The following story contains spoilers for the season two finale of The young.
With just one look at Karl Urban’s Instagram, the idea comes up: He’s not just the star of The young, Amazon Prime Videos hugely successful epic superhero satire, he’s a big, big fan too. The 48-year-old actor who was previously part of big franchises like The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (in THOR: Ragnarok publishes photos with fellow cast members, episode jokes, and captions that sometimes even sound like they could have been written by his character Billy Butcher, who runs the title boys.
When Urban and I start our zoom, it will be the end of the day, just after 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time ̵
When I tell him that I just finished watching the massive, world-changing finale – something he hadn’t even done because he was watching the entire season in real time week after week – a smile lights up on his face. “Oh my God!” he says. “What did you think?”
But here’s the thing: he knew the answer to that question. He knows what I think and what everyone thinks. The young Rules, and the Finale was a continuation of the show’s rules from the first moment of the first episode. Fortunately there was a lot more conversation from there – Urban talked about the end of the second season, The young becoming a franchise, humanizing evil characters, and what could be coming in Season 3.
I can’t wait for season three – so let’s start there. Do you already have an idea when you’ll be back to work?
Nothing official. On the street they say we’re looking for a start at the end of January. Obviously dependent on a number of factors, the least of which would be COVID-19 [laughs]. So we’ll just wait and see. We’re all pretty excited about the phenomenal response we got with Season 2 building on from Season 1, and we really look forward to getting back to work and delivering an even better Season 3.
Did you have an outstanding memory of season 2?
I had a lot of great memories of filming season 2. Episode 3 was a highlight for me in terms of the fact that we were out on the water for two weeks filming speedboat sequences and it was just nice not to be in the office his of the studio. The cast, we all had a lot of fun. That was exciting.
In addition, I think I probably … worked with John Noble, an old friend of mine Lord of the rings in 7 and also get [work] with Giancarlo [Esposito, who plays Stan Edgar]that I hadn’t worked with before and that was just fantastic in episode 8. All in all, it was a lot of fun.
Can you walk us through the sequence of the finale in the woods that led to the deaths of both Stormfront and Becca?
I have not seen it yet. I’m watching it unfold in real time so I’ll see this this Friday – I’m very excited about it.
How it turned this whole sequence … it was hard. Not so much the storm front of it all, because that’s really another part of the scene that I wasn’t that much involved in.
But Becca Butcher’s fate was… a difficult scene to film and it certainly stayed with me for a while. I feel very blessed to have worked with the incredibly talented Shantel VanSanten this entire season – she did an amazingly good job of portraying Becca Butcher and definitely improved my game. It was just a wonderful experience to work with. I think it gives this season an emotional response that will have an impact for a long time to come.
Especially in the season two finale, Butcher is armed and there are all sorts of fighting sequences throughout the series. Did you do anything special to prepare for this?
I had a limited amount of combat training with the coordinator when it was needed and when the script asked Butcher to get involved. But pretty minimalist all around.
I sure …[starts laughing] I saw a Twitter post from someone commenting on how Butcher was holding his gun, so there may be room for improvement there. We have a fantastic stunt team and I think one of my favorite parts of the season was just watching the Girls Get It Done fight at the end. That was just epic.
You have great chemistry with virtually everyone you share scenes with, especially Jack Quaid as Hughie. Is there something you can do to improve this chemistry over time?
I mean, you can’t work on chemistry. You either have it or you don’t. We’re just a little blessed by the fact that Eric Kripke, our showrunner, put together a group of actors who work really well together. It’s just smart casting – it’s that simple. We grew into a family over the course of two seasons. We all feel very blessed that the show turned out to be a phenomenal success and we are very grateful for that.
You were part of Lord of the rings, and Star Trek, and even the MCU. Do you think The young has the potential to be a franchise as big as this?
Yes, in any case. The fact is that Amazon has already commissioned a spin-off. Due to the fact that there will be more than one program in the world of The young, means it’s a franchise. But I think we happened to take advantage of current pop culture’s popularity; The superhero genre has been popular for over a couple of decades and we’re bringing something fresh and exciting to an audience that they have never seen before. And I think it’s always rewarded.
Butcher, Hughie, and Homelander all show very different types of masculinity in The young. Do you think about it when you do the show?
I don’t think about it. My job is really to tell the story that is written in the script. I have a dialogue with the showrunner so we are both on the same page where we are going and what we want to achieve. We all play different sides of this coin, and at the end of the day it’s a moral story, and characters are generally rewarded for making the right choice and punished for making the wrong choice.
Certainly one of the aspects of the show that I’m really responding to is that the characters all have these very clear and obvious flaws and humanize them. You can empathize with these characters. Even someone like Homelander, who is the most horrific rapist and mass murderer, can be empathized for being a test tube kid, raised in a sterile environment, being poked, pounded and manipulated all his life. So at this level you can understand that he has a fundamental lack of humanity. It all comes down to good writing.
We don’t know much, but we do know that season 3 is coming. What could the future mean for Billy Butcher?
I honestly do not know. At this point, I think that after the tragic events that happened to Becca, it is quite possible that Butcher will simply disappear. He could go down to a Mexican seaside town and just take pictures in the bar with the locals and just walk away from the whole thing. I dont know. In episode 5, he almost walked away after Becca Butcher turned him down. So it will be interesting to see and difficult to predict. But whatever happens, I would expect Eric Kripke and the writers to continue to be at stake, delving deeper into these characters and adding to the story in really exciting ways. So watch this room.
This interview was summarized in terms of content and clearly.
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