Josh Zaharia discusses Amazon’s The Boys and Apple TV+’s Ghostwriter (Exclusive)

Josh Zaharia. Photo credit: Shimon Karmel
Josh Zaharia. Photo credit: Shimon Karmel /

Josh Zaharia took on the heartbreaking role of Young Butcher in Amazon’s The Boys. He talks that and Apple TV+’s Ghostwriter in this exclusive.

It is never easy to play younger versions of characters we’ve come to know and love. It’s important to get mannerisms and accents just right. That would have certainly been tricky for The Boys considering Karl Urban has a very intentionally questionable accent in the series.

The series was always going to need someone who could do voice impressions. Why not hire Josh Zaharia, who loves doing voice impressions? He discussed that in our exclusive interview with him, along with his most recent role in Ghostwriter on Apple TV+.

Josh Zaharia talks the accent for The Boys

Hidden Remote: How much did you get to work with Karl Urban and Tyler Hoechlin for The Boys and Superman & Lois to get into the roles for their younger parts?

Josh Zaharia: Working with Karl was excellent, and I got to work with him a lot while on set. He gave me advice when it came to things like, maybe Butcher would say something this way, or that way, with the accent and in his emotional state.

I only briefly met Tyler, but he was super welcoming and kind on set!

HR: The Boys is one of Amazon’s biggest shows. What was it like during the auditioning process for the iconic role of Young Butcher?

JZ: When I got the audition for The Boys, I remember being right beside my mom and saying, “Wow!” because I knew how huge the show was, and especially being able to audition for the young version of Butcher was so exciting for me. I auditioned for the role and sent off my tape. After about a week or so, my agent sent me a message letting me know my tape had been passed on to the producers. At this point, I got very excited and waited for more updates.

A few days later, I got another email telling me I had been sent for approval at Amazon. And finally, I got the call to say I was officially cast as Young Butcher. I booked the role about five to six months before filming, which gave me a lot of time to research and get into character.

HR: How was it on set knowing that this was such a huge episode for fans to understand who Butcher is?

I knew it was a huge undertaking to play the young version of a beloved character like Butcher. While I was on set, the whole crew and I were so excited for fans to finally see Butcher’s backstory and give them what they’ve always wanted to see back from the first season. We wanted to show the relationship between Butcher and his brother and Butcher with his father. It was important for everyone to illustrate Butcher’s past pains and how they influenced his present decisions.

Josh Zaharia. Photo credit: Shimon Karmel
Josh Zaharia. Photo credit: Shimon Karmel /

Josh Zaharia discusses Ghostwriter and doing voice impressions

HR: I know you love creating voices and doing impressions. What is it about voice work that is so much fun?

JZ: I love doing voices and impressions! What I find so great about it is that you can create an atmosphere, a personality, and much more with just the voice alone.

Animation is an expressive medium, so bringing an animated character to life is very exciting for me. I’ve always found the animation process so interesting as a collaborative process between the actors, the crew, and the animators to bring characters to life.

HR: Can you share a little about your role on Ghostwriter? Who’s your character and what drives him?

JZ: In Ghostwriter, my character is Leo El Magnifico, a mega-famous magician from the book “Leo El Magnifico” by Pablo Cartaya. Then he’s unexpectedly transported into the real world by a ghost to help solve a mystery.

The character arc he goes through in the show makes Leo so interesting and exciting for me as an actor. He starts off as egotistical and only caring about his fame. But as we progress in the show, we learn more about Leo and how he became the person he is now. We start to see the regrets he has, how he misses his hometown, his best friend and his family.

HR: Is there anything in Ghostwriter that you’ve been excited for fans to see?

JZ: I can’t wait for them to see all the amazing book characters that come to life. We have an amazing group of books that show up in the show, from the Wizard of Oz, The Mouse and The Motorcycle, Charlotte’s Web, among other great books.

Something else that’s cool about the show that I can’t wait for fans to experience is to try and solve the mystery alongside our characters.

Finally, this season brings up very sensitive topics such as racism and the refugee experience, which I think could spark up meaningful conversations that I feel are very important to have in the times that we live in now.

Josh Zaharia. Photo credit: Shimon Karmel
Josh Zaharia. Photo credit: Shimon Karmel /

HR: If you could do one dream role, what would it be?

JZ: There are so many roles I would love to play, but I’m just the biggest superhero fan, so I’ve got to say working on a Marvel and/or DC project as one of their superheroes!

Next. Ghosts: Román Zaragoza discusses popcorn, acting with his dad, and more. dark

Watch Josh Zaharia in The Boys on Prime Video and Ghostwriter on Apple TV+.