Jensen Ackles’ Soldier Boy quickly became the fan-favorite villain in The Boys, but apparently, the actor had almost no chance of getting the role — so he fought for it.
Soldier Boy first appeared in the latest season of The Boys but he swiftly captured the show’s fans’ attention by proving that he’s far more than your average Evil Joe. Even apart from Ackles’ great performance, Soldier Boy has quite a lot going for him — including his virtually built-in dynamic with Homelander, the staple of the series.
At the end of season 3, we saw a cliffhanger for Soldier Boy: despite remaining alive, the antagonist was locked in his capsule. This got the audience guessing whether this character will return in S4 or will he stay locked in there — but Jensen Ackles has already hinted at Soldier Boy’s comeback.
To be frank, there was almost zero chance that we’d be listening to this type of hints and teases from Ackles. The actor himself admits that he was never supposed to play Soldier Boy, and The Boys’ creators didn’t even think of him when creating a short-list: they wanted a way bigger actor to play the part. But Jensen didn’t give up.
“Apparently, there was a shortlist of names they were talking about at the studio. I certainly wasn’t on that list, and it consisted of names that were far more recognizable than mine. But I said that I was willing to fight, and [Eric Kripke] said, ‘If you’re willing to fight for it, then I might be able to help you.’ And so he did,” shared the actor.
The process of auditioning for the role no one expected him to fit was even harder than it could’ve been because of the lockdown. Even with showrunner Kripke’s help, Jensen still needed to convince everyone else that he was the perfect fit… And he didn’t even have a partner to record the screen test with!
“I had to put myself on tape, this was during peak COVID, so I didn’t really have help in doing so. I had to pre-record the other person’s lines, which happened to be Butcher. So I had to do my best Butcher impression and then I would play those lines back and finally, I would give the Soldier Boy performance,” explained Ackles.
Despite all the hardship, the actor got a great tape in the end — not without the help from the showrunner who helped Jensen in his fight for the Soldier Boy role.
“Luckily, I had Kripke coaching me and he was able to put the best tape forward that I could muster. He sent it up the ladder, got all the checkmarks, and that’s how it happened. But I fought for it, man. I fought for it pretty hard,” admitted the actor.
The story of Jensen Ackles’ success is cool as it is, and he played the character masterfully — we don’t suppose there’s a single person in the audience who hated the actor’s performance in The Boys. But now we can’t stop wondering, who were those big-name actors that were short-listed to play the part initially?..