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The Real Reason Jack Quaid Had A Safe Word On The Boys Set

Amazon's "The Boys" is a breath of fresh air for fans of superheroes and comic books, largely because of its self-aware, borderline satirical approach to dark knights and men of steel. Billy Butcher's (Karl Urban) crusade to tear down the team of so-called "heroes" and the company behind them is clearly a hit with Amazon Prime subscribers — the incredibly violent series from showrunner Eric Kripke has an 84% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes against a 91% critic rating. The end of Season 2 leaves the heroes and villains in some surprising positions, so it'll be interesting to see where Season 3 picks up.

Season 2 really ramps up the blood and gore when Billy eventually finds his way back to the team after his confrontation with Homelander (Antony Starr). One incredibly memorable moment sees the gang fleeing on a speedboat from the Deep (Chace Crawford), who is chasing them on the back of a giant whale. Unfortunately, the so-called hero tries to stop them by having the whale beach itself in their escape route, but Billy decides to just plow right into the giant mammal. Billy and the Boys find themselves inside the whale's body covered in blood, guts, and who knows what else.

But Jack Quaid, who plays the lovable Hughie Campbell, had a safe word on the set for the scene, and not for the reason you might expect.

Jack Quaid's safe word was 'Karl'

When speaking to Entertainment Tonight ahead of "The Boys" Season 2, Karl Urban opened up about working with Jack Quaid on the second batch of episodes. He joked that "this season has given Jack Quaid a lifelong fear of boats," referring to the speedboat chase scene. According to Urban, his co-star was "white as a sheet" when the boat was "jumping waves" on Lake Ontario. It's surprising that it wasn't the grim whale set that affected Quaid instead, but then again, because of the show's violent nature, he's probably used to working with fake blood and gore. Let's not forget that he's also one of the main characters in 2022's "Scream."

However, Urban revealed that Quaid's safe word for the scene was simply "Karl" — because he was the one driving the boat. The "Boys" and "Star Trek" star also added that he didn't initially realize that Quaid had a crippling fear of being on a boat. Instead, he just thought his co-star was ill. "I thought he was just seasick or something, but no, he was actually in mortal fear of his very life."

Hopefully, Jack Quaid doesn't need a boat-related safe word going into "The Boys" Season 3, which is already set to be an incredibly unhinged season of TV. Showrunner Eric Kripke previously confirmed that the show will adapt the "Herogasm" arc of the comics, so the series will lean even harder into the truly depraved nature of Vought's superheroes.