‘The Boys’ Star Chace Crawford Says The Deep Is ‘Playing Checkers While Everyone Else Is Playing Chess’ in Season 4

The Deep “wants to be a real boy so bad,” Crawford tells TheWrap

Chace Crawford as The Deep in The Boys (Credit: Prime Video)
Chace Crawford as The Deep in "The Boys" (Credit: Prime Video)

Plotting and scheming has never been The Deep’s speciality, but Chace Crawford told TheWrap that isn’t stopping him from getting in the mix in “The Boys” Season 4.

“He’s leaning into his power a bit more and copying Homelander a bit and leaning into his aggression and using manipulation as far as he knows how to manipulate,” Crawford said. “I think he’s playing checkers while everyone else is playing chess or 3D chess.”

The Deep is back in The Seven beginning in Season 4 after last season saw him struggling through a messy marriage and divorce and public ridicule for being in a relationship with an octopus. Now he’s doing whatever he can to stay in Homelander’s (Antony Starr) good graces while also trying to take back some control in his life.

By the end of Episode 3, he’s also growing closer to Sister Sage (Susan Heyward). Crawford said Deep just “wants to be a real boy so bad” and likes the idea that a human is into him and “sees” him rather than just an octopus. In reality, she is just using him as part of a larger game.

In a recent interview, Crawford went, well, deep, on The Deep’s mindset in Season 4, his subservience to Homelander, unknowingly working with Tilda Swinton and more.

Note: The following story contains spoilers “The Boys” Season 4 Episodes 1-3.

Mentally, where is The Deep mentally at the beginning of “The Boys” Season 4?
I think he’s happy to be back in the fold, back in The Seven. Leaving off in Season 3, he kinda crossed this ethical line, this moral boundary for himself he didn’t realize he was quite capable of.

I think he’s doing whatever he can to kind of cling on to his identity within The Seven. Part of him is probably scared, he’s coming out of this bad marriage and this relationship with this octopus, which is really funny.

He’s leaning into his power a bit more and copying Homelander a bit and leaning into his aggression and using manipulation as far as he knows how to manipulate. I think he’s playing checkers while everyone else is playing chess or 3D chess. He’s still insecure and nervous about his place in the world.

Despite having wavering opinions on The Seven, why do you think The Deep needs Homelander’s validation so badly?
I think there’s some interesting father figure issues there, and he knows that Homelander can kill him, so I think that might be a justification in his mind.

I think The Deep’s not a guy who’s a leader. He does well in a system where he’s told what to do – very simple instructions and he follows those out. Like a lot of people, he’ll just sort of follow along and try to do what he can to maintain his equilibrium and the status quo.

The scene at the end of Episode 1 with the baseball bats is a great example of him following simple instructions, but does he lean more into being a “yes” man or being afraid?
I think a bit of both, but it gives him permission now to do it so he starts to like it a little bit. It’s cathartic when he doesn’t even realize what’s happening. He’s getting to use his power, his strength to carry out these things and it almost starts to feel good in a messed up way.

He’s being bullied by Homelander but he’s also becoming the bully. He’s realizing he can become the bully to people weaker than him.

You said The Deep isn’t a leader, but when it comes to the hyper-violent buddy cop nature to his and the new Black Noir’s relationship, he’s in the driver seat. What can viewers expect from their dynamic going forward?
The Deep loves it, because he’s like, “Finally there’s a newbie here who’s kind of a pushover, and I can be like listen man this is the way of the world.” He can imitate what Homelander has done to him.

He stands up to Ashley for the first time ever in the opening episodes. Would he have done it without Sage pushing him to?
I think Sage is the catalyst. The need to do it and act out has been inside of him, he just didn’t recognize it. It took her to kind of create a light bulb moment to say, “F–k her, I can put her in her place, she’s not a superhero. I’m the Lord of the Seven Seas.”

Sage wasn’t being a friend though, right? This was her playing chess and allowing The Deep to play checkers.
Oh, totally. It’s her playing chess but he takes it as “oh somebody sees me” and he falls for her. It’s doubly funny because it’s “the first person who sees me and gets it” when obviously that’s her power too. She’s insanely smart and playing 3D chess with him. It’s a great relationship between those two.

What can you tease of that relationship going forward?
It’s such a f–ked up thing. They’re two people who are so wrong for each other. They’re both just there and there’s a physical attraction. I do think Deep needs a mommy, needs to be mothered in a way, and she becomes this safe haven she gravitates toward.

He thinks, “She has my best interest in mind, she sees me and she got me the Bloomin’ Onion.” I think he’s just so starved for connection. I think he’s always wanted to relate to humans, but felt very insecure about it obviously – he’s got damage from his gills, he thinks he’s a freak. He’s always very closed off. So to have someone there physically that’s different from Ambrosius the octopus as well. Someone who’s really smart, too. He’s probably really flattered. In his mind, she’s really into him. It gives him confidence.

The scene with Ambrosius in Episode 3 is a bit heartbreaking. Is he sad or ashamed for keeping her hidden in a closet?
It’s that thing again where he wants to be a real boy so bad. He doesn’t want a connection with an octopus but it is giving him that emotional support. It’s sad, it’s sad that she’s his secret.

He’s been verbally told by Homelander to “get rid of that f–king thing.” But sometimes we cling to something until we find something else. So when he finds Sage, it’s an instant pushing away of this part of himself that he doesn’t want to acknowledge.

Did you know when you were reading the scripts or shooting that Tilda Swinton would be voicing Ambrosius?
No, I had no idea. Kripke always said he wanted to get the most Oscar-winning British actor around, and there are only like four of them in the world. He texted me, like, “Don’t tell anyone but you’re going to get a kick out of this.”

That she was willing to come and play with us, I’m sure she was like, “Well let me see the scene first.” It’s a great scene, it’s a great scene for The Deep and it’s kinda like a marriage story.

Should fans feel bad for The Deep at this point?
I think that’s the burden put on the people. It’s like, “I don’t want to but …” It’s almost hard not to, and that’s what Kripke wants to do is humanize them. It’s not to redeem them but to humanize and let you make that decision. I think that’s part of the success of the show. It’s always been driven by the characters. It’s not just black and white

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