Interview with Rhenzy Feliz and Gregg Sulkin of Marvel’s Runaways

As part of the roll-out for Marvel’s Runaways, we sat down with stars Rhenzy Feliz and Gregg Sulkin to discuss their characters. Feliz plays aspiring video game designer Alex Wilder, while Sulkin plays lonely jock Chase Stein. Both young men are at a crossroads when the series starts, and the actors praise Runaways‘ producers for capturing the essence of everyone’s teenage years and combining it with the life-and-death stakes of super villainy.

Because Brian K. Vaughn’s comic provided a template for so many rich and complex characters, the upcoming television series had a lot of room to delve even deeper into their psyches. For that reason, Feliz said that while he read the entire first volume, he did not use it as a guideline on how to portray Alex. “ I didn’t want that to influence me too much so I focused on what the scripts were saying and how he was feeling in the time, on the page.” Sulkin had a similar attitude, saying that, “I think they’ve definitely dived into the characters a lot deeper. Which as an actor, is exactly what you want.” But that doesn’t mean the plots will veer wildly away from the source material, either. “I mean, the storylines, we stay true to the comic in ways that I think the fans will want us to.”

Producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage are known for heightening the teenage experience in Gossip Girl and The O.C., and according to the Runaways actors they’ve outdone themselves this time around. While Feliz could not relate to finding out his parents are supervillains, he said, “ I think they do a great job of at least trying to understand the mindset of someone who is young, trying to figure themselves out and trying to figure out this crazy world around them.” Sulkin agreed wholeheartedly, gushing that, “We’ve seen a little bit of the show and I can just kind of tell it’s a Josh and Stephanie project. It just has this really cool Marvel factor.”

Furthermore, collaboration on set between writers and actors is a very positive experience. As Feliz recalled, “The collaboration on it is great. If we ever have any concerns we want to bring up to them they listen and sometimes they make changes.” Sulkin added, “Yeah I think Josh and Steph have an open door policy. I think you can go to them any time.” That being said, the story has been in development for a few years, so  “I don’t think there are any mistakes or loop holes that they’ve missed.”

So where exactly do we find these two teenage boys when Runaways starts? “[Chase]’s dealing with stuff at home that no one knows about,” Sulkin teased in a hint as the character’s abusive father. “I think you find Chase [at a] point where people don’t know him. People don’t know what he’s going through.” Meanwhile, Feliz talked more about the mysterious tragedy from two years ago that still haunts his character to this day – and motivates him to reunite with his old friends. “He wants that connection with people who he spent so much time. He loves them, so I think he wants them around again. And he hatches a plan, he gets them all together and then they witness something that maybe they wish they hadn’t.”

The first three episodes of Marvel’s Runaways drop through Hulu on November 21st.

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