Jensen Ackles on Stepping Into the 'Twisted' World of 'The Boys' Season 3 (Exclusive)

Karl Urban, Jack Quaid and Chace Crawford talk to ET about welcoming the 'Supernatural' alum into the fold as Soldier Boy.

Jensen Ackles may still be in the Supernatural universe as narrator and executive producer of The CW's upcoming prequel, The Winchesters, but he'll be putting a twist on the superhero genre when he suits up as Soldier Boy on season 3 of Amazon Prime Video's The Boys. To prepare for the role as one the original Supes, the 44-year-old actor bulked up considerably. 

"I did, I did. It's all gone now, I feel like a deflated balloon," Ackles said to ET's Matt Cohen, admitting the process of getting into shape "was difficult, especially during COVID" due to gyms being closed. 

"I just had to throw my kids around as much as I could and that'll quickly build your muscle. Had I known -- this is what Antony [Starr] says to me, he was like, 'Why don't you just have them add muscles to your suit?' I’m like, 'Oh, oh a**hole, thanks, yeah,'" he said jokingly. "But then putting on the suit, those things are works of art. They're incredibly well-crafted and well-made but they're not ideal to spend 14 hours in day in and day out, so something about peeling those things off at the end of the day was very satisfying."

Turning the page to the next chapter of his career after 15 seasons being in Dean Winchester's shoes on Supernatural was freeing, but Ackles acknowledged he hasn't had much time to think about his legacy -- especially with the prequel slated for a fall launch and keeping busy with new projects. (He'll be a series regular on the new season of ABC's Big Sky.)

"I haven’t found the time! I’ve cloned myself. I am No. 3," Ackles said with a laugh. "You're speaking to No.3 today."

"A lot of people forget that we we filmed this a year ago and it takes a long time to post The Boys as you can imagine," he reminded. "It is quite the spectacle. Everybody’s got some other things going on and we just ty to keep juicing this industry as much as we possibly can. It's feast or famine and coming in to play this role certainly after coming off of 15 years of Eric Kripke's world, it's felt very natural to just step right into another one."

"And this one was basically all the things that Kripke would’ve probably done on Supernatural and now gotten to do on The Boys. It's Kripke unleashed and it just goes to show what a sick, twisted person he really is," Ackles said, ribbing his former Supernatural collaborator.

His other Boys co-stars also had glowing things to say about Ackles' presence in the new season, acknowledging that there were times when the actor was hesitant about how far he could go on the NSFW superhero show.

"Working on The Boys for Jensen Ackles was a process of finding his line in the sand of what is too far to go and when you have Jensen Ackles going, 'Dude, I don’t know if I can do this, man,' you know you’re in the right place. The audience is in for a real treat," Karl Urban said, adding that Ackles fit "right in." "He's one of those guys who has an innate ability to assess a situation in a scene and actually come up with really constructive ideas about how to make it work to make it better. He's a seasoned pro and we were really lucky to have him."

"He did a bazillion seasons with Eric on Supernatural but for him to just be like, 'Yo, this is too far,' you thought he was used to how far it could go and he was not," Jack Quaid added. "He was great to have on the show. He was just such an incredible presence and we had a lot of fun, the three of us."

Fans of The Boys are in for a real treat (and tons of surprises!) when the episodes officially kick off Friday, but, as Chace Crawford joked, the best celebrity appearance was Ackles.

"There’s this guy right here," Crawford said, pointing to Ackles. "Getting him on this season was just incredible for many reasons." 

But there may be a few familiar faces popping up over the course of the season, some that will be unexpected.

"The first episode, I remember we watched it [when] it premiered in Paris and the first episode is there are some very familiar faces," Ackles recalled. "I remember turning to Kripke thinking, 'How the hell did you get that person to do what you just...?'"

"Very familiar faces doing things you don't necessarily expect," Crawford teased. 

The first three episodes of The Boys season 3 drop Friday on Amazon Prime Video.

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