'The Boys' Boss on Ending With Season 5 & Hopefully Casting Jared Padalecki (2024)

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the first three episodes of The Boys Season 4, including some sassy talk about what the kids call “glizzy” these days.]

The Boys flew right into their fourth season with some very pointed commentary about what is happening in our current political climate and the news that Season 5 would be its final run. The first three episodes that dropped on June 13 establish a surprising new dynamic among our titular heroes now that de facto leader Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) is battling the fatal side-effects of blasting Compound V last season and Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso) is hellbent on bouncing him from the fight. Hughie (Jack Quaid) is distracted with his father’s stroke and the re-appearance of his mother (Rosemarie DeWitt), new team member Annie (Erin Moriarty) is at the center of a Vought-crazed “patriots”-vs-Starlighters tragedy, Frenchie (Tomer Capon) is getting his Pride on, and Kimiko (Karen f*ckuhara) has stumbled upon a chapter from her past that, well, ends in a Boys-level amount of carnage.

At the same time, chaos is reigning over at Vought, where Homelander (Antony Starr) has been forced to take on some new recruits for the Seven, including Qanon-ish conspiracy-feeder Firecracker (Valorie Curry) and Sister Sage (Susan Heyward), who is both the most intelligent being on the planet and the least cuddly. On top of that, he’s also trying to groom his son Ryan (Cameron Crovetti) into embracing the darkest side of his supe skills, a new Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell) can’t get down the quiet part of his gig, The Deep (Chase Crawford) is torn between surf and turf (IYKYK) and A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) is showing signs of wear-and-tear when it comes to the supergroup’s alt-right bent. There’s also the world’s most horrifying ice-skating show, a surprise reveal about America’s favorite Vought News Network star, Cameron Coleman (Matthew Edison) and the usual amount of H.R. nightmares for amoral Ashley Barrett (Colby Minifie).

All of this, in three episodes? Here, showrunner Eric Kripke talks about the tone of this very topical season, whether he’ll get his ol’ Supernatural pal Jared Padalecki on the show before it ends, having roped Jeffrey Dean Morgan into a recurring gig this season as a CIA agent working with Butcher, and what went into Episode 402’s incredibly naked fight sequence.

Well, congratulations on the new season and the big announcement.

Eric Kripke: Thank you. Thank you.

That actually must feel really relaxing now.

Yes. I mean, we’ve known for years and years, and it was absolutely stressful, especially in the last round of press for the show, that I couldn’t just say it and I had to say like, “I don’t know how long it’s going to go!” We were just waiting for all the final approvals that you need to announce something like that. And so I’m just happy to finally get the word out. And I think it helps the viewing experience now; you can understand the shape of it and where you are in the story, and it helps. I think this season makes a little more sense in terms of why we’re making some of the moves we’re making.

And this season definitely feels like your most emotional season off the jump.

I’m from a network TV background and my training is “smoke if you got ’em.” That world where I lived or died by my Nielsen ratings every week, so I didn’t have the luxury of waiting. And look, that instinct can sometimes be a little manic, I’ll acknowledge, but I really feel when you’re in the entertainment business, it’s important to be as entertaining as you can be, as often as you can be.

'The Boys' Boss on Ending With Season 5 & Hopefully Casting Jared Padalecki (3)

Jasper Savage/Prime Video

Coming into the season, we knew that there had to be some kind of dynamics shift within the Boys themselves, but you’ve really kind of reshuffled the power of who’s running the show…

It just felt like at this point in the story, it just started to feel like the characters would be insane to keep trusting Butcher after everything he’s done to them every year. [Laughs] He needed to be pushed out and have to fight to get back in while his clock is really ticking. And again, how long could Starlight stay with Vought after all the horrific things? So part of it is just trusting the characters and listening to them, because in a weird way, they do sort of tell you where they want to go and how they would react.

It’s is interesting to see where they start to see that maybe there are other people in The Seven that aren’t so happy with the infrastructure, while you’re also rebuilding the team. Sister Sage is great, because she’s literally the only person who can go up against Homelander.

And a huge part of that is Susan Heyward and the absolutely stunning performance she gives. But it was really fun to have that kind of superhero because anytime we can find a classic superhero archetype and do our spin on it, that’s a winner. And we hadn’t done one where, you know there’s all those in comic books just where someone’s just brilliant? Like, that’s their thing. And so what is our world’s version of that? And a bunch of overeducated writers quickly came to the conclusion of, oh, she’d be miserable. [Laughs]

'The Boys' Boss on Ending With Season 5 & Hopefully Casting Jared Padalecki (4)

Jasper Savage/Prime Video

And you’re never going to go wrong with bringing Valorie Currie into any game.

She’s so good and funny and we give her the most outrageous s**t to say as Firecracker. And she just commits 120 percent to it. I love her performance so much. Pound for pound, she makes me laugh as much as anybody. And she can be scary, she can be vulnerable.

The scene at TruthCon, where Sage asks what she’s selling, I mean…

Yeah. I mean, perfect. We always want to write the characters as human as we can, even ones as outrageous as Firecracker.

Speaking of that second episode…can we talk about the Rob Benedict of it all? You’re literally putting the “dick” in Rob Benedict. How long have you been wanting to have him Human Centipede himself?

[Laughs] Since the day I met him. No. We were playing around with this notion of clone sex and what an ultimate act of masturbation that would be. Then I heard that Rob was interested in going out for the role, so I said, “We have to stop for a minute. I need to call him. I need to explain exactly what he’s getting himself into.” Because none of that was in the audition pages, obviously. And so I walked him through it and I explained all the butt-eating and all the nudity, and he thought it was hilarious. He was excited. To be clear, that’s not really his penis. That’s an eight-day fight sequence.

Eight days?!

Yeah. So that was a prosthetic. He is basically wearing a speedo or a thong perhaps with a prosthetic penis glued to the front, which I don’t know if that makes it better or worse…[Laughs]

'The Boys' Boss on Ending With Season 5 & Hopefully Casting Jared Padalecki (5)

Courtesy of Prime Video

Since we now know that the end is near, you’ve got Jeffrey Dean Morgan coming in for this perfect pairing with Karl Urban. Those two could be literally from the same DNA pool. You’ve had Jensen, Jared [Padalecki] is now available. People are going to ask, is the idea of Season 5 just bring out all of the big guns?

No, it’ll be whatever’s right for story. I mean, look, I definitely want to get Jared in there. I feel like that would be one I would love to do. Like I’ve said, I’m completing my game of Supernatural Pokemon. But the truth is, I just like working with people that I like, and Supernatural just happens to be chockfull of people that have remained dear friends of mine. And if I had to choose between someone I didn’t know and a good friend and they’re both talented, I’ll pick the person I know and love every time. So part of it is just I like working with family.


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All right, nice. I’ve got to wrap you, but last question: I know people are talking about the themes and the topics that you tackle on the season. What was the vibe you wanted for this season?

Because it’s the penultimate season, I wanted it to be the one where you dig deepest into the characters and you really got to understand really what makes them all tick. So then they can launch into the final season and you’ll care that much more about them. So this was meant to be—not that it’s a quiet season—but this is meant to be a more introspective season than the other ones, sort of that end-of-Act Two low point before you take off for the rollercoaster ride of Act Three.

The Boys, Thursdays, Prime Video

'The Boys' Boss on Ending With Season 5 & Hopefully Casting Jared Padalecki (2024)
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