If there’s one thing the characters of Amazon’s hit The Boys know, it’s murder. Well, murder, corruption, venality, nihilism, losing sight of everything good in a single-minded drive to purge the world of what you see as your enemies… there’s arguably a few candidates vying for the top spot of “what they know.” But the people playing those characters are considerably less psyched about the behavior of their onscreen counterparts—and that might go doubly for Jack Quaid, who not only plays oft-befuddled protagonist Hughie, but who also finds himself in the position of still apologizing for a cinematic murder he committed long before he ever slipped into the skin of his Billy Joel-loving alter ego.
Fans of Jennifer Lawrence’s The Hunger Games film series already know where we’re going with this. Quaid’s film debut was in the first installment of that quadrilogy, playing Marvel, one of the two District 1 tributes selected to participate in the 74th edition of the deadly titular event. And what’s worse—as a viewer noted this past weekend when Freeform aired the movie—his first big role essentially featured one big action: Killing Amandla Stenberg’s Rue, the 12-year-old girl who Lawrence’s Katniss briefly befriended before Quaid stomped into frame and speared her through the gut, though not without getting killed by an arrow to the chest himself. Here, let’s watch the child-murdering fun together!
Pretty harrowing stuff for an ostensibly family-friendly film, honestly. But after someone tweeted at the actor during its cable airing, he wrote back, acknowledging that, uh, yeah, that was all him. His bad.
And he followed that initial expression of remorse up with a longer explanation, saying, hey, that actor was brainwashed by his upbringing! He had a responsibility to portray the tragic nature of Marvel’s blinkered worldview, and in so doing—just kidding. Marvel was a shit, but you’re not supposed to judge your own characters like that. Luckily, Quaid has us to do it for him.
Honestly, we could use more of these good-hearted exchanges about fictional character deaths. It’s a charming, slight, and welcome distraction from the extremely non-good-hearted exchanges happening everywhere involving real deaths and a significant portion of the country who refuses to come to terms with the fascist nature of its actions. But shhh, let us set that aside for now, instead bathing in the heartwarming knowledge that actor Jack Quaid is happy to offer up apologias for the shitty behavior of past roles. Also, season three of The Boys is going to be great. Bring on Jensen Ackles’ Soldier Boy.