The Deep's Herogasm Moment Was Harder On Chace Crawford Than You Might Realize

From an audience perspective, "The Boys" has a penchant for being uniquely traumatizing. Our first warning came in the pilot's opening scene when a Flash-like superhero ran through a woman and splattered her boyfriend with her guts. If you managed to make it through that, stuck around for the Lucy the Whale fiasco, and also happened to survive the season 3 urethra explosion, then you know exactly what I'm talking about. And if it seems rough from the viewing perspective, then it's probably pretty twice as bad for the actors witnessing these horrors firsthand. Case in point: when asked how he reacts to getting a new episode script, Chace Crawford told Men's Health, "I call my therapist."

Chace Crawford's most uncomfortable scenes

Crawford was (probably) joking, but he went on to compare his response to the seven stages of grief, saying, "first you're in denial, then you're bargaining, and eventually, you accept it." It may sound like a drastic response, but take a moment to consider all that we've seen Crawford endure over the course of three seasons. He stars as the show's Aquaman parody, The Deep, an emotionally-stunted man-child who speaks to fish. Even when he was a member of the elite supe group The Seven, no one really took him seriously, and like everyone else in the building, he was always a potential punching bag for Homelander's dark impulses. His life got 10x worse when he was ousted from the group, the public turned against him and he had no choice but to join a weird church cult.

Obviously, no one on "The Boys" is exempt from being the centerpiece of deeply disturbing scenes, but The Deep is such a special case. Maybe it's because he's so easy to hate or maybe it's because Crawford has perfected the petulant lip quiver, but at some point, the writers clearly decided that torturing The Deep is the greatest pleasure in the world. Crawford previously named the sexual assault via Deep's gills as his most uncomfortable scene but because "The Boys" can't help but top itself with each new season, the latest season included a moment that made him much more anxious than before.

.The Deep goes to Herogasm

First off, Crawford made a point of saying how incredible working with showrunner Eric Kripke has been, saying "his door is always open, he always emails you right back, he'll always get on the phone." This really comes in handy with a show as unpredictable as "The Boys." You never know when you might need to chat about an 11-foot exploding penis. The potential for weirdness has never been higher than it is in the infamous "Herogasm" episode, which saw heroes and villains alike get mixed up in a secret suped-up orgy. The much-anticipated episode may or may not have permanently scarred the entire cast and crew — and Crawford was no exception. In the same Men's Health interview, Crawford said,

"I did have one scene this episode that made me wake up at night in a panic. The next morning I was like, 'I need to know what all the camera angles are. What are we doing? Can we not do this shot? How will I sleep at night?' And Kripke started laughing and said, 'We're never gonna make you do anything you don't want to do, so let's talk about this.' So that was the only one of those emotional breakdowns I had."

If you're caught up on the show, it won't be hard to guess which scene Crawford is referring to.

The fish fetish gets real

All those jokes we make about Aquaman having intimate relationships with his fish friends take on new meaning in the world of "The Boys." In "Herogasm," poor innocent Starlight catches The Deep pressed up against a fish tank, mid-coitus with an octopus. Who was this situation worst for? Starlight, who had to see it with her own two eyes? Or The Deep, caught in a dangerously compromising position? The answer is, obviously, the octopus. Or maybe Chace Crawford.

Ultimately, Kripke and the crew took very good care of the actor, keeping him as comfortable as possible:

"That thing was like a 40-pound rig around my neck. And again, Stephan was so amazing — he saw me in a little pain and was like, 'Let's just cut some of those octopus limbs off! I'll just do it in post.' So there he was just cutting off these fake arms."

It's always wonderful to hear how much care goes into making a show that seems to thrive on discomfort. It might be disturbing onscreen, but behind the scenes, everyone means well. That being said, the best part of this story is how Kripke originally introduced the octopus scene to Crawford, with a hint that's equal parts vague, ominous, and hilarious. Crawford said,

"Before this season, Kripke asked me, 'Have you seen My Octopus Teacher? Did you see that documentary?' And I was like, 'I did. It was very touching, very moving. I doubt that's where you're going to go with it!'"

The first three seasons of "The Boys" are now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.