NYCC 2018 ‘Marvel’s The Runaways’ Season 2 Interview: Virginia Gardner Dishes on Karolina’s Alien Powers and Becoming a Gay Icon

At New York Comic Con 2018, Hulu brought out the cast and crew of their sophomore series, Marvel’s The Runaways.

Season 2 of Marvel’s The Runaways finds the Alex (Rhenzy Feliz), Nico (Lyrica Okano), Carolina (Virginia Gardner), Gert (Ariela Barer), Chase (Gregg Sulkin), and Molly (Allegra Acosta) as actual runaways after spending the first season of the show investigating the truth behind their parents secret cult and horrific actions.

The Workprint got a chance to sit down with Virginia Gardner to discuss Karolina’s alien powers, her struggle to learn more about who she is, and what it’s like to become an on-screen gay icon.

NYCC 2018: Five Things We Learned From Marvel’s ‘Runaways’ Season 2 Premiere

What’s it like to be Rainbow?

Virginia Gardner: Awesome! In real life, it’s crazy because I’m just covered in tracking dots all the time. It looks like I have a weird version of the chickenpox, but it ends up looking great on TV. 

How does it feel to be a gay icon?

Virginia Gardner: Amazing! It was always Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s intention to write out the relationship of Nico and Karolina from the beginning, but we were like “we need to push this!” Lyrica and I read the comics and we shipped Nico and Karolina, as most people do. We were really pushing to have that explore this season and it’s explored so much more compared to last season to the point where Karolina and Nico are living above Alex in a bedroom. I really throw it in Alex’s face that I stole his girl. It’s really awesome to explore that. Representation I think is so important and the fan response has been really, really amazing. It’s great!

Carolina discovers she’s an alien in Season 1. How does that play into Season 2?

Virginia Gardner: In Season 1, Karolina was afraid to embrace her sexuality and her alien side. In Season 2, she stops caring about that. The group is living on their own now. They aren’t worried about living up to any expectations their parents may have placed on them. This season they’re fully embracing everything about themselves. 

The other Runaways don’t need anything from their parents, but Karolina has just learned about her alien side. How will this affect her in Season 2?

Virginia Gardner: She is kind of sneaking around a little bit to try and develop a relationship with her dad without the other Runaways knowing. I do think she does get isolated this season because she is the only one who does need that relationship. It’s very easy for the rest of them to label Jonah as evil, but for Karolina, that is her dad and she needs to learn where she came from from him. I don’t think it is as easy for her to just label him as broadly. This season she really has a push and pull with what the relationship will be. 

What can we expect from the group dynamic in Season 2?

Virginia Gardner: We are a family, so you can expect some fights. There is a lot of disagreements, but a lot of love also. What separates our show from a lot of other Marvel shows is that it is not just action. It feels like a family show, a teen drama still. You get a lot of heartwarming episodes this year as well. Not just actiony. 

With Karolina getting used to her powers this season, will we see her powers grow?

Virginia Gardner: Yes! There is so much more flying this season. Everyone is honing in on their powers and seeing what they are capable of. Karolina, especially, has a full arc this season of discovering what she can do. By S2E12 she becomes fully aware of what her powers are capable of, but she’s not maxed out on what she can do. She’s definitely, really growing and learning what she was born with.

Season 2 of Marvel’s The Runaways will air on Hulu on December 21.

Bilal Mian
Bilal Mian
Bilal is the Editor-in-Chief of The Workprint. Follow him on Twitter @Bilal_Mian.

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