SPOILER ALERT: The final question in this interview contains spoilers for the Season 3 finale of The Boys.
“I love Boimler,” says Star Trek: Lower Decks star Jack Quaid of his adorably unfortunate character, Brad Boimler. “I love him so much.”
Quaid’s third season, which voices the Starfleet Ensign, kicked off Thursday on Paramount+, but as announced by Quaid and co-star Tawny Newsome (who voices Ens. Beckett Mariner) at San Diego Comic-Con in July, both will Actors playing live-action roles for the first time in a Season 2 episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds in 2023, the actor explained diversity how the episode was possible, why he’s proud of Boimler in season 3 of Lower Decks, how his character in The Boys will react to the big reveal in the season 3 finale, and what he wants for the cast of The Boys ‘ spinoff series ‘Gen V.’
What do you do to get into Boimler’s headspace when recording the show?
I think I’m just listening to Mike McMahon talk about Star Trek. His enthusiasm for this franchise is just so contagious, it’s sure to rub off on you. Boimler worries about all things Starfleet all the time, just as Mike does about all things Star Trek. So they naturally enter this environment. Besides that… I raise my voice a bit and he kind of just comes out of me. I’ve always wanted to play a jerk like him on a show like this. I’ve been a cartoon nerd for ages. I really love pronouncing it. He just has a very special place in my heart. And it was cool to actually be the live-action version of him in the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds crossover.
So you’re playing a live-action version of Boimler and not voicing him?
Let me just be clear. So Tawny Newsome and I play live-action versions of Mariner and Boimler. We come to Strange New Worlds. We’re coming aboard the Enterprise. I’m not going to go into the plot details of exactly how this happens. But we have to be on the physical set. We actually need to be on the bridge and in the transporter bay and in the corridors. We have to go through the whole ship and interact with this amazing cast. There are some animated elements in the episode, but it’s not like a Roger Rabbit where an animated Boimler follows Pike down a hallway. It’s not like that.
What was it like suddenly impersonating Boimler, and as a sequel, is your hair purple?
Oh it’s purple. Definitely purple. We have taken care of that. Yes, it was really, really cool. It was such an interesting challenge as an actor, taking something that I usually just do with my voice but then inhabit every part of it. I studied the way the animators and artists portrayed Boimler and his movements and certain small gestures he made. I tried to put as much of that into the episode as I could, but I was trying to do things [that] were a bit too big, a bit too animated in a live-action environment, but still within Boimler’s range of motion. That was such a cool challenge. But I think the real blessing was that shooting had [“Star Trek: The Next Generation” star] Jonathan Frakes as director. He’s just a legend and he just nailed it. He directs so many “Star Trek” and just so Riker tells you what to do – if Riker says you’re on the right track, you probably are. So this was just a dream come true.
So it was a dream for you and it was probably a dream for Boimler too. A win/win.
Ah, it was big Dream for Boimler. Very meta actually considering Boimler is such a fan of Riker and works with him on Titan and Jonathan and I worked together and I consider him a really good friend now. That was just the best.
I assume this episode came about from a conversation you had on the set of The Boys?
Yes, there’s this author David Reed who worked on The Boys and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. And he just came up to me and he was like, “I love Lower Decks. How can we get you on a live action series of ‘Star Trek’?” I think, “I would do it in a heartbeat. For me there is no resistance.” I thought this could always work. It wasn’t necessarily the show I thought would be the crossover point because they don’t actually take place in the same timeline. But i really liked it. I really liked that they merged this older era of “Trek” with us from the future. So I like to merge these two timelines. You can see how it all works in the episode “Strange New World”. But it’s cool because from Boimler’s and Mariner’s point of view, they know about Captain Pike and Spock and Uhura. They think they’re all great. So in a way, it was a fun way for them to meet their heroes. I’m just excited that I can actually talk about it because I’ve had to keep it a secret for so long. That crew over there at Strange New Worlds is awesome. Ethan Peck and I had an epic bromance – I just want to say that.
Boimler was such a proud beta male on Lower Decks, but it looks like he’s going to assert himself more in Season 3?
He’s starting to get a lot more confident, maybe overdoing it, but he’s still Boimler. This is the season where he’ll just be brave no matter what the consequences. I am proud of my husband Boimler. I’m really. He’s come a long way since Season 1.
Most people first saw you as Marvel in The Hunger Games, one of District One’s most formidable and menacing tributes—quite the opposite of Boimler and Hughie from The Boys. How was this development for you?
I never imagined that my first role in film would be a vicious child killer set in a dystopian future. I never thought my career would go there. I feel like Hughie and Boimler are a lot closer to me as a person than Marvel. But I just like playing different types of characters. You know, I recently had the opportunity to play a very different type of character on Scream. I was fortunate to be able to experience many different types of characters.
They are about to start filming Season 4 of The Boys. Are you even going to be in Gen V?
Not at this point. I haven’t really spoken to anyone about it, but I’d love to. I can actually talk about it now because it happened while I was shooting Strange New Worlds in Toronto, and that was just as the Gen V cast started production. So I took them all to brunch one day. I’ve met a lot of them. You are awesome. You are so talented. you are so cool I can’t wait for this show to come out. I wish you all the best. They will knock it out of the park.
[SPOILER ALERT] In the season 3 finale of The Boys, we learn that Butcher essentially has a year to live. How do you think Hughie will react to the idea of a world without Butchers?
Man, I mean, we gotta find out, but it’s not gonna be good. Butcher is like his best friend and an older brother. So that’s pretty devastating news if Hughie finds out, but we’ll just have to see how that plays out. I haven’t read all the scripts for season 4 yet. I actually don’t know. This is my time to be a fan and just let things come my way and respond honestly as I read them. But I was really happy with the way the writers set everything up for the next season.
This interview has been edited and abridged.
https://variety.com/2022/tv/news/star-trek-lower-decks-jack-quaid-strange-new-worlds-crossover-the-boys-gen-v-1235352527/ Star Trek: Lower Decks: Jack Quaid on Strange New Worlds Crossover