The first season of Hulu's Runaways was not without action, but the cast tells Newsarama that the December 21 second season will be a "full blown superhero show."
“Almost every episode has a battle or some sort of fight sequence in it. It was a lot more challenging for us action wise this year than it was last year. This season feels more like a Marvel show,” Karolina Dean actor Virginia Gardner tells Newsarama. “Last year it felt almost more like a drama with some action sprinkled in. This year it feels like a full blown superhero show, where we are exploring that almost every episode. Obviously, it’s still Josh and Steph – so there is a lot of heart to the show and a lot of real relationships, but also a lot more action.”
When speaking on her favorite action sequence, Gardner says, “We had a six-day straight night shoot. Including Saturday night, six days in a row, all nights - downtown Los Angeles. It’s a huge, huge action sequence. It was absolutely insane. I think that is episode 7 or so of this year.”
This season has a lot of action, but, of course, romance will be explored as well. At the end of Season 1 Karolina and Nico became a couple, and now that they’re living together their new dynamic will be explored even further.
“We were so excited about the aspect of the two of us dating at the beginning of Season 1 that Lyrica and I always had this thing that we were like even if they don’t write us to be together eventually let’s just keep low key flirting so the audience would pick up on it,” Gardner says. “We do more of that this year too, obviously, we are officially together, but her and I are in scenes always looking for a way. Like in the beginning of the season her and I are in the soup kitchen and I made it a thing to get her a thing of soup just as a character. So we are always looking for subtle ways we can add in just the body language and things.”
“In Season 1 Karolina was afraid to embrace who she was, in that regard as well as her powers, and now this season she’s kind of unafraid of all of it. She’s completely embracing her powers, and not afraid of being different anymore.”
“We start off Season 2 where Nico and Karolina are literally living together in the same bed. So we are super wifed up now. Our bedroom in the Hostile we find is above Alex’s. So poor Alex – I really stole his girl. It’s a whole arc this season with Nico and I. We kind of experience everything, and towards the end of the season it kind of even turns into a love triangle situation.”
“You see Nico and Karolina start a new relationship together, thank goodness. And as all relationships tend to be it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes it gets a little rainy and cloudy,” Lyrica Okano adds. “Especially if you are in a group of runaways who have evil parents, and they need to power the hell up to save the world pretty much. That’s a lot on their plates, and that gets a little complicated with starting a new relationship. But it’s beautiful.”
Classic comic book couple, Chase and Gert, also got together at the end of Season 1. Ariela Barer told us what we could expect from the relationship this season.
“Her relationship with Chase this season is very surprising,” The actor says “I was not expecting the route they take, but I think it’s beautiful, and I think the two of them get to be vulnerable in ways I never expected personally, that characters like this rarely get to be. Gert gets to be this strong independent woman, while also opening herself up to this other person and being scared and finding strength in that. Chase gets to be this jock, but also this sweet sensitive but still masculine guy. He gets to redefine that word for himself, and I think that’s a really cool thing to get to see a young guy do on TV.”
Alex will be finding a new love interest this year as well.
“Towards the beginning he starts seeing Darrius a bit more and finding out more about himself, these are still teenagers trying to get through life and trying to figure out who they are as people,” Rhenzy Feliz tells Newsarama. “In doing that, he finds Darrius, and Darrius helps him along the way and he meets people along the way through that journey as well.”
There will be other bonds explored this season. Including Old Lace’s relationship with the team. Barer speaks to this, saying “You will see new bonds form because we are all living together in this house, and she plays a lot of different roles within the group as well: sometimes a protector and sometimes our puppy. It’s kind of a way we all get to ebb and flow together within in this group dynamic.”
Speaking of new dynamics Barer says, “I think the most surprising dynamic that I grew to love this season was Molly and Nico. It’s not one I ever expected, but they do have a lot of parallels that they explore this season. And being Molly’s older sister, and I’m always looking after her – it’s kind of cool to see her grow in this way. It’s a dynamic I’m intrigued by and want to see more of and I also just love them.”
Barer also spoke upon Gert’s mental health this season.
“It makes this whole new superhero thing very challenging for her in a different way, and I think it’s more topical and relevant than just literally discussing mental illness on the surface because I think right now for women it’s a really scary time. And a lot of what this show deals with is unreliable authority that you maybe thought at one point you could trust and would be there for you and suddenly is not. It’s not only that, but dangerous,” The actor says. “It’s a really terrifying time to be in, and so to explore Gert’s mental health as well as being this tough feminist and it doesn’t cancel itself out. She gets to be both, and that makes her this especially strong person you get to see this season, and she makes some tough choices.”
As for Molly’s character arc, “There’s a lot of physical and actually mental development that Molly goes through this year, but she’s naturally aware of her abilities. I think she’s fighting with that, to like pursue it and take it. Her natural drive is to go save the world. She’s a natural born leader and natural born superhero,” Allegra Acosta says.
“The thing she’s dealing with is that she has her friends who want to protect her and shield her from the world that they’ve experienced because she’s the youngest. But they don’t understand that she’s ready to take on anything. Her arc is very much exploring her powers and abilities and also exploring her heritage and finally the way she grows up.”
Molly will delve into this with this season’s new character, Topher.
“Basically, when he shows up it’s like a revelation for Molly. She has an epiphany that she’s like oh my God there is someone who looks like me, has almost the same powers as I do, and is like a brother figure. She’s like oh my God this is insane because Molly wants someone to relate to, and I think that’s why she’s searching for everyone to be part of the superhero family she wants to create,” Acosta continues. “So that’s why when she has Topher she’s like you’re my family. Especially, because she doesn’t know her family background or heritage there could be such a long line of maybe this could be my long lost brother – even though he isn’t. It’s so fun to play with that storyline and kind of the way they battle.”
Allegra Acosta is a fan of the comics and would love to see Victor Mancha on the show.
“I would love to see Victor Mancha next season. The fans pair us up a lot. I’ve read a lot of fan theories that are actually really interesting. I would love to see – because Molly is growing up – if we had a time lapse and she’s older now, to have two mutants to have a love interest story and fight battle together. If they put me and Victor Mancha together – like oh my God I’m shockith to the corth. Honestly, I would die. Victor Mancha is another level, and another element of the Runaways that makes it so iconic.”
Acosta says, “This season we haven’t gotten into the codenames yet. Hopefully next season we get into the codenames because she’s either Princess Powerful or Bruiser. I personally like Bruiser.”
In the comics Nico and Alex have both been leaders of the team. Feliz on the subject says, “There’s a bit of him that always feels like that he can sort of strategize better, and sort of command in a way. But I think he also understands that his standing with the group isn’t as strong as it once was. In the first season, especially at the end, they kind of turn to him, and are like tell us – 'what to do?', 'where are we going?', 'what’s our next move?' In this one they don’t have that same trust for him. There’s a bit of a struggle, but I think he understands this is Nico’s position and sort of takes a step back.”
“Reluctantly. She’s not keen on being leader. She would much rather be in the background of everything, to take care of everything.” Okano adds, “Alex has a lot of stuff on his plate this season and so does Nico. So they kind of have to share that role, being leader of the group.”
Expanding more on her character this season Okano tells us, “You think you know how the staff works and all its great powers – well too bad because you don’t know. You will see this season that it’s a lot more than it seemed to be the first season.”
“I will say episode 7 is a huge episode. Episode 13, the last episode, is also huge. And they were both my favorite to shot because of reasons I cannot say, but you will see Nico power up.”
Unlike Season 1, fans will have an opportunity to watch all thirteen episodes of the season at once – making it the perfect binge show before the holidays.
Runaways Season 2 launches December 21 on Hulu.