Every family has secrets. Yet rarely are they as dramatic as on Marvel and Hulu’s Runaways, when six teenagers stumble across a bizarre ritual and discover their parents are actually supervillains in a group called the Pride. The estranged friends band together and vow to stop them, while grappling with teenage life, their feelings for one another and the truth about their folks.
The Pride consists of six married couples, with one exception. Religious leader Leslie Dean (Annie Wersching) may call the team’s shots, but her husband — former teen star Frank (Kip Pardue) — is unaware of the Pride’s existence or what they are up to. That’s all about to change.
After Pride member Janet Stein (Ever Carradine) fatally shoots her husband, Victor, in order to stop him from abusing their son Chase (Gregg Sulkin), the group recruits Frank to help them clean up the mess. Frank ultimately gets thrust into a world of good versus evil — although which side he prefers remains to be seen.
Pardue recently spoke with CBR about Frank’s discovery of the Pride, his tense interactions with the enigmatic Jonah (Julian McMahon) and whether he will succumb to the supervillains’ quest for power.
CBR: This version of Frank Dean deviates from his comic book counterpart. He’s an outsider to the Pride’s nefarious schemes. How does the series’ interpretation give the character more depth?
Kip Pardue: First of all, not only am I different from the character in the comic books, but I’m also different from everyone else on the show. That’s a really fun angle to play. In a sense, I represent the audience. I feel like a lot of people continually ask me, “What’s going on with the Pride?” I feel like Frank is the one who is trying to answer those questions in the same way that the audience is. That’s been a really fun thing to do. As we were making the series, as I was learning more and more about Frank and his journey, I was in the same position that everyone who is watching the series is, which is, “How are we going to solve this thing? How are we going to get ahead of the evil that is behind the Pride, or that is the Pride?”
How does Frank’s failing acting career make him ripe pickings for the Church of Gibborim and potentially going “Ultra”?
That is one of the things that does align with the comic books. Obviously, Frank and Leslie were actors in the comic books, so we held onto that for Frank. It keeps it true to the comic books, but it also adds this layer of someone who hasn’t quite reached their potential and doesn’t really understand why. He is starting to fight for that potential in a totally different way. That’s something almost everyone feels like they are twirling away with at times in their lives, and making decisions that aren’t necessary helping them propel themselves forward.
Frank finally makes the decision to give up on what was a dream, to find something more important. He ends up stumbling into a world that is much deeper and more twisted than he realized. That feeling of desperation is one that a lot of people can relate to. I, as an actor — it’s easy for me to relate to. Anyone who has been an actor has dealt with rejection, and has dealt with the reality of this business. It’s not the easiest business in the world, so finding meaning in other things is important.
There’s plenty of tension between Frank and Jonah. What does Frank make of the Pride’s mysterious head figure?
I think at this point, Frank is really learning about Jonah in the same way the audience is. He was caught off guard by this guy. He doesn’t know who he is or what he is. Frank has never even heard of his existence, as far as he can remember. And, everything he is seeing is his introduction to Jonah. So, what we saw in episode 106 is this very mysterious man, being very comfortable with his wife and awkward with his daughter, Karolina (Virginia Gardner). That immediately puts Frank on edge.
There is a lot of discomfort and a lot of uncertainty when it comes to Frank in general. Then, you add in this element of a seemingly powerful, very handsome stoic figure who reintroduces himself. On top of that, Frank has just failed at something that he thought was very important to him. There’s a ton of insecurity swirling around Frank and then, suddenly, in walks Jonah. It’s scary for Frank.
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