Listen Up

Jade Ma


If you think you’ve been patiently impatient waiting for Marvel’s Black Widow, imagine what it has been like for actress Jade Ma, who plays an as-yet-revealed character in the on-hold tentpole. Thankfully, she has had other projects to keep her busy during the long pause, including the popular Netflix series Zero Chill, where she was able to tap into her childhood ice skating skills to, as they say, pay the bills. With the family drama currently captivating families on the streaming service, we sat down with Ma for our latest seven question session.


Twitter @Jade_Y_Ma

Featured Image By: Noah Asanias

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Trunk Gaming

Fortnite: Nexus War


Fortnite Chapter 2, Season 4: Nexus War

Initial Release Date: August 27, 2020

Developer: Epic Games

Publisher: Epic Games, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertanment

Designer: Darren Sugg

Platform: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Android, Microsoft Windows, Classic Mac OS, iOS

Genre: Battle Royale, Survival, Sandbox

Why We’re Playing It: TrunkSpace is filled with pop culture goodness, and it doesn’t get more random and pop culture-esque than watching John Wick, Batman, Deadpool and She Hulk battle it out fist-to-guns while using trending social media dance moves to taunt each other!

What It’s All About: At its core, Fortnite is a battle royale-style shooter, but it has more layers than a never-ending gobstopper! This season Fortnite has teamed up with Marvel to weave the two worlds together in the Nexus War. Marvel has even released a series of crossover covers this month to commemorate the event.

That’s Worth A Power-Up!: Just when you think you might be burnt out or over the last season of Fortnite, they go and do something like drop the Avengers right in the middle of their already overflowing roster of playable skins. This season offers up the chance to actually harness not just a power-up but a SUPER power. You can wield Dr. Doom’s gauntlets, Groots bramble shield, Silver Surfer’s board, and more that have yet to be revealed.

Bonus Level: Whether you’re a marvel fan or not, you will enjoy this season, but if you are a Marvel fan… you’re going to enjoy it WAY more, getting to visit locations like Doom’s Domain or the Sentinel Graveyard where you can use their severed arms to blast yourself across the map. Fornite has truly out-Fortnited themselves with this season, and we can’t wait to see what’s next!

And that’s why this game is a certified quarter muncher!

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The Featured Presentation

Clarissa Thibeaux

Photo By: Storm Santos

For Runaways star Clarissa Thibeaux, tapping into the personality of an existing character, in this case Xavin from the Marvel comic book universe, meant having to cull what she could from past sequential pages while simultaneously tapping into the vision of the series’ writers. The result is a memorable on-screen role, and although she had plenty of inspiration to pick from, there are still aspects of her own personality that make their way to the viewers.

I think the reality is no matter what I do a little bit of Clarissa will always shine through the characters I play,” she said in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace.

We recently sat down with Thibeaux to discuss personal awareness, finding her place in Los Angeles, and remaining blissfully unaware of what the future holds.

TrunkSpace: You discovered you first landed the part of Xavin in Runaways the week of your birthday. How has your journey on the series impacted your life and career? What has been the greatest gift of your Runaways ride?
Thibeaux: Yes, it was an amazing birthday week! It has been an eye opening ride so far. Being part of the series has given me the opportunity to audition and test for some amazing projects. I think the greatest gift has been getting to interact with the fans of the show and really hear about their connections to both the characters in the TV show and in the comics.

TrunkSpace: Xavin will have been the longest run you’ve had with a character in episodic television. What is that experience like for you… discovering new things that you can use day-to-day in your performance with a character? Does it make you ever second-guess the earliest choices you made with her?
Thibeaux: Having the opportunity to play such a muted yet layered character has been a great challenge. A lot of what I discovered acting-wise, with Xavin, is what is truly needed to communicate an idea of feeling. Since Xavin doesn’t have the same emotional range as some of the other characters on the show, it was a lot of fun to work with the directors to give just enough information visually to communicate Xavin’s myriad of feelings. I think my earliest choices of Xavin’s characteristics were close to what I brought to Xavin this season… Xavin has a huge shift during their arc but I think with all of the information from the new season maybe I would have done a few things differently. I’m not sure. I’m happy with my performance. (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: When you’re shaping someone who is based on an existing character, in this case a character who had a history in print, how do you approach staying true to what is already there, but at the same time, bringing yourself into the character? Is it a thin line to walk?
Thibeaux: I did my best to see where Xavin’s personality came out in the comics and did my best to layer those brash or comedic moments in with the writer’s vision(s). I think the reality is no matter what I do a little bit of Clarissa will always shine through the characters I play. Xavin, however, is such a calculated being, and that gave me a lot more to use when playing them.

