by Aaron Halls
In a room full of press, cast members and executive producers of Marvel’s Runaways dished out a number of teases for its upcoming second season. On hand were co-creator and executive producer Stephanie Savage, executive producer Jeph Loeb, Virginia Gardner (Karolina Dean), Lyrica Okano (Nico Minoru), Gregg Sulkin (Chase Stein), Rhenzy Feliz (Alex Wilder), Ariela Barer (Gert Yorkes), and Allegra Acosta (Molly Hernandez).
Stephanie Savage mentioned that the season’s production had just wrapped and that attending NYCC was a nice capping of that along with showing the fans material. When asked what she was most excited for now that the first season had been established, she said the most fun thing that fans will enjoy is that The Runaways are actually on the run now from their villainous parents.
“It’s a whole new show. The kids have a different dynamic with each other, different dynamic with their parents. We’re shooting in different parts of Los Angeles,” Savage said. “We have two really cool new sets this year that I think fans are really going to like. So, it’s a lot of fun and it’s really different.”
Virginia Gardner described how being on the run gives her character, Karolina, and the other teens a new sense of identity.
“They’re living on their own now. They’re not worried about living up to any expectations their parents may have placed on them. This season they’re just fully embracing everything about themselves,” Gardner said. “They’re unafraid this year, and they kind of have to be when you’re 16 and living on the streets of Los Angeles.”
For Gardner, now that the characters are living on their own it helps in giving the show a whole different feel.
“Last season was mansions and Brentwood, and this season it’s soup kitchens and Griffith Park and Downtown LA. It feels grittier. It feels like you’re seeing more of that reality,” Gardner said. “It’s still a TV show so there’s hair and makeup involved, but I think it’s less glam than it was last year. This season we’re on the streets. We’re surviving. It feels like we’re trying to find our footing within that new circumstance.”
When asked about the difference of coming into Season Two versus Season One as an actress, Ariela Barer talked about how among everyone there was a new sense of confidence. After they saw the first season they knew what they were doing, the tone, and that it was worth it.
She said they put in twice as many hours working this year, for a longer season, and they began the second season with a long 14 hour shoot involving lots of literal running.
“We’re like ‘Okay, we’re setting the tone pretty early that we are ‘The Runaways,’ and there is action, and the stakes are much higher,” Barer said.
Allegra Acosta said fans should expect more action from her super strength-powered character Molly this season, and if they get picked up for Season Three she hopes they’ll be even more.
“You see that she’s growing up, and as you grow up more powers start to kick in. I would love to see a revelation in Season Three — a Magneto moment of like ‘Da-Ding!’ I’m here, and I’m ready,” Acosta said. “There was so many fun moments — I get to flip a car. It’s fun because they are kind of trials and errors for Molly; it’s all this season of her just messing around with her powers and seeing her greater good in herself and believing in herself.”
Molly isn’t the only character who we should expect action from this season, Lyrica Okano teased that when it comes to her character’s weapon, the Staff of One, there’s more to it than meets the eye.
“From the first season it’s definitely more technology-based, science-based, but I don’t want to spoil anything for y’all,” Okano said. “I’m just going to say the Staff is capable of a lot of things. You think you know what the Staff is capable of? Oh boy, you have no idea.”
For Gregg Sulkin, the special effects work this season, such as with his character Chase’s trusty Fistigons, made him realize he wants to do a lot more action-comedy in his career.
“I think it’s really encouraged me to do it. I think it’s been a lot of fun. I think it’s been challenging,” Sulkin said. “Doing stunts I felt like Tom Cruise this season. It’s been great.”
Even though his character doesn’t have any special physical powers like his co-stars, Rhenzy Feliz’s favorite part about playing Alex is seeing how the character uses his brain.
“That’s his power. That’s his use to the group. That’s how he contributes. So, when you get to see that in full display, and you’ll definitely get to see it much more in the second season, that’s so much fun to play out,” Feliz said. “When he’s on hyper mode — boom! And everything’s working out and he’s planning things, and planning things, and when it works out it’s exhilarating. Getting to read that and getting to play that is so much fun because you get to act super smart and super cool when it all works out.”
For Virginia Gardner, though the show will have a heavy dosage of action this season fans will still see a lot of love between The Runaways.
“It feels like a family show. It feels like a teen drama still,” Gardner said. “You get a lot of really heartwarming episodes this year as well — not just action. You see the family we’re trying to grow between the six of us.”
You can watch all episodes of Marvel’s Runaways Season 2 on December, 21 on Hulu.