2022 – “There are things you’ll never miss this season”: Karl Urban for Boys talks about parenting, power and the orgy of superheroes | TV and Radio

aThe superhero show at Amazon The Boys isn’t exactly known for its good taste. The episodes are filled with fake blood, sex scenes, and exploding skulls. It’s all part of its charm—perhaps a correction to Marvel’s bloodless portrayal of violence—but it means it’s not necessarily something you’d see on a crowded train.

However, that’s how I saw the first episode of season three. I realized my mistake in what was certainly the most horrific moment the show attempted. I’m forbidden to share the details, but it does show a part of the human body being manipulated in ways I couldn’t have imagined, and taped in a way I’ve never seen before.

The sequence is still fresh in my mind when I arrive in central London to meet The Boys star Karl Urban. Still behind on his flight from New Zealand four days ago, already several hours into a busy day of interviews, he’s polite and attentive, but clearly trying to conserve energy. Long interviews with him are few and far between; There is at least one video of him casting a tired look at a very familiar interviewer. But as we pull out the chairs to sit down, there’s only one starting point: Did you see the scene with that? [redacted body part]?

“I only saw some disgusting things, so I didn’t see their full glory,” he says. “But there are things about season three that once you see them, you’ll never lose sight of them.”

The show is based on Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s comic book series about a team of superheroes who serve as wings for a major media company, complete with spin-offs and pop careers, and a gangster gang determined to save…uncover reckless and hypocritical behavior. In a world where superheroes have become the dominant cultural force, The Boys feel an important continuation of the conversation.

“How much does electricity cost? It causes great pain”… Urban (center) With the cast of The Boys. Photo: Prime Video/Amazon Studios

The show has been a huge hit throughout the shutdown – it’s likely to be Amazon’s flagship series now – and the general hunger for new episodes has been palpable for some time. Season 3 seems to have realized: the jokes were stronger, the effects more gruesome, the celebrity gossip bigger. This season captures one of the book’s most iconic chapters – the long-form, illustrated superhero orgy known as Herogasm. How do you adapt that to TV?

“It’s hard to talk about this without letting go of a lot of spoilers, but I’ll tell you one thing,” he says, leaning forward. Jensen [Ackles, who plays Soldier Boy, a hero in the style of Captain America] He walked into the group one day while they were shooting Herogasm. He turned to one of the photographers and said, “Hi, how are you?” The photographer has this vision from a thousand feet and he’s like, “Dude, I saw shit.”

Although The Boys is a group show featuring a huge lineup of superheroes and antihero fighters, Urban has emerged as the show’s main protagonist. His character, a violent guard named Billy Butcher, dominates the series’ posters; His brutal desire for revenge fuels the plot.

This season, the butcher gets super powers. Was it fun to be a superhero in the end? “I’ve had a lot of discussions about what it might be like to have the powers,” he says. And I said, ‘Well, it’s going to hurt, right?’ “It goes back to the question: How much does electricity cost? The price is that it is so painful.”

This pain is not only physical. This season will show how he struggles with the version of parenting that doesn’t fit him. “It’s a responsibility that Butcher never foresaw, and it goes against his purpose,” Urban says. “You can’t be a parent and be a superhero ranger who fights.”

I wonder how Urban can relate to Butcher’s competing priorities. Boys shoot half the year in Toronto while his home and family – he has two sons with his ex-wife – are eight and a half thousand miles away in New Zealand. “I’m always around the clock,” he says with a sigh. “When I’m in New Zealand, I know I’ll be on a plane in six weeks or two and I might be away for six months. The most important thing for me when I get home is to connect with the people who are important to me.”

In previous years, Urban could rush back and forth during shooting breaks. But season three was filmed during Covid, so he has been away from his family for longer than ever. “I feel incredibly fortunate and grateful for this wonderful career and all the opportunities that come with it,” he says. “But there is sacrifice. I missed countless birthdays from my kids; friends funerals. Season 3 was the first time in my career that I was away from my family for seven months. It was hard. I never built my career by putting myself in a position I’m going to miss him. So yeah, that was tough.”

Urban will be 50 next week and his children will be 21 and 16. I am fascinated by how the relationship between parent and child changes as the child grows up. how are you?