TrunkSpace: As you were moving into production for Season 3, did you feel more comfortable in Xavin’s shoes, even with a new and unfamiliar story arc in front of you? Does tapping into a character and her motivation get easier the more time you spend with her?
Thibeaux: Definitely! It was also easier to fall into this season because I had already built budding relationships with my castmates and had a better understanding of what each day would be like. I also knew more about Xavin after Season 2 came out. So many wonderful fans gave me a lot of insight into how they felt when they read the comics and what Xavin meant to them. For me, playing Xavin had a lot to do with awareness. Awareness of my body, my breathing, and how each word left my mouth. I did my best to make everything (at least for me) feel a little foreign and intentional.

TrunkSpace: Runaways is grounded in reality to an extent, but at the same time, is very much a part of the fantastical as well. When you’re going to work every day where literally anything can happen on camera, does it keep things interesting for you as an actor? Does 10-year-old Clarissa give you high fives with the stuff you get to do as a part of the series?
Thibeaux: (Laughter) Ten-year-old Clarissa would be AMAZED. Since a lot of fantastic things happen on the show, it makes each day really feel like a dream. Some of the most interesting parts for me were all the camera set ups. There were rigs I had never seen before – those were pretty magical.

TrunkSpace: For fans, the final product of a film or series is always the most memorable part, but for those involved in a project, we’d imagine it goes much deeper than that. For you, what is something about your time working on Runaways that you’ll carry with you through the course of your life career?
Thibeaux: I think one part of Runways that will stay with me is how supportive the whole cast and crew were. Since Xavin is a shapeshifter, it was a trip to have so many actors that I admire asking for my advice on how to play Xavin. Lots of very fun conversations!

Photo By: Storm Santos

TrunkSpace: You’re starring on a show that is a part of the Marvel brand. Given how big all things Marvel has become, do you feel lucky to be a part of this very unique period in pop culture history, particularly on a show that is helping to define the future of television by offering such quality content on a streaming platform?
Thibeaux: I feel extremely lucky. I could never have guessed that my career would take me on the path I’m on but holy moly am I grateful. It is such an amazing time in TV and to be on a show of this caliber… I still pinch myself.

TrunkSpace: You moved to Los Angeles after graduating college. As look back on your experience, locating to a city where so many people are dreaming the same dream, was it a difficult transition or did you feel right at home right away?
Thibeaux: I stumbled a bit when I got to LA – it’s not the easiest city to live in or navigate. I don’t know if I feel at home now. (Laughter) This is an interesting city. It’s a love/hate relationship. Some days I feel on top of the world and other days I feel like I have no idea why I’m here. In LA there’s a little bit of everything.

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Thibeaux: I have to say Runaways! It has changed so much for me and opened so many doors.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Thibeaux: Hmmm… I don’t know! What if it’s really bad? That would be depressing. I think I wouldn’t do it, just in case. I rather live blissfully unaware. I’m happy now – it’s better to live in the present.

Season 3 of Runaways is available now on Hulu.

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Trunk Gaming

Marvel’s Spider-Man


Marvel’s Spider-Man

Initial Release Date: September 7, 2018

Developer: Insomniac Games

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Genre: Action-Adventure

Platforms: Playstation 4

Why We’re Playing It: Aside from the fact that we’re all big web slinger fans here at TrunkSpace, we also have a lot of faith that Insomniac Games, known for titles like “Rachet & Clank,” always puts out not just a quality game but one that swings a story or two above the others in terms of quality. It was clear early on, from the first footage of gameplay, that this installment of Spider-Man would be the closest you’ll ever get to putting on the webbed suit and zipping across the New York skyline.

What It’s All About?: When you’re not swinging around town as Spider-Man, stopping crime with the help of Detective Yuri and the NYPD, you’re working alongside Dr. Otto Octavius in his lab to create upgrades for your suit. Without giving away too many plot spoilers we’ll just say your first boss battle is with Wilson Fisk as you learn the mechanics of the game play. From there you get mixed up with Mayor Osborn, Mary Jane, Electro, Rhino, Scorpion, Vulture and Mister Negative… and do you really think Dr. Octavius is just going to stay good ole’ doc? We’ll see after Osborn seizes all of his research!

