The Boys: Explaining Karl Urban’s ‘cockney’ accent

The Boys -- Photo credit Jan Thijs/Amazon Prime Video -- Acquired via EPK.TV
The Boys -- Photo credit Jan Thijs/Amazon Prime Video -- Acquired via EPK.TV /

In The Boys, Karl Urban plays a Londoner but has one of the most questionable accents going. This actually wasn’t bad acting or a mistake.

What was going on with Karl Urban’s accent in The Boys? What was supposed to be a Cockney accent was all over the place. Well, it likely wasn’t a mistake or bad acting.

You’ve got to remember that this show is a satire of all superhero movies and TV shows. The good guys are actually the bad guys, and the ones taking down the Supes are the good guys in the show. So, is it really surprising that other elements of this TV series were a satire of itself?

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Billy Butcher in the graphic novel series is a Londoner. However, something that never happens is hearing how the character speaks. You just see it written down and accept that he’ll have a Cockney accent.

In the show, there’s a chance to add another layer to the character, and this is where the bad accent (dubbed as Cockwi by many fans due to the actor’s natural New Zealand accent coming through) comes into play. It’s poking fun at the character, combining Urban’s natural accent and the supposed accent of the character.

Getting the character of Billy Butcher just right was important for the show. During the panel at NYCC 2018, Eric Kripke and Evan Goldberg explained that the creator of the graphic novel, Garth Ennis, wanted to make sure the dialogue and accent was just right. He had a lot of criticism over some of the dialogue.

It would seem impossible that Urban’s accent on The Boys was a mistake, unlike Charlie Hunnam’s accent in Sons of Anarchy. This was a creative choice, and certainly worked on getting people talking about the show! Urban’s accent is only bad if you apply standard levels of realism to the show.

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What did you think of Karl Urban’s accent in The Boys? Are you ready for a second season? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

The Boys Season 1 is currently available on Amazon Prime Video.