“What’s the old saying? The bigger the kids, the bigger the problems,” he says with a laugh. “My kids are amazing, they’re really cool. But it’s more complicated. When they are children, the problems are much simpler. Finding their way into adulthood and finding their own path in life is a huge challenge. In the end, everyone has to walk this path themselves and get back on their own two feet. Eventually the umbilical cord will be cut. I hope to have as much time as possible with them.”

“I am a fan of science fiction. But more than that, I am a fan of the storytelling in Star Trek Beyond. Photo: Paramount Pictures / Allstar

When Urban was a boy, his mother worked for a company that rented lamps and cameras to the New Zealand film industry. This is how I realize what I love most about the movie. It wasn’t necessarily the final work, but the camaraderie of the people who made it.

“Once in a while, when a feature film is finished in New Zealand, it will be shown from the back of the garage door to the cast and crew,” he says. “I went out with the crew and sat on the boxes and drank beer and watched these movies like family. I just felt like it would be nice to be part of a family like this.”

A few years later, Urban dropped out of college to pursue acting. He began appearing in local plays and commercials before jumping to the biggest stage in Australia. Almost immediately, he realized he had made a mistake.

“It was brutal,” he says, starting from scratch in a new country. “I was very adamant that I wanted to work internationally to work with the best directors I could, but it was probably one of the hardest years of my life. I was actually wondering if I really wanted to do that.”

He was rescued when a show arrived from the house. He smiles, “I’m a big believer in the philosophy, ‘A missed opportunity doesn’t come back often.’” So I went back to New Zealand and did a couple of New Zealand films. One of these films was a mini-film called The Price of Milk directed by Harry Sinclair. Harry was a good friend of Peter Jackson, so he made a rough cut to show Peter. And I happened to be in Peter’s face when he was looking for someone to cast Eomer in The Lord of the Rings. “

Karl Urban and Cate Blanchett in Thor: Ragnarok
“Back in the ’60s or ’50s I’d Be in the West”…with Cate Blanchett in Thor: Ragnarok. Photo: Marvel Studios/Disney/Allstar

He credits this role with changing his life. Thanks to The Lord of the Rings, it was much easier to work in the United States than it was in Australia. Over the past decade and a half, he’s made a variety of fan favorites, from comic book movies like Priest and Dredd to Star Trek and Thor: Ragnarok. Does he have a secret recipe when it comes to choosing a role?

“No, I have no idea,” he says. “I’m definitely a fan of science fiction. But more than that, I’m a fan of storytelling. It’s just that we live in a world where the entertainment industry gravitates largely towards genre-based products. If I were an actor in the ’70s it would have been a different story.” ‘Back in the ’60s or ’50s, I would have been in the West. Kind is not an impulse to do or not do something.”

Since fans love his work so much, I try to spend the last few minutes of our conversation reviewing idle projects. This is as close as I can get to eliciting the glow of Urban’s death. Star Trek 4 will probably be closed, right?

“Yes, you are probably right,” he roared, already starting to vote. Not a word in the sequel, then? “Listen, I know it’s in development,” he says to what might be a million times this week. “They have attached a director. They write scripts and I know the cast is ready and ready to come back and do another job.”

Will you be part of the planned TV show Judge Dredd? He cheers himself up a little. “Regardless of whether I’m involved or not, I think it’s a wonderful property. John Wagner and his entire team of writers and illustrators have written so many wonderful stories that, personally, as a Dredd fan, I’d love to see them. I can’t wait to see what they’ll do with them.”

Finally, I told him I searched for his name on Reddit. “What is this?” Tell him it’s a place if you search for Karl Urban you’ll find hundreds of photos of his face cut into Wolverine’s body. And with that, for the first time in our interview, he started barking with laughter.

“Oh really?” stutter. “It’s fun, but you have to think about it rationally. I’m two years younger than Hugh Jackman?” [It is closer to four years.] I mean, if I was a studio looking to pick someone like Wolverine, I would pick someone to get three movies from. You won’t get three Karl Urban movies unless you want a 65-year-old Wolverine. “

The theme that runs through Urban’s work is the interlocking groups. Between The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, and The Boys, he picks movies where the actors seem to be spending a great time together.

“Well, it’s about the family, isn’t it?” He says, finally relax. “It goes back to the environment I set when I was eight. For me, this is the most important thing in life: building a strong relationship with people and spending quality time with what you really love.”

The first three episodes of The Boys Season 3 premiere video head on me June 3