That’s Worth A Power-Up!: It’s hard to pick just one thing that stands out in this game – there are many! – but the web slinging and fight mechanics are truly innovative. You can glide and parkour through the city so seamlessly you won’t want to stop. If you were Forrest Gump, you would just swing across the entire country. Oh, and we can’t forget to mention, when you start swooping through the city on a web, an epic soundtrack starts to play, making you feel like you’re actually playing within a Spider-Man movie. For die-hard Marvel fans out there, you can even get a custom made Spider-Man controller, making gameplay just that little bit more exciting!

Bonus Level: We found the open world gaming really refreshing. A lot of games are jumping on this bandwagon, and it is very freeing to be able to choose your path through the storyline and environment. The way that Insomniac Games pulls this off and sets itself apart is all in the details, literally. Pick a building to climb on and you’ll notice your reflection. You’ll also be able to see that they not only designed the interiors of these buildings, but they have people that are moving and interacting with one another inside the skyscraper you’re perched on. This attention to detail blew our minds and it will you as well!

And that’s why this game is a certified quarter muncher!

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The Featured Presentation

Justin Swain

Photo By: Jason Setiawan

As the title character from the Netflix series “Luke Cage,” Mike Colter brings a charismatic swagger to every scene he inhabits, but it is the supporting cast of characters who surround the hero with the unbreakable skin that helps to create such a unique and engaging world. With Season 2 recently dropping, fans of the Marvel Universe are getting an extended look at many of those characters, including Detective Bailey, played to likable perfection by Justin Swain.

We recently sat down with Swain to discuss finding his place in the Marvel Universe, understanding the complexity of its continuity, and why as an actor he’s always trying to be the best blue possible.

TrunkSpace: When a full season of a series that you’re starring in drops all on one day, is that a different experience than being a part of a show that releases a new episode week after week?
Swain: Yeah, it’s like having a gigantic movie explode over a weekend… all at once. It’s pretty crazy. It’s quite an event.

TrunkSpace: Because it’s within the Marvel Universe and part of a world where fans are so involved in every aspect of the storytelling, they must also always be looking for small details that even you might not expect them to be looking for?
Swain: Yeah. The response so far has been just incredible. People have been reaching out, on Instagram and everything, just picking up, like you said, on the little details along the way, showing how much they like it, and also at the same time, asking questions about the plot. I’m like, “You’ve got to keep watching. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen at the end. I’m not going to tell you what’s going on with Nandi, or what’s going to happen over the year with Misty. You’ve got to keep watching.” (Laughter) But it’s cool, the interaction on social media as people get into it over the weekend, has been really neat to watch.

TrunkSpace: When you step back and let it sink in, is it still sort of a pinch me moment to be able to say that you’re a part of the Marvel Universe?
Swain: Yeah. The whole thing, the whole ride of this, it has been extraordinary. Becoming a part of it, not knowing in the beginning what I was auditioning for, not knowing what I was getting into, seeing it grow, and then being able to work with such incredible people, it’s a real special experience. The way the people receive “Luke Cage” particularly, is flattering, and you also feel like you’re part of something really unique. That’s kind of what this whole weekend was about. We did the big launch premiere party on Thursday night. We got to watch an episode, and all the artists who performed at Harlem’s Paradise were performing at the premiere party, and there was the red carpet and everything… it was just overwhelming, and a pretty unique and fascinating experience.

TrunkSpace: What’s really cool, especially on the TV side of what Marvel’s doing, is that each project has its own feel and tone. Although they all go together, they all feel separate. Not to take anything away from the other shows, but “Luke Cage” really has a unique vibe to it, something that is entirely its own.
Swain: Yeah, not taking anything away from the other shows, but you’re right, I think they each have their own personality, and “Luke Cage” has a swagger, man. I think they use that word a few times when you’re watching it, and I think you can feel that swagger watching the show in the way that it’s put together, and the way you watch it. It almost has this kind of really cool retro feel to it – a little bit of a ‘70s vibe. If you watch closely, through the whole season, there’s a few different homages to a lot of those great ‘70s films and other filmmakers. If you really pay attention you can see specific shots. There’s something that happens at the end of the season that’s a direct homage to a great, great film, and a very specific moment. I think they use it so well. Props to the director, and to Cheo (Hodari Coker), and everybody putting that together.

