Karl Urban Describes How Jack Quaid’s ‘The Boys’ Whale Scene Safe Word Totally Backfired

There aren’t many TV shows willing to show a speedboat plow into a beached sperm whale. Then again, there aren’t many — or any — TV shows like The Boys. Star Jack Quaid is the son of two famous actors, but he wasn’t relying on acting chops when he looked terrified as the boat sped toward shore in a Season 2 episode. Quaid had a safe word to voice his fear during the scene, but it completely backfired, as Karl Urban detailed in a hilarious story.

Laura Mrkoci as Nun attacks Jack Quaid as Hughie Campbell in Season 3 of 'The Boys.' Quaid's safe word used during a Season 2 episode backfired when co-star Karl Urban couldn't hear him screaming it.
Laura Mrkoci attacks Jack Quaid in Season 3 of ‘The Boys’ | Amazon Studios

‘The Boys’ Season 2 episode features Jack Quaid and Karl Urban in several scenes on the water

The third episode of Season 2 starts off with Quaid’s Hughie, Karl Urban’s Billy, and Laz Alonso’s Milk on a boat at sea. “Over the Hill With the Swords of a Thousand Men” revisits the boat a few times during the episode, but the highlight of the waterplay is the high-speed chase featuring the speedboat and the whale. 

Urban helmed the boat with Quaid forward near the bow. But Urban told Entertainment Tonight (via YouTube) that the episode might have been Quaid’s first time on a boat.

“[Season 2] has given Jack Quaid a lifelong fear of boats,” Urban said. “They put him in a speedboat I was driving, and let me tell you, we were going fast, jumping waves. Jack’s raised in Hollywood; I don’t know if he’d ever been on board before, let alone that boat that’s airborne.”

Urban might be right that his young co-star Quaid hadn’t spent much time on a boat before filming The Boys. Quaid hada safeword to use during the whale scene, but screaming it completely backfired, as Urban said.

Quaid’s safe word during the whale scene didn’t get Urban to slow down — because he couldn’t hear it

A speedboat engine going full boar is loud enough. Add in the wind, an airborne boat slamming back down onto the water, and a hovering helicopter filming the whole scene, and you have a recipe for Quaid not to be heard as he shouted his safe word.

There’s a moment right before the boat slams into the whale where Quaid looks terrified as he yells, “Stop!” As Urban told ET, Quaid might have channeled real terror for that shot. One take, in particular, prompted Quaid to scream for safety, but no one heard it.

“He had a safety word that he had to scream out if he ever felt unsafe, and it was ‘Karl.’ Apparently, I was driving along, and we were jumping waves, and he was going, ‘Karl! Karl! Karl!’ But I couldn’t see his face because he was facing forward, and I couldn’t hear him because there was a helicopter shooting us, and the sound of the engine, but I remember at the end of one run looking over at Laz, and he’s fine, and I look over at Jack, and he was white as a sheet. I thought he was just, like, seasick or something, but no, he’s in mortal fear of his very life. So he’s like, ‘I’m tapping out.’”

Karl Urban describes how Jack Quaid’s safe word during The Boys‘ whale scene fell on deaf ears

Having Urban commandeer a boat on rough waters had Quaid shouting his safe word. The terrifying experience might give the young actor pause before getting on a boat again, but at least he didn’t really have to go inside a sperm whale for the scene.

RELATED: ‘The Boys’ Star Jack Quaid Reveals Why Hughie Looks Different in Season 2 

‘The Boys’ Season 3 is almost over, but we know Billy Butcher and Hughie Campbell return for Season 4

New episodes for The Boys Season 3 hit Amazon Prime every Friday, and the finale sticks with that schedule. Episode 8, titled “The Instant White-Hot Wild,” starts streaming July 8. 

Season 3, Episode 8 is just goodbye for now, though. Amid the third season, Amazon confirmed it renewed The Boys for Season 4. The show has grown in popularity since it started streaming, and thanks to the comics it’s based on, there’s no shortage of story ideas to draw from. 

Amazon didn’t announce a premiere date for Season 4, but the past seasons give some indication of when it will start. Season 3 started streaming on June 3, 2022. Season 1 debuted in late July 2019, while Season 2 dropped in September 2020. A mid-year release could be in the cards for Season 4, but Amazon will surely announce a firm date the closer it gets. 

Hopefully for Quaid, he won’t need a safe word on the water that no one can hear for Season 4.

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