“These superheroes are in reach – you can touch them and influence them”: Jessie T Usher and Chace Crawford on season three of The Boys
As the third season of The Boys drops on Amazon Prime, viewers will see this new chapter bring series regulars back to life, alongside a slew of brand new characters. The array of explosive storylines and action on this much loved vigilante superhero show are based on the New York Times bestselling comic book of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson (who also serve as executive producers on the series).
The complex drama sees a year of calm overturned by more conflict between The Boys and The Seven, with plentiful scenes of gore, grotesque sexual themes and political satire as they all turn their interests towards the legend of the original superhero: Soldier Boy.
The Upcoming had the pleasure of speaking to cast members Jessie T Usher and Chase Crawford about their fight seen in the Vought, bringing Herogasm to the screen and eating octopus.
Why do both of your characters wants to rejoin The Seven when they are treated so badly?
Jessie T Usher: I think A-Train is honestly just so lost. He doesn’t even see an abusive relationship as an abusive relationship; he only sees the bright side. He wants the money and the fame and is terrified of going back to being a nobody. Being treated less than a nobody is a lesser evil to him than actually being a nobody. He’s willing to do whatever even to feel an artificial level of power.
Chase Crawford: The Deep is at such a rock bottom place, he can only go up from there. He’s a piece of shit but at least he’s Homelander’s piece of shit. He’s lost his identity so he wants to be back there having a purpose.
You both get to do some pretty bizarre things in this season. What are the more challenging aspects of your characters?
JTU: The technical stuff because you still have to stay in the moment… make it believable. It becomes hard to stay enveloped in the moment when those things are slowed down for filming, because everything becomes much more intricate. For me, having to stay emotionally relevant in scenes that were physically demanding – which happens a few times with A-Train in this season – presented some new challenges, but I hope it turned out well.
CC: A lot of the challenges were trying not to laugh! There were some special effect style work and tests that knocked it out of the park but that was challenging too.
Your two characters have gone through a lot over the previous two seasons. How do you think the dynamic between The Deep and A-Train alters between season two and season three?
JTU: I think it’s left a scar on their relationship. It felt like there was a bond with the Collective, a common ground, then we lost sight of what was in front of them when Vought dangled something flashy – and especially for A-Train when he thought there was a chance of being back as part of The Seven.
CC I think it’s that thing where it feels like the star is fading quickly, causing lack of self-confidence. So, all they care about is hanging onto that and staying relevant.
We see A-Train trying to go back to his roots and choosing to wear a new suit. How do you play this transition and did it feel genuine for this character ?
JTU: It feel like some of the decisions A-Train makes are very surface-level: he doesn’t consider the full length of the steps he is taking. He knew something was wrong, he wanted to get back in touch with his past, so, he goes for a new look, a new costume. He never considered what that would mean… the community he was trying to reach. His only goal was to get back in The Seven and get his numbers up. But now he has to confront those actual problems after digging a deep hole. He’s got some work ahead of him. I think in this season he works out what he wants in life comes with a price.
Chase, did you get to eat an actual octopus?
CC: Yes – half! They taste like mochi, like dough. Just gross. But actually it was very well organised and planned-out, so on the day we only took a few takes. I had tape and string on my face and someone pulling it. It looks amazingly disgusting.
Can you talk tell us about how you reacted to the Herogasm story being brought to life in this season?
CC: It was wild.
J.T.U: It was a different adaptation than you can ever imagine, that’s for sure. I’d seen it, I’d read it in the source material; I think I knew what people were expecting, but I’m happy to say that I don’t think anyone will be able to predict what you’re actually going to get. It’s as concerning as it should be!
Do you have a favourite scene or sequence that either of you shot individually or together in this season?
JTU: In the Vought. The moment finally to address the issues we had with each other – I thought that was a long time coming, we should have done that in the past. But The Deep and A-Train always try and avoid that kind of conflict.
CC: I agree – and also some of the stunts were kind of fun, and there’s some bigger moments that come later in the season too.
You had that moment of fighting in the Vought that is then interrupted as Homelander comes in. How physical do you think you would have been prepared to go? Who would win that conflict if it was to play out?
CC: You went low; you punched me in the gills man – you’re not allowed to.
JTU: A-train had to. What else was he going to do? He’s not in the best shape of his life, he had to play dirty. I think someone would have had to step in. I don’t think it would have come to a fight to the death though. It was just something that hadn’t been said yet and needed to get out.
What do you think makes this series so popular and sets it apart from other superhero genre stories?
JTU: I think we can humanise these characters. Superheroes always seem to be unobtainable, idolised and living in a completely different universe to us, but now these superheroes are in reach – you can touch them and influence them through social media and by popularity. The people around them also have more control. They feel very real, the suffering is so humanised. That’s something I personally like and appreciate about the show.
CC: Yes, it didn’t really follow any formula, there’s so many unpredictable moments on the show. It deals with that that grey area of human nature and corruption, although there’s a fairly predictable story arc with some of the moral stuff, but it’s really about all the character development.
The Boys: Season Three is released on Amazon Prime on 3rd June 2022.
Watch the trailer for The Boys: Season Three here: