The Boys cast break down their "surreal" audition process
The Boys season 2 has finally arrived on Amazon Prime Video, delivering more swearing, dismemberment, exploding heads and whale guts than any fan of the comics could possibly have hoped for.
The likes of Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Karl Urban and Jack Quaid are all back for a second run of the alternative superhero series, but how did they end up in such a gloriously violent show in the first place?
Speaking to Metro.co.uk, the cast opened up about their surreal audition experiences with executive producer Seth Rogen, with many of them writing off their chances of being picked almost immediately.
Related: The Boys season 3: Release date, cast, plot and everything you need to know
"My reps sent me the script through and said this is one we should look at," said Starr, who plays the evil, two-faced Superman parody Homelander. "I was busy, I was working pretty much every hour under god sent and they called me a week later and said, 'Have you read it?' I was like, 'No, leave me alone – I’m busy.'
"So I didn’t look at it for a week and a half and then I saw it was a superhero thing and I thought they’re not going to pick me anyway, I’m not made for that. Henry Cavil’s 12 feet tall, built like a 12 foot brick s**t house and he’s wonderful, handsome and charming – I’m not going to get that."
Starr then explained how he filmed a self-tape just to "spite" his reps, but it went down better than expected and he was cast in the role. "Then I thought I’d better actually read it," he said. "I read it and realised this is actually really good and worth putting some time and energy into.
Jessie T Usher, who plays speedster A-Train, also had an unusual route into the show, in that he thought his audition tape was a "piece of s***".
"I was winging it, and I watched it back and I thought it was atrocious," he said when asked about his self-tape. "I hated it so bad I sent an email to my agent saying, 'I can’t send this, I’ll get some sleep and send something in the morning but this is not something I want anyone to see.' I got up the next morning and recorded a second version I also hated."
However, the frustration that came in his second tape is ultimately what landed him the role. "I was so shocked! I was like take this piece of s**t tape, whatever happens, and it worked out!"
He added: "Those bottled-up type of emotions is what they want deep-rooted in these characters. I don’t think I’ve ever hated a tape more than the one I sent into The Boys."
Karl Urban, who plays Billy Butcher, had a far more conventional experience, saying: "I acknowledged this would be a fun character to play and I would be stupid to turn it down. From then I set up a meeting with Eric and Seth Rogen and decided there and then I was going to be a part of it."
Related: The Boys' Karl Urban has hilarious response to call for him to be replaced in Dredd
As for Quaid, who plays Hughie Campbell, he had the pleasure of witnessing Rogen try his hand at some British slang.
"Seth was reading for Billy Butcher but his voice, not trying to do an English accent but reading to do hardcore English slang – 'we’re going to get him in the boot then b****r off'.
"My brain was doing loop the loops trying to figure out what reality I was in. It was memorable to say the least," added Quaid.
And what about Moriarty? The Starlight actress mostly had fun with her audition process, but was taken aback by a rather relentless screen testing process.
"Then I screen tested with our showrunner [Eric Kripke] and honestly it felt like running a marathon. It went on for an hour and a half long, we had me do each scene six or seven times in a tonne of different ways."
She admitted to having "no idea" how the screen test went, before being taken to one side by Kripke who offered some reassuring words. Evidently, it went rather well.
The Boys season two dropped on Amazon Prime Video on September 4 with episodes 1-3, and will continue weekly from September 11. The show's first season is available to stream now.
Digital Spy has launched its first-ever digital magazine with exclusive features, interviews, and videos. Access this edition with a 1-month free trial, only on Apple News+.
Interested in Digital Spy's weekly newsletter? Sign up to get it sent straight to your inbox.
You Might Also Like