TrunkSpace: You’re a writer as well. Can you appreciate just how much continuity the Marvel creators have to juggle, not only with the “Luke Cage” world, but for the overall Marvel Universe?
Swain: Yeah, as a writer, like you said, you look at everything you have to balance out, and so many different elements that you have to look at, make sure are represented, and maintain. You’re also balancing against a larger Marvel Universe. The amount of work and effort and planning that goes into that, and then to have it all coordinated from the top down by Jeph Loeb – he is the top of the pyramid – in the television world, to be able to do what they do, at the level they do it, it’s not easy. They make it look easy, and that’s what’s really cool about what they’re able to do.

TrunkSpace: And so when you first signed on, you didn’t know that Detective Bailey would be involved in the larger, longer overall story?
Swain: That’s right, it was like “The Princess Bride.” You’d go and you’d shoot an episode and, “Good night, Westley, sleep well. I may have to kill you in the morning.” (Laughter) That’s what it was like going to work, and luckily they kept bringing Bailey back. They were digging what I was putting on screen I guess, and also just the interaction with the rest of the cast. Every time they brought me back, I was like, “This is a privilege to be here.” And then to be able to take it into the second season, and to have Bailey change as much as he did, that was just the coolest gift, as well. I loved how they changed him, I loved what they did with him.

Photo By: Jason Setiawan

TrunkSpace: So knowing then what you know now, would you still have approached your performance of Bailey in the early going the same way?
Swain: I think that with more and more information, it’s good to be able to put that together, but Bailey himself as a character is learning about the world of this superhero almost in real time. It’s the same thing. That was an origin story, so Bailey was learning about it as it went. Again, it’s a testament to the writers, the natural evolution is for him to do what he does in the second season. You always want those little details that change up your performance. You can always look back, “Oh, if I only knew then what I know now,” but I think that’s in life, also. I like where they took it. What’s cool is, I think it’s a back and forth. I think it’s a dialog, whether you know you’re having it or not, with the writers’ room in some way, where I’m doing something one day on set, and maybe they see something they can build on or maybe they don’t, but hopefully they do and then they build on it and it comes out of the kernel of the character that you brought anyway. I think it’s a testament to them that they picked up on that, and they built it, and I followed their lead.

TrunkSpace: Does acting on a successful show like “Luke Cage” equate to more opportunities in your career as a writer and producer? Do the two help each other out?
Swain: I think that those worlds are quite separate in the entertainment industry. I think the biggest success that comes out of that is, each art form informs each art form. It’s like you’re looking at things as an actor and you say, “Okay, I know I’m playing my role here, and I know this is the approach to the character.” Well that informs how you’re writing multiple characters if you do get the opportunity to write something for a different program or a different show. The way you interact as an actor, you can transfer that when you’re writing characters. You’re playing those characters as you write them, and then vice versa, where it’s like you know when you’re writing something how everything fits, and it plays its own part in that gigantic puzzle piece. That helps me think as an actor, look at it and say, “Okay, what’s my puzzle piece in this particular project?”

It’s like painting, right? You mix together all these colors, you make something beautiful. When you’re an actor it’s like you’re going to be the best color blue you possibly can be, because that’s the part you play in the gigantic portrait. In that case you’re like, “Okay, I’m going to be the best color blue in this particular painting.” So I think the art forms inform and help each other, and helps you learn and grow as an overall artist.

Season 2 of “Luke Cage” is available now on Netflix.

Follow and interact with Swain on Instagram here.

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Trunk Gaming

Marvel Strike Force


Game: Marvel Strike Force

Initial Release Date: March 2018

Publsher: FoxNext

Genre: RPG

Platforms: Android and IOS

Why We’re Playing It: MARVEL! Need we say more? We’ve been impatiently waiting for this one to hit the app stores ever since we saw the first trailer of Wolverine thrashing some bad guys. This is an RPG style game, so it works well on mobile devices, but it looks like an action-packed fighting game once you give your character the attack command. The app is free, but it will cost you something… ALL of your free time. This is addictive and fun, especially if you’re into RPGs. Nuff said!

