Jensen Ackles on his naked Soldier Boy intro on The Boys: 'Nothing on but a sock'
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Warning: This article contains spoilers from The Boys season 3, episode 4.
Jensen Ackles got a chilly welcome on the set of The Boys. The first scene he filmed on location in Toronto for the show's third season was Soldier Boy's debut in the flesh: emerging butt naked from a cryogenic chamber in the fourth episode.
"What better way to bring a new guy onto the set and then make him take all his clothes off?" Ackles remarks in an interview for EW's On Set video series, which goes behind the scenes of The Boys season 3. "So, yeah, it was a nice intro for me into a completely foreign space with nothing on but a sock."
After appearing in flashbacks and archival footage in earlier episodes, Ackles' Soldier Boy makes his formal introduction in the episode "Glorious Five Year Plan." He's been presumed dead for years after an international mission with his supe team, Payback, went wrong. The Boys believe he was killed by the Russians, thanks to a weapon called BCL Red. But when investigating BCL Red in the Motherland, the group find there is no weapon. It's Soldier Boy, who has secretly been kept alive all this time in cryogenic stasis.
Ackles also confirms his Cast Away-esque beard was legit. He spent the winter of 2020 in the Colorado mountains with his family, and that's when the beard took shape. "I didn't know that I could grow a beard," the actor remarks. "It became its own thing. I had more products on the bathroom counter for the hair on my face than anything else and it was a little obnoxious. My wife was done with it. She was like 'Enough with the beard. Can we get rid of that?'"
Soldier Boy's debut on The Boys was a lot more explosive than just beard and butt. Upon release from his chamber, the supe reveals he has an unforeseen power: he can unleash a devastating blast from his body that seemingly negates supe powers. Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) gets caught in the blast after knocking Frenchie (Tomer Capone) out of the way. They quickly realize that her wounds aren't healing by themselves, as they normally would.
Eric Kripke, the series executive producer, explains this change to Soldier Boy.
"We talked a lot about Soldier Boy in the writer's room as this walking Chernobyl, and it just all fit together, if not necessarily logically, emotionally," Kripke says.
It links to the cover-up story, which claimed that Soldier Boy died when a nuclear reactor collapsed on top of him. "Once he was taken to the Russians and subjected to all of these horrific, highly radioactive experiments... he's just this like walking nuclear reactor, which obviously makes him a lot more dangerous, both to people and to superheroes because he can fry the Compound V right out of their blood," he adds.
Watch EW's On Set in the video above to learn more behind-the-scenes intel on The Boys season 3, episode 4.
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