From showrunners Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, Marvel’s Runaways, available to stream on Hulu on November 21st , 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 Rhenzy Feliz and Gregg Sulkin talked about the huge Marvel fandom, making the best TV series that they possibly can, how much fun they’ve had with the parent-child dynamics with their characters, how often they’re thrown by the twists in the story, learning how to act like they have superpowers, and the importance of maintaining the show’s magic. Be aware that there are some spoilers discussed.
Question: Are you guys ready for all the crazy fandom stuff that comes with being a part of a Marvel project?
GREGG SULKIN: Thankfully, I come from a very normal family, so I take everything with a pinch of salt. The fandom is really humbling to me, and it’s really sweet and flattering, but at the same time, the most important thing is the show and the quality of the show. Hopefully, fans love it, and if they love it, I’m more than happy to bring them along for the ride. I’ll be grateful for that opportunity. I don’t know if any human being is ever ready for fandom, but you try to deal with it the best way possible. You just enjoy it and be grateful, and you see where it takes you.
RHENZY FELIZ: Speak for yourself. I’m definitely ready for it. No. It’s a lot to take on. It’s a lot of pressure. It’s a big spotlight. Marvel comes with this huge fandom. People are gonna show up and they’re gonna watch, and they’re gonna judge and tweet about it. I like the fact that people are excited for it. That’s something that we have to deal with and that we have to live up to. It makes us be on our toes and give everything we have because we know that, if things don’t happen the way that they’re supposed to come out, than we’re gonna get criticized.
SULKIN: It’s like trying to score a touchdown in the last play of the game. That’s how it feels. It’s our job, as actors and collaborators and castmates, to make sure that every single person is giving 150% and to make sure that there are no mistakes. We want to come out not just satisfying the audience, but blowing people out of the water with it. That is our goal, and it has been since we started the show. We weren’t doing the show just to do a TV show. We want to make the biggest show on television for the next two, three, four or five years. That’s our plan. We’ll see if it happens.
One of the great qualities of the show is the parent/child conflict, which is very universal. What’s been fun about building that with your TV parents?
FELIZ: It’s very fun because it’s a world that we get to travel to while we act. That’s what I love about acting so much. When we start off with Alex, he’s with his parents. When he sees that sacrifice, there’s a lot of denial. What happens when you find out that your parents aren’t who you think they are? Not all of that can be true, can it? For you to swallow the truth, you need to know the truth, so you go out and try to find out what exactly is happening. What exactly are they? What have they been doing his entire life? How long has this been going on? You try to find those answers. Then, you can start to process things, but it takes awhile. That’s what this season is there for. You figure it out slowly, what is and what isn’t true.
SULKIN: We work with such talented people. The actors who play our parents are top notch. I know that I look forward to coming to set with James [Marsters] and Ever [Carradine] and doing scenes with them because it makes me a better actor and I step up my performance. It’s amazing, going into this very deep, dark world with them. And then, as soon as they say, “Cut!,” they are the coolest, sweetest people. That whole experience has been amazing.
SULKIN: Although it’s The Runaways and may be focused on how we’re stopping evil, at the same time (co-showrunners) Josh [Schwartz] and Steph [Savage] do a great job of allowing the audience to understand why the parents are doing what they’re doing.
FELIZ: You get to see both perspectives. It’s cool.
Rhenzy, your character clearly wants to get the band back together again, but they’re a little resistant. Is he just happy that they have to rely on each other again, or would he prefer that it be under different circumstances?
FELIZ: I’m sure he’d prefer it be under different circumstances, for sure. I think that when the sacrifice happens and they all do have to come together, I don’t think it’s anything that he wants. I don’t think it’s anything that any of them want. You don’t want to believe that your parents are [villains]. So, they do come together. They can only trust themselves, at that point. The only other people that understand what they’re going through are also going through it, at the exact same time. They’re all trying to figure it out together, and I think he’s grateful for that. I don’t think he’d want to do it with anyone else. I think he loves his friends, but at the same time, they butt heads. It’s a very difficult situation that they’re in.
When you read the scripts, are you ever thrown be a twist that comes up in the storyline?
FELIZ: Every episode!
SULKIN: Every five minutes of every episode!
FELIZ: Exactly! There are so many twists and turns in this. You see something going one way, and then they’ll say a line and it changes the entire series. It’s very, very fun to read. I wait by my email. Every five minutes, I check to see if we got a new script. It’s very exciting!
SULKIN: The audience goes on the journey with the Runaways because, along with the Runaways, they’re gonna find out information, through each episode, as to how evil their parents are, what exactly they’re doing, how they’re doing it, and how they’re gonna stop them. That continuously changes and develops. For the first three episodes, it is really a rollercoaster.