What It’s All About: To keep this synopsis spoiler free, we’ll just say that you start by playing as Spider-Man, working for Nick Fury. Kingpin has captured other heroes in orbs throughout the city, and it’s up to you save and recruit them for your team. As you play more into the game, you unlock abilities and powers for your superheroes to use in their fight against evil.

That’s Worth A Power-Up!: One of the best aspects of this game is getting to see some of your favorite heroes team up for combo attacks. For example, you can “taunt” with Luke Cage, then on your next attack, he will team up with one of the other characters, like Spidey, for a devastating combo… and it just looks so cool!

Bonus Level: Lately, there have been more obscure comic book characters finding their way to mainstream moviegoers and gamers. Long-time comic book fans knew who the characters were before, but remember when you’re mom or grandma did not know who Star Lord was? Well, Strike Force delivers on this front as well. Sure, you get to play as some of the classic Marvel heroes, but they also have some lesser known characters thrown into the mix, and it’s a nice bit of diversity.

And that’s why this game is a certified quarter muncher!

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Trunk Stubs

Black Panther


Movie: Black Panther

Rated: PG-13

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Release Date: February 16, 2018

Run Time: 2h 14m

Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, Sterling K. Brown, Angela Bassett

Directed By: Ryan Coogler

Written By: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole (Based on Marvel Comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby)

Reason We’re Watching It: We were introduced to the Black Panther character in “Captain America: Civil War.” Seeing such an iconic comic book character finally brought to life on the big screen left everyone wanting more. “Black Panther” delivers that and so much more with a mighty roar of a back story and action-packed battle scenes with shining performances by the impressive cast.

What It’s About: “Black Panther” chronicles T’Challa’s (Boseman) rise to the throne of Wakanda, a technologically-advanced civilization hidden from the rest of the world. T’Challa struggles with wanting to help the world by offering their resources to those in need, but he faces opposition from those within Wakanda. An outsider, Erik Killmonger (Jordan), appears in Wakanda to not only reveal the dark past of T’Challa’s father, but challenge for the throne in an attempt to rule Wakanda and spread mayhem and violence across the globe.

Whoah! Rewind That!: There are SO many moments you will want to see again and again, but what really stole the show for us was the car chase scene. Black Panther rides atop a Lexus that is driven remotely by his sister, Shuri (Wright). You really get to see just how bad ass Black Panther can be and why his suit would even make Batman jealous. Okoye (Gurira), also shines in this fast-paced chase scene, riding on top of a car and stopping an SUV dead in its tracks with a throw from her vibranium-powered spear. You thought Gurira’s portrayal as Michonne on “The Walking Dead” was intense? Wait until you see her tackle the role of Okoye!

Watercooler-Worthy Tidbit: Wakanda is mentioned on a S.H.I.E.L.D. monitor in “Iron Man 2.” The location, according to the monitor, is centered around Lake Turkana on the border of Kenya and Ethiopia. In reality this region is known for holding rare mineral deposits much like Wakanda in “Black Panther.”

And that’s why we’re giving it…

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The Featured Presentation

Angel Parker

Photo By: Riker Brothers Photography

There is an entire generation of pop culture fans who have grown up on Marvel characters being mainstream relevant. Big brand anchors like Spider-Man, Captain America, and Thor have dominated theaters, owned the toy shelves, and conquered the world of licensed apparel, but a fascinating shift is occurring. Many of the lesser known characters and titles within the Marvel Universe are receiving their own time in the spotlight, from upcoming films based on Black Panther and Captain Marvel, to a television series based on the New Warriors set for a 2018 release. One of the more highly anticipated live action takes on a lesser known group of characters was “Runaways,” which made its debut on the streaming platform Hulu just days before Thanksgiving.



We recently sat down with series star Angel Parker, who plays Wilder family matriarch Catherine, to discuss the multigenerational appeal of “Runaways,” the big themes tackled throughout Season 1, and how a non-mutant can compete in a mutant-filled world.

TrunkSpace: Your new series “Runaways” made its debut a little over a week ago. As an actor, is there any better universe or ongoing franchise to be involved with right now than with what Marvel is doing on both the big and small screens?
Parker: Yeah, it’s definitely where you want to be right now. Now they have something on almost every platform – film, TV, streaming – it’s incredible the amount of work that’s available that’s challenging and fun and cool and badass.

