Marvel’s Runaways: Virginia Gardner Interview on Season 3’s Different Vibe

Marvel’s Runaways star Virginia Gardner (“Karolina Dean”) believes season three of the popular comic book-inspired series feels the most like a Marvel superhero show. During our interview at the 2019 New York Comic Con, Gardner teased, “The first two seasons are pretty character-based and this season starts to get really cool and sci-fi.”

Season three of Runaways will kick off with Gardner as Karolina trapped inside a tube. The upcoming season will also feature Elizabeth Hurley playing Morgan le Fay and will include a crossover with Aubrey Joseph and Olivia Holt from Cloak & Dagger.

Marvel’s Runaways season three is set to premiere on December 13, 2019 on Hulu.

Where do we pick up with Karolina when season three opens?

Virginia Gardner: “We pick up with Karolina, Chase, and Janet stuck in tubes, which was horrible to film. We called them ‘tube days.’ So, it picks up and we’re trapped in these tubes. Jonah has trapped us and we’re waiting on our friends to come bail us out.”

What’s happening to Karolina as she’s in the tube?

Virginia Gardner: “I can say when you’re in the tube your dream self is living out your deepest fantasy, so obviously that involves Nico. We’ll probably feed into a lot of fan fantasies as well. (Laughing) I think people will like Tube Karolina.”

Was that fun for you to play?

Virginia Gardner: “It was not fun to be in the tube. No! But the tube fantasy stuff was a lot of fun. We shot on a beautiful location in Malibu. A lot of the fantasy stuff was fun.”

What was the tube enclosure like? Did you really have to be inside of it for a while?

Virginia Gardner: “For like 12 hours a day for many days. But it’s like this thick, thick, thick tube and usually you could shoot us and we wouldn’t need to be in the tube all day because you could shoot around it. But because it was all glass surrounding it, our reflections would be in every shot. So, we had to be in these tubes all day.

The way they’re curved, it just gets really disorienting after a while, so you have to sit perfectly still. You know how it is – as soon as you tell someone you have to sit still; you get like an itch or whatever.

Gregg (Sulkin) and I definitely have some tube trauma happening.”

We know that Cloak and Dagger will be coming on the show this season. Can you tease at all if Karolina has any interactions with them?

Virginia Gardner: “Yeah. It’s really cool to see how their powers complement ours. There’s definitely some characters that kind of bond more than other ones. It’s kind of cool to see how those dynamics come into play this season. It kind of ends on a note where there’s definitely an open door to do more crossovers in the future, which was awesome.”

Would you say overall this new season is darker than the previous two? How would you describe season three?

Virginia Gardner: “Yeah. Allegra (Acosta) earlier was saying it’s a wiccan season. There’s witchcraft involved and we introduce a lot of zombies at one point, a lot of dark, interesting elements that we haven’t played with before. And some new sci-fi elements as well that I can’t talk about because they’re spoilers!

But, yeah, this season feels less like The O.C. this season. It definitely is starting to feel like its own kind of dark, interesting universe.”

What’s it been like having Elizabeth Hurley join the cast?

Virginia Gardner: “She’s been amazing. We were so excited when she got cast. She’s a wonderful Morgan le Fay. She makes such a great villain and she brings a lot to the show. She’s such an icon. It’s a blessing to have her on there.”

Marvel's Runaways
Karolina Dean (Virginia Gardner) and Nico Minoru (Lyrica Okano) in ‘Marvel’s Runaways’ (Photo by Michael Desmond / Hulu)

How is Karolina coping with getting caught up in her alien family?

Virginia Gardner: “It keeps happening to Karolina! It’s tough because she continuously is torn between her family – these aliens – and not knowing if they’re good or bad or what. But then it’s also the only people who understand what it’s like to be alien, so she’s constantly in this push/pull of not knowing if she can trust her own family.”

What about her new half-sibling?

Virginia Gardner: “Her and the baby bond. I had to hold a live baby for the first time on camera. I was holding this thing like, ‘I’m going to drop it! I can’t handle this!’”

We know Nico’s going to go through some dark stuff this season. Can you talk about how that might impact their relationship?

Virginia Gardner: “Karolina a lot this season is watching Morgan le Fay pull Nico to the dark side. I think Karolina has always been the light to Nico’s dark, and now the dark is kind of starting to win out. So, for Karolina she’s living in this constant state of worrying that she’s going to lose her girlfriend.”

What’s the one thing after these three seasons playing her that you really love about Karolina?

Virginia Gardner: “I love her optimism. I love her strength. It’s been cool because I started the show when I was 21 and I’m 24 now. I think I’ve certainly grown into more of a woman as the years have gone by and so has she. It’s always fun to live with a character long enough where you feel like you are growing together. It’s been a lot of fun.”

Were there any characters you’ve gotten to work with a bit more in season three than the prior two seasons?

Virginia Gardner: “I guess Gregg a lot because going back to the tube days, we spent so many days in that tube. Gregg and I definitely bonded this season.”

Have you enjoyed the sci-fi element more than the drama of seasons one and two?

Virginia Gardner: “It’s just a nice change. I like the stunt work. I like the challenge as an actor of having to find ways to ground topics that seem ungroundable. It’s fun to have to like, you know, working with zombies and you’re like, ‘How do I make this real for me?’ So, it’s a great challenge.”

You mentioned the stunt work. What did you to do in season three?

Virginia Gardner: “This season… I mean, it’s always a lot of running on our show since it’s the Runaways. I can’t talk too much because I can’t give away spoilers, but I can just say it’s like some good fight sequences and some cool night work as well. Some nice explosions and stuff which I always enjoy doing.”

Will we see Karolina’s powers evolve at all this season?

Virginia Gardner: “I think she’s kind of figured out the extent of her powers for the most part. So, I don’t know if we’ll see much there. But I think definitely with Nico and what she can do. Nico really evolves this season.”