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The Story Behind The Speedboat Stunt On The Boys Season 2

In case you hadn't heard, The Boys is back on Amazon Prime Video, and season 2 of the nihilistic anti-superhero saga is bigger, bloodier, and a whole lot meaner than the season that preceded it. 

That'll hardly come as a surprise to fans of The Boys' inaugural season, though, as it already proved itself a boundary-pushing experiment in savagely obscene super-powered shenanigans. So much so that season 1 viewers might rightfully have believed it impossible to top some of the series' more violent (and frequently disgusting) acts. 

For those who've yet to dip a toe into the turbulent waters of The Boys, the series is set in an alternate reality where superheroes not only exist, but they're revered as deities, and have essentially been privatized by big business. This is in spite of the fact that many of the biggest "Supes" around are, in fact, lecherous villains of the first order who care not a bit for humanity. There are, however, a select few who know the score when it comest to their super-powered oppressors, and they're out to bring down the baddies by any means necessary.

They call themselves The Boys, and they're led by the fearless Billy Butcher (portrayed by the great Karl Urban). Yes, Billy and his crew have been known to fight fire with unholy fire in their mission to de-throne the super-powered elite, which means their own acts of dissent have often been every bit as disgusting as their foes. And yes, season 2 actually manages to trump season 1 in terms of stomach-churning acts of violence. 

According to Karl Urban's recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, one of season 2's best gross-outs stemmed from his own love of speedboats IRL. 

Karl Urban's love of boating inspired that infamous speedboat scene

If you've seen the third episode of The Boys' second season, the mention of a speedboat likely made you cringe, because it's the vehicle Billy steers right into a beached whale when facing off against sexually predatory Supe The Deep (Chace Crawford). As that boat makes impact, the scene erupts in an explosion of blood and viscera that simply has to be seen to be believed. Per Urban's Times interview, the gruesome scene was largely achieved using practical effects, and with him at the wheel of the boat.  

"Season 1 was pretty shocking and explosive. Season 2 is just epic. Season 2 was way bigger in the stunt/action department. One of my favorite sequences is in Episode 3," he said. "We spent a week on the water driving a speed boat. [Showrunner] Eric Kripke saw Instagram posts of me on my boat during the off-season and thought that was a skill set he could utilize for the show. The fun aspect was that we did it all very old school. All of the actors were in the boat, no doubles, and we were really flying along, jumping waves while a helicopter with a long lens did multiple passes. It takes old-school film technique to do it, and that means doing it for real."

As hard as it is to believe that The Boys' production team actually let Urban motorboat around the open sea with roughly half the series' cast in tow, they obviously didn't let him drive a boat right into a beach whale. They clearly did, however, build an actual whale prop for the bloody effect, and that sort of attention to even the sickest of details is what makes The Boys such a viscerally vile joy to watch. That, and Urban's scenery-chewing work as Mr. Butcher, of course.