SPOILERS ALERT: Don’t read if you haven’t seen The Instant White-Hot Wild, the final episode of The Boys season 3.
Jensen Ackles knows a thing or two about playing men who, after his 15 seasons as Dean Winchester on The CW’s “Supernatural” and his role as the toxic-male superhero Soldier Boy in the now-completed film, play men who are less than have healthy relationships with their fathers third season of Amazon’s “The Boys”.
But which of the two Ackles characters – one who did whatever his demon-hunting father John Winchester (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) asked of him and his brother Sam (Jared Padalecki), and the other who went so far as to join a corrupt corporation to have? injecting him with a chemical that gave him superpowers to gain his dad’s approval – did he have a bigger “daddy issues” complex?
“Oh definitely Soldier Boy. He definitely had the worst father and has deeper issues because of it,” Ackles said Diversity. “As for Dean, I don’t think Dean ever necessarily sought his father’s approval like Soldier Boy did. He just idolized his father in a way that was unique given their circumstances, given that they lived in a world that was way, way different than a relationship. Also dealing with the fact that his father was motivated by revenge and he was essentially John Winchester’s mini-me. He was his little soldier. I think it was less about his approval and more about, ‘This is what I’m supposed to do because my dad taught me to do it.’”
Ackles added that Soldier Boy just wanted his father’s approval – which he never got even after becoming the original superhero – and in return rejected his own son Homelander (Antony Starr) and grandson Ryan (Cameron Crovetti) because they didn’t live up to his standards – “Dean idolized his father and definitely had him on a pedestal.” And Ackles has been thinking about Dean’s father a lot lately as he’s executive producing The CW is.
“Now you could certainly hack away at that pedestal all day,” Ackles said. “But I think John Winchester really loved his sons and what he did, you could certainly argue that it was the wrong way to go about it, but it was all rooted in love. He felt the way he did and embarked on the journey he embarked on because of the love of his wife and family. It is the classic situation of doing the right thing wrong. And I think John was probably a lot more to blame for that than Soldier Boy’s father, who just did the wrong thing wrong. He was just wrong across the board. Nothing will ever be good enough, nothing will ever impress his father.”
Both Dean Winchester and this version of Soldier Boy (an adaptation of the character from The Boys comics by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson) sprang from the mind of Amazon Supernatural and The Boys creator Eric Kripke. When Ackles joined The Boys for Season 3 after his long-running lead role on Supernatural, he was reunited with his longtime co-star Jim Beaver (who played Dean and Sam’s surrogate father, Bobby Singer, on the CW drama, playing Presidential Candidate Robert singer in the superhero show), but not on the big screen.
“There was a scene where Homelander is speaking at a Robert Singer rally and he imagines Soldier Boy walking through the crowd,” Ackles said. “That was the only time I was on set when Jim was on set. And that in itself was really bizarre, to be sitting next to someone I’ve worked with for years and not only have a wonderful working relationship with but also a personal relationship with, and to be sitting on a very different set with very different characters playing.”
As for the actual “Supernatural” Easter eggs that Kripke got in season 3 of The Boys, Ackles is a reference to Dean Winchester’s terrible eating habits. “It was funny, the first scene where we actually get to hear Soldier Boy eat fast food. Of course he is,” Ackles laughed.