A new group of heroes will join the live-action Marvel universe when “Runaways” debuts on Hulu this Tuesday.
While the team isn’t as well known as the big screen’s “Avengers,” or even Netflix’s “The Defenders,” the series does offer a new spin on the superhero genre. “Runaways” is more of a teen drama, chronicling the story of a group of high school students in Los Angeles who discover that they have powers and find out that their parents are part of a villainous organization.
Lyrica Okano, who plays the magical Wiccan Nico Minoru, is excited to be a part of a new series that already has a ton of hype going into its premiere thanks to the fan-favorite comic books.
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“We’re just so lucky to be apart of a show that has such a huge fan base behind it from the very beginning because the comics are so popular,” Okano tells Metro. “That’s definitely a strength we have. I’m just so happy to be apart of it.”
If the show turns out to be a hit like many of Marvel’s other television projects, Okano hopes that her magic-wielding character can team up with Benedict Cumberbatch’s Dr. Strange down the line.
“I don’t know what Marvel would have to say about it, but of course, I would totally be down,” Okano says. “I hear ‘Dr. Strange’ is pretty awesome.”
Aside from the adoring fans and crossover possibilities, Okano is excited to be apart of “Runaways” because it allows her to play an Asian American character that isn’t a stereotype.
“Being in this business for a while, I’ve auditioned for a lot of Asian roles,” Okano says. “I’ve auditioned for the stereotypical Asian roles that call for being that submissive type. I’ve also auditioned for those Asian roles that call for just being edgy for having that streak of purple in my hair.”
“Being able to work on Nico, she has a lot more to show,” Okano adds. “ She’s not just edgy to have it be a fashion statement. It all comes down to her family history and the story that she has to tell.”
The actress admits that one of her best friends inspired her take on Nico, the Goth girl of the “Runaways.”
“I actually grew up with a best friend who was a Wiccan and who was Japanese American,” Okano says. “When I started working on Nico, I didn’t see her as this new type of Asian that I can showcase on the show. I just saw her as someone who I grew up with very closely for 22 years.”
“Runaways” debuts on Hulu Tuesday, Nov. 21.