[Warning: The following contains light spoilers from Season 2, Episode 6 of The Boys. Read at your own risk!]
The Boys' Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid) is a hero who contains multitudes. In the Amazon series' first season, he became the first human to kill a supe by exploding Translucent (Alex Hassell) into smithereens, but he also apologized to every Vought crony soldier he fired at in the season finale. In Season 2, we've seen Hughie embrace his role as the "canary" of his vigilante squad while at the same time trying to step up and gain more respect within the group.
It takes a complicated man to be the moral compass of a group determined to bring down one of the most well-connected and corrupt corporations ever created — while simultaneously being Billy Joel's biggest fan. But Hughie may just be that guy. To quote Hughie himself, he's "that person no one thinks is awesome, but it turns out they are kind of f---ing awesome." And he got even more complicated thanks to an unexpected reveal during Episode 6 of Season 2.
In the episode, which premiered Friday, Hughie is inadvertently impaled after a wayward supe tosses The Boys' van while escaping a Vought medical prison. When Annie (Erin Moriarty) and Butcher (Karl Urban) finally get Hughie to the hospital to ensure he doesn't bleed out, we discover that our canary's go-to shampoo is, and this is not a joke, L'Oréal Kids Strawberry Smoothie 2-in-1 Shampoo. Not only that, but he couples the refreshingly fruity scent (we tried it, and it's actually pretty delightful and not as overpowering as you'd think) with AXE body spray. The combination sounds pretty diabolical, but if used correctly it could make Hughie an understated genius.
Even though Annie only casually mentions the shampoo to Butcher, we needed to know more about this important life choice for Hughie. Why this shampoo? What does it mean to him? Is he not afraid of how it contradicts with his chosen body spray? TV Guide went to the source, actor Jack Quaid, to interrogate him (via email) about Hughie's hair hygiene and what it means for a character it appears we're only just beginning to know. Find out what he had to say below.
Upon learning that Hughie's shampoo of choice is L'Oréal Kids 2-in-1 Strawberry Smoothie, did you actually try the shampoo? How was it?
Jack Quaid: No, not yet. I don't think I ever will. I'm not that method!
How not shocked were you to learn that Hughie is a 2-in-1 shampoo guy? Did it change your opinion of him as a character?
Quaid: I think he's economical. At this point in the story, he's living in a gang hideout in Flatbush and his shower is his sink. He doesn't have time for two products.
Why Strawberry Smoothie over L'Oréal's other kids' scents (Swim & Sport, Burst of Watermelon)?
Quaid: If I had to guess, it's because he's at a moment in his life where he's going through a lot and he just needs comfort. "Strawberry smoothie" sounds a bit more comforting than "Burst of watermelon." If you've seen the show, you know Hughie doesn't need anything else bursting on him.
Do you think Strawberry Smoothie is Hughie's shampoo from childhood? If so, is he holding onto it as a comforting reminder of simpler times, or is he just afraid to branch out in his hair care routine?
Quaid: Yeah, I would say it's definitely something from his childhood that he's still holding onto for comfort. I feel like Hughie's the kind of guy that went to his pediatrician for just a little too long, so it would stand to reason that he's still using the same shampoo he used as a kid, especially at this stressful point in his life where he might be thinking back to simpler times.
We also learn that Hughie loves AXE body spray in this episode — what a juxtaposition of smells! Do you worry that those two scents clash when he's cuddling with Annie, or is this low-key a genius combination no one else would consider trying?
Quaid: Think Hughie's ahead of his time with this one. I mean Annie can still stand to be around him, so it must be doing something for him.
AXE also has shampoo/conditioner combos. Do you imagine that Hughie has tried them? Would that just be too much AXE?
Quaid: Far too much AXE. Like a great dish, you can't have too much of one thing.
Do you agree that the dichotomy of L'Oréal Kids Strawberry Smoothie Shampoo and AXE body spray kind of embodies Hughie as a person?
Quaid: Not necessarily. I don't think Hughie's that much of a douchebag to embody AXE body spray. But L'Oréal Kids Strawberry Smoothie? That's pretty dead on.
New episodes of The Boys Season 2 premiere each Friday on Amazon Prime Video.