Fans of The Boys got their wish on Friday during New York Comic Con. Simon Pegg, who served as a physical model for a lead character in the comics, surprised those gathered at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan to confirm he does have a part to play in the R-rated Amazon series adaptation.
As Pegg stormed the stage, the actor — who now joins a cast that includes his Star Trek costar Karl Urban — revealed he’ll portray the father of Hughie (played by Jack Quaid), one of the members of the titular Boys.
“I’m here for two reasons,” Pegg told the crowd. “Firstly to endorse this beautiful young boy here, Jack Quaid, as the one true Hughie, and to let you know that I will also be appearing in The Boys in the only role I could possibly play: Hughie’s father. And I’m damned please about it!”
“I got a British dad now,” Quaid laughed.
Hughie Sr. is named Dougie, a Scottish name in honor of Hughie’s Scottish background in the comics. “He’s just one in a line of men who haven’t really fronted up to life and has spent most of his time eating pizza rolls and watching Remington Steele…,” Pegg explains. “Hughie really is the one that breaks that cycle of inactivity and torpor, so in a way Hugh’s father is a specter of his own kind of inaction and he has to take a stand.”
Darick Robertson, who drew the original comics with writer Garth Ennis, famously modeled the character of “Wee” Hughie off of Pegg. “I heard from Darick and I found out that my face is being used in this comic book,” the Star Trek actor recalled, and DC Comics, which released the title at the time, “wrote me a frightened letter just saying, ‘Please don’t sue us.'”
Instead, he was “flattered beyond belief.”
As showrunner Eric Kripke, the creator of Supernatural and Timeless, developed the comic as a series with Preacher‘s Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, conversations with Pegg were inevitable. Pegg recalled having discussions with the production about “maybe being in the show and we discussed how, and it just seemed so perfect to be Jack’s father.”
The hardest part of the role, according to Pegg, was “eating pizza rolls. I’d never had one before and this scene required me to ingest upwards of about three and I felt very unwell by the end of the day.”
The Boys — also starring Laz Alonso, Karen Fukuhara, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Chace Crawford, Elisabeth Shue, and Tomer Capone — embraces the graphic nature of the comics. It’s a world where superheroes exist, but instead of accepting that with great power comes great responsibility, they are completely corrupted by power. The Boys, a blue-collar team of ruffians, are the ones who keep them in check — even if that means disemboweling or dismembering them.
“We have a competition between us about who can be in the most franchises,” Urban joked.
“We’re a couple of franchise whores and we’re really proud of it,” Pegg quipped.