TrunkSpace: And for the most part, their characters and stories are emotionally grounded in reality, but still have a sense of that heightened reality that allows viewers to escape as well. That must allow you to be able to do things performance-wise that you can’t do in other projects?
Parker: Exactly. You don’t get to deal with a dinosaur in your day to day life or in most shows. (Laughter)

You also don’t get to work with such a huge cast and have so many storylines and to be able to connect to other worlds and other characters. It really is kind of cool that we get to tell this story. I love the fact that it’s on Hulu, basically television, because you get to tell the story and you get to really dive into it. It doesn’t have to fit into a two and a half hour movie. We’ve got 10 hours to play with this first season, so it really is an opportunity for you to learn about all of these families and dive into their world.

There’s six runaways and five families in the pride, plus the leaders of it, so it really is a lot of story that can be told. There are so many different ways that we can go about it. We really dive into it and the history of it in Season 1.

TrunkSpace: Hulu released three episodes out of the gates and then took a more traditional roll out approach with the remaining episodes, debuting one every week thereafter. That seems like a smart plant to hook people and build anticipation for what’s to come.
Parker: It’s very exciting. By Episode 5 (debuting December 5), which is one of our hugest episodes besides the season finale, people are going to be hooked. I think you’ve just got to find the show. If the show is good enough, you’ll find it. That’s kind of the new world of television is, it’s not what network and what time, it’s what show. I’ll find that show wherever it’s at.

TrunkSpace: And with something like “Runaways,” it comes with a built in audience with eyeballs that would find it no matter where it was.
Parker: Yeah, there’s the die hard fans of “Runaways” that are going to be so excited for all the things that we made sure are in our show. There’s going to be a lot of new things that just fans of Marvel in general are going to be excited about, with the special effects and with the action elements and with the diving into the stories and the villains and the good guys versus bad guys. “Are they really good? Are they really bad?” All those elements that are in every Marvel production are in our show. Then there’s just the young audience that is going to dive into young teenage drama and the fighting against their parents that everyone can relate to.

I have an 11-year-old boy and he’s read the comic. He can’t be more excited. All of his friends are excited. He’s in the 7th grade. It’s hard to find a show to watch with your teenagers that you don’t want to shoot your brains out. (Laughter) There’s going to be a lot of parents that are sitting watching this show and going, “This is good.” You see the story of the parents and the Pride and the sacrifices or the compromises that they’ve made that got them into this situation where they are sacrificing humans and are pitted against their own children and having to make decisions on who lives and who dies. Those are big, big themes. Then, just because Marvel’s got its paintbrush on it, we’re going to look cool the whole time and say cool things at the right time. (Laughter)

They’ve got some fantastic actors. The adults, the parents, we’ve all been doing this for almost 20 years. We’re all ready for this moment. Really, every actor, you look across the room, especially in big circle scenes of the sacrifice, every character is fully, fully realized and has all their thoughts and their opinions about why they’re here in this moment. It’s very fun to play.

The teenagers are just as great. These are not kid actors, these are actors – young actors. They really bring it. It’s not only well acted and well produced, but it’s a show that people are going to want to watch just because you’re going to want to understand the twists and turns and dive into the universe. “Where does it connect? How does it connect?”

Then there’s tons of little Easter eggs for the die hard fans just to make you jump up and squeal.

Photo By: Riker Brothers Photography

TrunkSpace: So much of what we see from Marvel in film and TV in terms of their characters have been around for decades, but what’s nice about “Runaways” is that many of the characters are relatively new in the grand scheme of the universe itself. That in and of itself should make the show more accessible to viewers who may find the history of Marvel kind of creatively daunting?
Parker: I think one of the reasons that the “Runaways” comic was written was for that age gap of a younger audience that was looking for something, but didn’t want it to be over their head or want it to be about things, issues, that relate to their life. You want to see yourself as a protagonist in a lot of things that you read. Kids are going to find that fascinating.

And when I say kids… there are some big themes. There’s a gay character. There’s death. There’s possible suicide. There’s all of these different big themes that are in our show that teenagers are dealing with. It doesn’t talk down to them. That’s the one things that I know about having an almost teenager is, talking down to them is the first way for them to shut down. Kids are smart. Kids figure things out.

To dive into that world and have a hero or maybe not a hero that you’re rooting for, it’s the best part of television. The best part of going into a fantasy world is a world that you could possibly see yourself in or hope to be in or dream and imagine to be in. It’s very cool.

