Some of the weirdest and most memorable moments of season three of The Boys involved the Deep and octopuses. But thankfully they were all filmed using realistic props made by MastersFX. In the video below, Insider gets a peek behind the process of making fake animals so that practical and visual effects blend together. The video also shows off the secrets behind a silicone frog in Firestarter, a chicken from Nightmare Alley, and the clay hamster The Boys used for some scenes of the superhero Jamie.
Replacing animals with fake versions is more humane, and the prop is much easier to act with than a tennis ball or laser pointer. Thankfully, Chace Crawford didn’t actually have to eat an octopus the way his character did. Instead, he bit into a silicon octopus filled with syrup and black food coloring, which was still probably pretty gross. He also had fishing line tied to his face which pulled to simulate the octopus tentacles as his food fought back.
Multiple octopuses were made for The Boys, each serving a different purpose. In order to get hyper-realistic look and movement, the effects artists used a variety of materials and painting processes. Getting the texture and jiggliness just right is important, as is the fur and feathers on the hamster and chicken props. The video shows the painstaking work of getting it all layered in and looking realistic.
There is at least one movie with a similar octopus scene where the actor did in fact eat multiple live animals in order to get the shot. Octopuses are smart, sentient creatures and the disturbing scene in The Boys gets that across while only using silicon creatures.
Melissa is Nerdist’s science & technology staff writer. She also moderates “science of” panels at conventions and co-hosts Star Warsologies, a podcast about science and Star Wars. Follow her on Twitter @melissatruth.