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What Only British Fans Of The Boys Notice About Billy Butcher

In many ways, The Boys is a distinctly American show. It's themes are universal, of course, but it's a show about superheroes, an art form the United States spawned and perhaps does best. The show is also about capitalism's unending ability to control and corrupt, and that theme also feels pretty American too, these days. Although the show definitely has a very American flavor, more than one of its leads is actually an immigrant. Karl Urban's Billy Butcher has a distinct accent, although where you think he's from may depend slightly on what your own accent sounds like. 

Most American viewers correctly assume that Butcher is supposed to be British. He's got the kind of working-class persona that suggests he may have grown up in Liverpool and eventually moved to the States. Butcher's back story is left vague, but we do meet his parents in the The Boys' second season, and they are obviously British. We may not know everything about Butcher, but we definitely know his country of origin. It's clear to British fans of the show, however, that the man bringing Butcher to life does not hail from the same native soil as his character.

Karl Urban is actually from New Zealand

Although American viewers may be totally convinced by Karl Urban's accent work as Billy Butcher, according to a Reddit thread, those watching the show from the U.K. were a little more skeptical. In fact, some of these viewers believed that Billy was actually supposed to be from Australia or New Zealand and that Karl Urban was just using his native accent — he's from New Zealand, after all. After catching up on the show, though, they realized that Billy was meant to be British, and Urban has just having some difficulty covering up his accent. "Don't get me wrong, fantastic acting, but it wasn't hard for me to notice the fact that his British/ English accent did not sound English at all," says original poster Bunny_Hunny4.

U.K. viewers weren't the only ones to express their consternation. Australian viewers also noticed Urban's accent immediately, and suggested that he had cobbled his accent together from various parts of the UK. Although it's hard to deny that Urban is giving a great performance as Billy, his accent work isn't a highlight for most viewers. Instead, it seems to be the one thing that drags his performance down. 

Karl Urban isn't the only actor hiding an accent on The Boys

Although Karl Urban's accent isn't exactly fooling anyone, there's another actor who seems to be doing a much better job at hiding his native accent. Antony Starr, who plays Homelander on the show, is from New Zealand, but has been tasked with adopting an American accent. Homelander's accent is even more crucial than Butcher's, because Homelander is meant to be an all-American hero. If the actor playing him couldn't do a convincing American accent, the entire illusion would fall apart. 

Thankfully, Starr has carefully practiced his accent work, and has managed to cover up his native dialect pretty successfully. Homelander is a picture of American exceptionalism, and it's fitting that his sharp American accent stands in sharp contrast to Butcher's British amalgamation. Both actors are delivering great performances, but only one of them is doing enough accent work to fool viewers all over the world.