TrunkSpace: In the original comic series, the kids were all offspring of villains. Is your version of Catherine Wilder on a similar villainous path?
Parker: Season 1 is all very much connected to the original source material of “Runaways.” Yes, a lot of them are descendents, but they don’t know. The kids don’t know in the beginning what powers they have or what control they have over outside elements. As an audience, we get to see them discover these elements.

Now, the Wilders don’t have powers. That will have stayed the same. The Wilders lead the group and Alex, who is our lead played by Rhenzy Feliz, he does not have any powers. I think that that makes a great protagonist because you’re like, “What are you going to do in this world when someone next to you is glowing? And another person next to you has a dinosaur. And another person next to you has this special weapon that they can do all these things with.” It’s like, “Okay, what can I do? What do I have?” What they have is their brain and their leadership skills and the qualities of survival. That is also very cool.

To be a non-mutant, if you want to use that word, in a world where people do have powers or special abilities or special strengths, you have to find your own strength and your way to navigate through that world. That’s the exciting thing about following Alex Wilder in this story is, how is he going to fight back? Even when we get to our season finale, it’s like, “What do you bring to the table?” He goes, “I bring this…” Those skills are just what an average human being has, which is their power of negotiation and their power of street smarts, if you could call it that. The Wilders, Geoffrey and Catherine, we have to navigate that world as well and lead it and lead it with other people following us or not following us and being able to come out on top, which is what the Wilders do best.

TrunkSpace: From a performance standpoint, what was your favorite thing about Catherine and getting to bring her to life?
Parker: She’s very savvy. She’s very sexy. She’s smart. She is a lawyer, which I have played before, but she gets to do it in such a big way. She makes some major decisions that affects people’s lives and has to reconcile that and still go through with it. That was the element of playing a “villain” that was really, really exciting to me. But then down to small elements like the length of her ponytail, which was something that was in the comics and was drawn so beautifully. The tiniest details are added into Catherine Wilder. And then something as large as, she’s leading the Pride and the sacrifices she’s making for her son and risking her life in many ways, those are the dark elements that are directly in line with the comic as well.

It’s also a multifaceted character I get to play. I get to play mom, wife, lawyer, villain, and doing those at the highest level because she’s an excellent wife. She’s an excellent lawyer. She excels at everything that she does. When things start to go wrong in our world, that’s something that Catherine does not do well with. Everything that Catherine touches succeeds. When things start to rapidly go wrong and her son’s life is in danger, you get to see this woman who’s always had her life put together and has been able to handle anything that’s thrown at her all of the sudden is at a loss.

It’s very exciting, the journey that Catherine gets to take from beginning to end.

Parker and Ryan Sands in Runaways. Photo by Paul Sarkis – © 2017 Hulu

TrunkSpace: You starred in “American Crime Story” The People v. O.J. Simpson” last year. When you were shooting that, did you have any idea that it would become the water cooler show that it ultimately became?
Parker: We knew we were making something great. We took a lot of time and care with each of those things. Everyone was very well researched. We’d all watched the trial. We would watch the scene before we shot it. We had read every book written about our character, every book written about the show, and then had experts there at all times. We knew we were making something special. We did not know that the audience would love it so much. We did not know that it would be that water cooler, “I can’t wait for Tuesday night” kind of show or that we would win the Emmy for Outstanding Limited Series or that all of those actors would be able to take home the Emmys as well. We did know it was good. We did know we were honoring the story, but we didn’t know the success that it would have.

Also, we didn’t know if people were ready to hear this story again. A lot of people said, “I lived through it. I don’t want to watch it again. Why would I want to watch that story? How are you going to tell that? What’s the truth? Is it just going to be some popcorn story about ultimately these two people losing their lives?” It was about the trial. It was about that shift in culture in Los Angeles and America. Our show started with scenes from the Rodney King beating. I’m glad that that set the tone for where we were as a society for this trial to even take place and for the outcome to be what it was. That surprised us that people were ready for it.

New episodes of “Runaways” arrive each Tuesday at Hulu.

