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Jensen Ackles on 'The Boys' craziness in S3: 'I didn't know where my line was, but you found it'

The first three episodes of The Boys Season 3 land Prime Video Friday, June 3.

By Josh Weiss
Jensen Ackles in The Boys Season 3

For months, the actors and creatives behind The Boys have teased the craziness contained within the upcoming third season, which hits Prime Video on June 3.

We'd expect nothing less from a show in which a psychotic version of Superman has an addiction to fresh milk, a duly elected Congresswoman can blow up a person's head at a moment's notice, and... a phallic part of the male anatomy can choke a person to death. These things are just par for the course in Amazon's raunchy and ultra-violent takedown of the superhero genre, but Season 3 will blow the doors off with all the punching power of Antony Starr's Homelander.

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly for a lengthy feature on the show's hotly-anticipated return next month, cast member Karen Fukuhara (who plays the role of Kimiko, aka The Female) promised that the NSFW hijinks to come will make Season 2's visceral whale sequence "look like a piece of cake" by comparison. "It's not just about the crazy action scenes [or] the social commentary," she added. "[It's also about] the depths of the characters, and the darkness that some of them go through. I don't know how we did it, but hopefully it's allowed to air."

This upping of the ante wouldn't have been possible without the runaway success of the first two installments. The Season 2 premiere, for instance, bagged more viewers than a pair of genre juggernauts: Stranger Things 3 and The Mandalorian. As a result, showrunner/executive producer Eric Kripke and his team were given free reign to adapt some of the most outrageous moments from the original comics that fans have been clamoring for since the project first began.

Moments like infamous "Herogasm" storyline, in which the world's superheroes head to an island retreat for a debaucherous, week-long orgy. "It's maybe not what people would expect," teased Starr (Homelander), referring to the show's penchant for riffing on the source material created by writer Garth Ennis and artist Darrick Robertson. "If you were to ask the Amazon executives, they would deny it, but I feel like ['Herogasm'] was in a strange way a reward for two seasons of a successful show," Kripke told EW. "There was no way we could have sold that pitch the first season."

"We definitely have more permission to go nuts," added Jack Quaid (Hughie Campbell). "I feel like every season we reset what the ceiling is, and somehow we push through it. I don't know how we can keep raising the bar for messed-up things, but Eric keeps finding a way."

Elsewhere, notorious Supe-hater Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) breaks his own set of shaky ethics by ingesting a serum that grants him super-human abilities for a period of 24 hours. His if-you-can't-be-them-join-them philosophy "leads to unexpected alliances and conflicts between characters that historically get along," Urban said, explaining that Butcher is "sick of being told that he has to go to a gunfight with a knife."

To wrap it all up, you've got the arrival of Soldier Boy, a Captain America-inspired relic of the 1940s with extremely troubling views on society. The new character is played by Supernatural vet Jensen Ackles, who, like fellow cast member Chace Crawford, was rather hesitant about what was being asked of him as an actor. Since the World War II-era Supe hails from a time period known for its rampant bigotry and sexism, we can only imagine what was written in the script.

Ackles allegedly approached Kripke and said: "As a father of three, and a son and a husband and a self-respecting human being, I can't do this. I didn't know where my line was, but you found it." While neither actor nor showrunner gave up any details on what the disagreement was about, Kripke did admit that they were able to find "a compromise where I got what I needed without him destroying his soul."

The first three episodes of The Boys Season 3 land Prime Video Friday, June 3. Subsequent episodes will drop every Friday after that.

Looking for more science fiction and bloody thrills? Check out SYFY's Resident Alien, as well as Chucky, streaming now on Peacock.