“We are doing some insane, insane stuff this season”
Jack Quaid: “No one is okay” in 'The Boys' Season 3
The busiest actor in geekdom tells Inverse about 'Star Trek: Lower Decks,' 'My Adventures with Superman,' and dying his hair purple.
Whichever fandom you belong to, there’s a good chance Jack Quaid is involved. After two seasons playing vigilante Hughie Campbell on Amazon’s smash-hit series The Boys, Quaid joined the Star Trek franchise, lending his nervous vocal stylings to the role of Brad Boimler in Paramount+’s animated Lower Decks. Next, Quaid will expand his range by starring in HBO Max’s My Adventures With Superman, an animated series in which he’ll play... Superman himself, a far cry from his best-known role in Amazon’s blood-soaked superhero series.
“In the world of The Boys, people are covered in blood all the time and screaming,” Quaid tells Inverse. “It's all terrible: fun to watch, but terrible!”
In that context, taking on the titular role in My Adventures With Superman felt like a refreshing change of pace. “Playing Superman is the other side of the coin,” says Quaid. “It’s not jaded or sarcastic.”
Having the opportunity to portray this legendary character is “a gift,” he adds, though he can’t reveal much else about his upcoming take on the Man of Tomorrow – other than he’s researching with the help of the DC comic series All-Star Superman. “There’s like this sheer purity to him,” Quaid says. “He's very earnest and just wants the best for everyone.”
However Quaid plays the character, it appears a good bet that his interpretation will exist far removed from the darker Superman of Zack Snyder’s DC entries, and perhaps closer to what we’ve seen of the beloved character on The CW’s Superman and Lois.
Attack on Titan – For Trek fans, Quaid is already associated with earnest, well-meaning characters through his portrayal of the anxiously buttoned-up Ensign Bradward Boimler. Actually, make that Lieutenant Boimler.
At the end of Lower Decks Season 1, Brad was promoted and transferred off the sleepy USS Cerritos – and, in theory, plunged straight into the action with Captain Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes) on the USS Titan.
“You could easily write us off as ‘the funny Star Trek show,’ but I love that Mike [McMahan] and the writers made sure to make these people feel as real as possible,” says Quaid. “They grow, they change, they learn things about themselves, and they rank up – [or] they get demoted. I think you especially saw that in our Season 1 finale. Big events happen: I got transferred, and Shax died. We're sticking to that, which is really, really interesting.”
Two years ago, before Quaid knew Boimler’s story arc in Lower Decks, the actor says fellow Lower Decks voice star Frakes – reprising his legacy Star Trek role as Riker – ruined the Season 1 finale for him over a dinner in Toronto with Karl Urban, who played Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy in the recent Star Trek live-action films.
“Trek fans in that restaurant were freaking out to see Karl and Jonathan together,” says Quaid. “They weren't looking at me. I mean: it’s Bones and Number One having dinner together. But, yeah, Jonathan told me, ‘Oh, you’re going to come work on my ship.’ And that’s how I found out about Boimler’s storyline.”
Beam Him Up – Given the pandemic, Quaid has been prevented from attending fan conventions to promote Lower Decks, The Boys, and now My Adventures With Superman. But he’s ready to hit up in-person events when the time is right. And when the opportunity arises, he plans to honor a promise made on Twitter that, at any Trek convention, he’ll come dressed as Brad Boimler.
“I’m not sure about safety precautions yet,” Quaid says. “But, when I'm back doing conventions, I will have purple hair, and I will try my best at the uniform. I mean, we only have one life, guys. Come on. Let's do it.”
Lower Decks takes place a few years before the earliest flashback in Star Trek: Picard, meaning it could be chronologically possible for characters from the animated series to cross over. Quaid confirms he would be open to playing a live-action version of Boimler in Picard, if asked. “It would be a lot of stammering and a lot of mumbling if Boimler met Picard,” Quaid says, briefly doing an impression of Boimler attempting to get out the name “Jean-Luc” as if mid-conversation with the captain.
“I don't know how Jean-Luc reacts in that situation,” Quaid jokes. “He’d be like, ‘Who are you, and why are you word-vomiting in my Chateau?’ I don’t know why they're in the Chateau. That’s just in my head.”
No One Is Okay – With Lower Decks Season 2 coming in August of this year, a Superman series, and The Boys Season 3 on the way, Quaid’s keeping busy.
The next big question on everyone’s mind concerns Hughie, the actor’s beloved, beleaguered hero in The Boys. At the end of Season 2, Hughie was separated from the rest of the titular gang – seemingly forever. What’s next for the character?
“I can’t say anything about it,” the actor insists, laughing, though he leaves Inverse with a tantalizing promise. “We are doing some insane, insane stuff this season,” says Quaid. “No one is okay.”
Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 1 is out now on Blu-ray.