes and not being up to par. I put a lot of personal pressure on myself.
What relationship do you have with Eric Kripke?
Eric is a longtime friend. One of the best things about this industry is having the chance to work with people you like, admire and most importantly get along with. Eric is definitely one of those people. No matter how advanced his career is, for me working with him again always sounds like a no-brainer. When supernatural was soon coming to an end, I called him to ask him: “Okay, what do we do now?”. How lucky for me it was working out The Boysbecome a series phenomenon!
How did the role of Soldier Boy come to you?
At the turn of a conversation with Eric, I took my courage in both hands. “When am I coming to make an appearance on The Boys?”a question a bit humorous but not really either… He answered me tit for tat: “You know what? Let me think”. The next day, Eric called me back to explain all the discussions with the production around Soldier Boy. The casting was in progress and he wanted to suggest my name. He was very clear, I had to pass tests like the others. In parallel, I received his notes concerning the character. After reading them, only one thought obsessed me. “Okay, who do I kill for this role? What should I do?” (laughs)
How did your integration with the other actors go?
Soldier Boy arrives late this season. Most of the actors were already shooting when I arrived. Due to the pandemic and lockdowns, I couldn’t get on set to watch and meet them until my first official day on set. When I arrived, everyone was really lovely. I think Eric Kripke must have gone through this saying: “He’s my mate, he’s cool, don’t worry”. I just tried not to disappoint him. It was a very interesting way to debut in the series (laughs).
How do you explain the success of The Boys?
In general, superheroes have been a source of entertainment for generations. Eric completely reverses the admirable image of these figures. In The Boys, all the characters have completely noxious traits and they are put in the service of satire. Very topical subjects of our society are evoked and they are approached layer by layer. Add to that, the blood, the violence and the series stands out and becomes really interesting.
As an actor, how is the filming of all these violent scenes?
In my career, I mainly had to play scenes of action and violence. But, I must admit that those in The Boys are much more intense! Usually we see blood, someone gets shot… In this series, heads explode, fragments of brains stick to the wall. It’s incomparable on many levels. (laughs)