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Trunk Bubbles

Paul Renaud


Name: Paul Renaud

Website:Click HERE

Favorite Comic Book Character Growing Up: Captain America, or maybe Phoenix from the X-Men

Favorite Comic Book Character Now: Captain America

Latest Work:
Interiors for Captain America: Sam Wilson #20 for Marvel, March 2017

Cover for Nightwing #24 for DC, July 2017

TrunkSpace: How would you describe your art style?
Renaud: I’m a mix of my European and American influences in comics and illustration. I love the classics, and take pride placing myself in their footsteps.

TrunkSpace: How important were comic books in your life growing up and is that where you discovered your love and inspiration for drawing?
Renaud: Comics have been the happiest memories of my whole childhood. They’d bring excitement, comforts, tons of virtual friends, and a form of stability in an overall dramatic family life. I became a fan of American comics by 10/11, avidly reading the X-Men and most of Marvel comics. The artists drawing those books were my first influences, John Byrne, Paul Smith, Alan Davis, Frank Miller… and created the appeal for me to draw and tell stories.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular artist or title from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Renaud: If I had to single out one name, it would be French artist Moebius. He’s the one who opened my eyes to the world of arts. He’s the one who truly made me want to become an artist.

TrunkSpace: How did you decide to approach your career in comics? Did you formulate a plan of how you wanted to attack what is known for being a hard industry to crack?
Renaud: I first tried to work for the French market because it was the easiest thing to do back then, but I had a bad experience with my first experience in the business. Fortunately, my work was spotted by an American art dealer, Rich Dedominicis (who’s still one of my best friends to this day), who showed my commissions online and to art collectors. That lead me to get published in the States.

TrunkSpace: What was your biggest break in terms of a job that opened more doors for you?
Renaud: That would have to be a short story I did for Rick Remender’s Fear Agent. I did that book for free, because I loved Rick’s work. That job got me on the radar, and got me offers from most publishers. After that, Rick and I did a Red Sonja book that got me noticed by the fans. Rick has grown to be my favorite collaborator over the years, and he’s always been a very loyal friend.

TrunkSpace: A lot of people say that breaking into comics is the hardest part of working in comics. How long did it take you before you started to see your comic book dreams become a reality?
Renaud: It happened pretty fast, but I think I’ve made poor career choices over the first 6 years. I thought I wasn’t ready for Marvel in spite of their offers, and chose to work for smaller companies first. Today, I can say I’ve been happier working for Marvel than anywhere else.

TrunkSpace: Is there a particular character or universe you always find yourself returning to when you’re sketching or doing warm-ups?
Renaud: Not just one. I love fantasy, sword and sorcery, and I love drawing superheroes, like Batman or Captain America.

TrunkSpace: Is there a specific title or character that you’d like to work on in the future and why?
Renaud: I’ve already drawn most of my favorites, but I’d really love to draw a Batman book. He’s probably the coolest looking character out there. Gotham, and all the gothic settings would be a blast to draw.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your career in comics? Where would you like your path to lead?
Renaud: I’d love to be able to develop a creator owned project while keep playing with Marvel and DC‘s toys. But I really feel the need to create my own book.

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength as an artist?
Renaud: Being able to do the whole thing has always been a great asset for me, from pencils, inks to coloring. I like doing my own lettering too when I can.

TrunkSpace: How has technology changed your process of putting ideas/script to page? Do you sue the classic paper/pencil approach at all anymore?
Renaud: I do a bit of both, traditional, and computer art. Working digitally has allowed me to work faster, and meet the tight deadlines that comics are accustomed to. I’d just draw layouts, and directly ink them. That way I can do one to two pages a day.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring artist who is considering a career in the comic industry?
Renaud: Show your work online as much as possible. Work hard to be reliable, and consistent.

TrunkSpace: Making appearances at conventions: Love it, leave it, or a combination of both?
Renaud: I love meeting the fans, but the deadlines must come first. I don’t do as many conventions as I should, because I’m always working on tight deadlines.

TrunkSpace: What is the craziest/oddest thing you’ve ever been asked to draw as a commission?
Renaud: An old lady asked me to do a portrait of her dog once.

TrunkSpace: What else can fans of your work look forward to for the rest of 2017 and into the new year?
Renaud: I just finished the covers for a new upcoming Star Wars series featuring Captain Phasma, and leading to the Last Jedi. I’ll be also doing a 30 page one-shot on Captain America, part of the Marvel next event GENERATIONS.

I’m still discussing what comes next, so I don’t want to say too much.

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