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Interview: ‘The Boys’ Jack Quaid Talks ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’

August 6, 2020Ben MK

Best known for playing Hughie on the Amazon Prime series The Boys and Marvel in The Hunger Games films, Jack Quaid is an actor whose star has been steadily on the rise — for proof, look no further than the fact that his latest role has him literally traveling into the stars and beyond. As the by-the-book Ensign Brad Boimler on Mike McMahan's new series, Star Trek: Lower Decks, Quaid joins a talented crew of actors who lend their voices to the first animated comedy set within the Star Trek universe. And while the results are verifiably hilarious, make no mistake — the show is very much a love letter to the Star Trek we all know and love.

I caught up Jack Quaid to chat about Star Trek: Lower Decks and what it's like to be part of such an iconic sci-fi franchise, as well as to find out how Hughie and Boimler would fare if they were ever to trade places.

In the past, you've mentioned being a big Star Wars fan, and now you're also a Star Trek fan as well. What's been the best part so far about being a part of such a major sci-fi franchise? And how has it been different from, say, your experience with The Hunger Games franchise?

Quaid: Star Trek's just been around for so long. Even though our show is an animated comedy, it's still canon and therefore I do feel an immense amount of responsibility just because people care about this show so much. And that did not go unnoticed by me. It is an institution in so many ways and it's so iconic, so just to be a small part of it — and I'm not exaggerating here — is really a true honor. I understand what being a fan is like and what I like about our show, specifically, is that if you are a fan of Star Trek we're not trying to parody Star Trek, we're not trying to make fun of Star Trek. We're trying to be a Star Trek show with humor — humor that doesn't punch down, humor that comes from its characters and its situations but not the fact that Star Trek is at all ridiculous.

I mean, in everything there are ridiculous elements. And, hopefully, when we point out those smaller things fans can go, "Oh, I've noticed that, too," and laugh along with us. But I just love that it is a Star Trek show that knows just how insane it is that it's part of the Star Trek universe and is really honoring that. Mike McMahan, our show runner, is just such an incredible Trek nerd. And having him behind the helm just filled me with a lot of confidence because I didn't want to come into this at all making fun of Star Trek. It's just a comedy set within Star Trek.

Aside from your own character, do you have a favorite character in Lower Decks (or in Star Trek in general)?

Quaid: For this show, I think my favorite character is [Ensign] Mariner. I don't think I've really seen a character like that in a Star Trek property before. And I think Tawny Newsome plays her so exceptionally well, with so much humor and depth and relatability. She's so cool and I wanna be like her.

In terms of Star Trek in general, I'm a big fan of Spock. I'm also a big fan of Bones. And in terms of TNG, I really love Riker and I really love Data. Those two actors just absolutely nailed their characters. Also, anything with Data and Geordie is just incredible — they're such an amazing duo. I know that was like five characters and you wanted one but there you go. [laughs]

Of course, you're also known for your role as Hughie in The Boys. How do you think that character would fare if he and Boimler traded places on their respective shows?

Quaid: Oh my God. [laughs] That's such a good question. I don't think it would work out well for either of them because I think Hughie would just be too completely overwhelmed by a spaceship. I don't think he would be very good at actually working on the ship, at least not too quickly. And I think Hughie's not so much of a worker drone as Boimler is. Boimler — although he is such a stickler for the rules — he is good at what he does. I think that if Hughie were on a Starfleet ship he would just be terrible out the gate, even though we all love him.

Boimler — within The Boys — is also not gonna fare well at all. Because, like I said, he's such a stickler for the rules. And that entire group is going against the grain and going against laws and rules constantly. I don't think he would last long. [laughs] So not a good Freaky Friday situation for Boimler and Hughie, for sure.

Last but not least, what are you working on next and what are you looking forward to the most when the world eventually comes out on the other side of this pandemic?

Quaid: I think the thing I'm looking forward to the most at the end of the pandemic rainbow is, to be honest, just going to a movie theatre again and being able to watch movies. It's just one of my favorite things to do. Me and my girlfriend say constantly, "I just wish we could just go back to a movie theatre and have a fun Friday night out."

In terms of what's next for me — this is kind of what's next. While all production is basically halted, Star Trek: Lower Decks is coming out and The Boys: Season Two is coming out as well. The Boys just got renewed for a third season, which is insane and I feel very lucky that I have that to look forward to once we can actually go back to work. But I'm happy to have a job waiting for me and the end of this. And also, I feel very lucky to be a part of Star Trek: Lower Decks because we've been able to record ADR lines and pick-ups remotely. Animation is the one thing still going right now, so I'm looking forward to doing more of that.

Star Trek: Lower Decks premieres August 6th on CTV Sci-Fi Channel, Crave and CBS All Access.

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