HomeTelevision'The Boys': Laurie Holden on Working With Jensen Ackles

    ‘The Boys’: Laurie Holden on Working With Jensen Ackles

    [Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 3, Episode 7 of The Boys, “Here Comes a Candle to Light You to Bed.”]

    The Boys Season 3 may have introduced new twists for fan-favorite characters, but it also made way for several showstopping newbies like Laurie Holden‘s Crimson Countess.

    Although she wasn’t long for the screen after Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles) essentially vaporized her with his nuclear powers in Episode 5, she made quite the impression. Whether it was her compassion for chimps, her dazzling musical performances, or her fabulous costume, there was no shortage of great moments for the Season 3 Supe. Following the show’s seventh installment, “Here Comes a Candle to Light You to Bed,” Holden is giving viewers a peek behind the curtain at her role.

    She’s also sharing thoughts on the storylines introduced heading into the finale, which she says, “I can’t really tease anything about other than it’s epic and explosive.”

    The Boys Season 3 Laurie Holden

    (Credit: Prime Video)

    What was it that initially drew you to the role of Crimson Countess?

    Laurie Holden: Well, I’m a fan of the show and I don’t know who wouldn’t want to play a superhero on this show. It’s just so wacky and wonderful and I loved what they created. The fact that she was a singer, that she was a champion of the chimpanzees, I loved that she had this backstory where you could see how she was the “it girl” during that time with Soldier Boy and then the aftermath of how Vought basically cast her aside. I thought that it was a really rich, fun, full character.

    Crimson Countess does a lot of singing in the show and even has a music video for “Chimps Don’t Cry.” What was it like taking that aspect of the character on?

    They didn’t even tell me that my character was singing until a week before my final fitting. And that was a 10-week bonanza in Los Angeles with [Laura Jean Shannon] and her team. Right towards the tail end of that, I got a call from my agent saying, “oh, they just wanted you to know you’re going to be doing two musical numbers, are you OK with that?” And it’s like… I already have the role. And I just said, “well, let them know, yes. And if it’s not to their liking, they can always dub me.”

    I have never sung professionally in my adult life. There was a bit of terror involved, but I also am a creative person who likes the challenge and thinks that fear can actually motivate you in a way. So I reached out to my network and said, “who’s a great vocal coach?” to see if I could even sing. And then I started singing with this guy three times a week just so that I could loosen up my voice. About a week before I flew to Toronto to shoot, they gave me the songs. Then I was cramming, but then I already kind of felt comfortable in my skin with performing vocally. But it was a challenge and I’m grateful for it because never in a million years would I have known about this new passion of mine.

    Was it difficult keeping a straight face while singing these lyrics?

    I think when I originally read the songs and the lyrics, I was obviously laughing out loud and going, “oh my God.” But I think that my character was very passionate about saving chimpanzees. To her, it’s serious. When I sang the song, to put soul and passion behind it, you have to build it in images. For me, I really approached it as Crimson Countess who was passionate about this and these are real facts and they may sound a little wacky to you, but it’s not to me. I just really put my shoulder behind it and played it straight, which makes it funny.

    What has it been like to see the fan reactions to Crimson Countess and her musical numbers?

    This has been the most fun I’ve ever had promoting a show. I love the role-playing. I look at the comments of my “Chimps Don’t Cry” video and people are role-playing as if they’re in the world. “My dad was a huge fan of Crimson back in the day” or “this is going to be my wedding song.” I mean, they’re so sweet and they’re so loving and supportive. I’ve never interacted so much with fans, it’s really been such a love fest. And I feel, in terms of this show, with my sense of humor, I found my tribe. When [Eric] Kripke and Amazon and everybody’s tweeting, we all are on the same wavelength of this wacky humor and it’s fun to engage. And I love seeing videos of girls dressed like Crimson and letting them know they look beautiful. It’s awesome.

    Speaking of the costume, what was it like donning the Crimson Countess super suit? How did it help you get into character and was it uncomfortable?

    It really helped me get into the role. I had 10 weeks to get in superhero shape and it was during COVID and I had been very sedentary and done a lot of baking. I was very disciplined to get into that suit and make it all happen. The way that it fits affects your posture, your gait, and all of your movements, you really become another character because nothing in your body is moving the way it normally does. It was a bit constricted up [around the neck] because it was made of metal. At the same time, it was very comfortable.

    The Boys Season 3 Laurie Holden

    (Credit: Prime Video)

    You share a very unique scene with the show’s executive producer Seth Rogen in Episode 5. How did the filming of that work? Were you communicating through the screen? What is the collaboration process like?

    There was a little X that I had to look at and the script supervisor was saying his lines and I was just kind of on my own. The beauty of The Boys is that they’re really collaborative and they encourage some improvisation. And so I did what was scripted and then I turned to the director and said, “can I play, can I just see what happens?” And he’s like, “OK, go for it.” And then I jumped on the bed and did all this crazy stuff. The source material’s incredible, the writing is brilliant, but then there’s so much respect and collaboration that the actors are really able to go outside their comfort zone and creatively fly. [It’s the] most fun I’ve ever had.

    Butcher (Karl Urban) and Huey (Jack Quaid) helped serve Crimson Countess up to Soldier Boy, essentially aiding in her murder. Are they in the wrong for facilitating Soldier Boy’s revenge tour?

    I think that Butcher has a singular focus and that is to bring down Homelander. And it’s a bit of a moral dilemma how far he and Huey are going, which forges a lot of conflict in the show with Huey and Starlight between Butcher and MM. But I do think that poor little Crimsy was at the wrong place at the wrong time and she wasn’t a bad egg that deserves that kind of fate.

    Definitely not. She just wants to save the chimps.

    That’s all she wants. She’s not hurting anybody.

    The Boys Season 3 Animated

    (Credit: Prime Video)

    What was it like building Crimson and Soldier Boy’s relationship onscreen with Jensen?

    I met Jensen for two seconds before on the day that we shot my death scene. But that’s Hollywood. You do a television show or a film and you’re either put in bed with your co-star on day one or it’s the most explosive, emotional scene on day one. Somehow it always works out that way, but he is such a good person. He’s so calm, he’s so chill, he’s a gentleman and it was easy. And when I say that it’s easy, a lot of work goes into ease.

    He was so collaborative and open that we were able to really connect and have a flow to tell the story the way that it was supposed to be told. It excites me going on social media and seeing the Jensen effect. Because yes, as someone who has worked with him and seen him in person, he is absolutely gorgeous, but more importantly, he’s a good man. I feel all of his fans have backed the right horse, because he’s well deserving of all the praise.

    Despite dying earlier in the season, Crimson Countess returned for Black Noir’s cartoon fantasy sequence. What was it like getting to put that together?

    I loved the animation version because it was such a clever way of really filling in the backstory of what happened, so the audience really knows why Payback did what they did. We didn’t sell [Soldier Boy] for money. We weren’t horrible people. I like that it was shown and I also really loved the fact that you see how much we love the Black Noir and how we were sticking up for our comrade. So it actually got me very emotional doing it because I just thought that it was kind of beautiful how a bunch of people were standing up and not tolerating abuse anymore.

    The Boys, Season 3, New Episodes, Fridays, Prime Video

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