From showrunners Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, Marvel’s Runaways, available to stream on Hulu, tells the story of six teenagers – Alex Wilder (Rhenzy Feliz), Chase Stein (Gregg Sulkin), Karolina Dean (Virginia Gardner), Nico Minoru (Lyrica Okano), Gert Yorkes (Ariela Barer) and Molly Hernandez (Allegra Acosta) – who realize that their parents have been lying to them all their lives and that they’re really evil. As a result, this group of estranged friends, who also have secrets of their own, must band together to stop their parents before it’s too late.
On September 26th, Collider (along with a few other outlets) was invited over to the L.A. set of the series to chat with the cast and executive producers and learn about all things Runaways. During a small roundtable interview, co-stars Ever Carradine and James Marsters (who play Janet and Victor Stein, the parents of Chase) talked about the appeal of their characters, the child-parent dynamic, Victor’s dark side and how that affects their family, the roles they play in Pride, working with such brand-new faces, and joining the Marvel universe. Be aware that there are some spoilers discussed.
Question: James, what made you want to play this character?
JAMES MARSTERS: I am a science nerd. I didn’t go to school for science or math, but I’ve been fascinated about it, all my life. I love to watch documentaries and read about it, and I have friends who are engineers. Engineers are fascinating people, so to play one was very exciting. I went into the audition and said, “Can I just do a little improvisation for you, after the audition?” And they were like, “Can you keep it to a minute?” I said, “Okay, this is my character coming to work in the morning. ‘Hey, guys, today NASA has contacted us once again. They’ve asked for help. The Mars mission is in trouble. The big problem that they’re having is feces. We have to recycle everything in this spacecraft because we can’t throw anything away. Everything has to be recycled. They cannot get water out of feces, so that’s what we’re gonna be working on this week. And do not come to me with any ideas about boiling it. Any caveman can do that. We do not have the energy to keep boiling this stuff. I need a filtration system. The coffee is free. I need an interesting idea on my desk in the morning. It doesn’t have to be the one we arrive at, but unless I find something interesting by the morning, I’m going to fire somebody. Go!’” And I think that got me the role. I don’t know. I love to talk about science, and to combine that with a fairly ruthless personality is very interesting.
Since you have friends that are engineers, does the show let you interject some of those experiences into your character?
MARSTERS: I’m not an ad-libber. If I’m asked to ad-lib, I can ad-lib forever and it’s really fun to do that, but I find that well-written scripts are put together very carefully. Once you start to ad-lib and add words to sentences, there’s a slacking that happens. When it’s good writing, it’s taut. I’m not judging people who do ad-lib.
Ever, what do you most enjoy about being on this show?
EVER CARRADINE: The best part is that there’s 16 of us, and really everybody totally gets along. Coming to work is a joy. We’re on text threads with the kids, text threads with the women of Pride, and text threads with all of the Pride, talking about stories and scripts. It’s all fun. It’s good to be around good people.
What is Janet’s place in Pride?
CARRADINE: Janet doesn’t seem to be offering anything. She’s not building something and she’s not the brains behind any operation, but she is the rock behind Victor Stein. In some of the flashbacks, you’ll see that Janet is pretty smart, in her own right, and was going places in school, and then gave a lot of that up to be Mrs. Stein and support Victor. The Pride is glued together. They’ve painted themselves into a corner and they’re stuck, and they’ve gotta work it out and stick together.
Some of Pride are there for reasons of family and some are there for altruism. Why is Janet there?
CARRADINE: She’s married to Victor Stein, and he’s in Pride. They’ve all entered Pride together, and once you’re in, you’re in, whether you are inventing something or not. She knows the secrets of Pride, she shows up at Pride meetings, and she participates in whatever it is that Pride does. She’s an active member, she just doesn’t actively create things, like some of the other people in Pride.
Does she want to be there?
CARRADINE: I don’t know if any of them want to be there, really. I think they do and they don’t. It’s a conflicted group. Pride is not without complications.