Entertainment

Here’s How ‘Marvel’s Runaways’ Does Diversity Right In The Superhero Comic Universe

While we’re all anxiously waiting for Hulu to renew ‘Marvel’s Runaways’ for Season 3, let’s recap all the behind-the-scenes reasons we love the show. Marvel’s Universe is ever expanding and ever more representing minorities and women in lead roles. Hulu ordered the show’s creation in August 2016, and the second season was released only a month ago.

This group of superheroes happens to find itself in Marvel Universe’s Los Angeles, specifically Griffith Park, after the teens all run away from their murderous parents’ homes. What we know from the actors themselves is that things are much more light-hearted behind the scenes.

‘Marvel’s Runaways’ is the youngest team of superheroes in Marvel’s Universe.

Credit: @marvelsrunaways / Instagram

The characters are all teenagers, and the youngest, Molly Hernandez, played by Allegra Acosta, even celebrates her quince while on the run. Acosta only just turned 16 years old herself.

They’re the first mostly female superhero group on TV or film.

Credit: @marvelsrunaways / Instagram

Two-thirds of the runaways are female, and they come from a much wider range of ethnic backgrounds than most other Marvel leagues. That said, all the characters are from high-end Brentwood.

Two of the actresses are Latina poderosas.

Credit: @allegraacosta / Instagram

On the show, Allegra Acosta (left) and Ariela Barer (right) play sisters, though adopted. Interestingly, Ariela Barer’s character isn’t Latina.

Ariela Barer is Jewish-Mexican.

Credit: @daredehviI / Twitter

You might recognize her as Goth Carmen from “One Day at a Time,” and in “Marvel’s Runaways,” she plays a character closer to her true self: a feminist overcoming anxiety problems. Oh, and she also telepathically connects with a genetically engineered pet dinosaur.

No selfies are allowed on set without Ariela Barer.

Credit: @lyrica.okano / Instagram

Caption: “When she don’t know how to stop lovin on you… Also! Very important fact: @arielabarer never likes seeing me take a selfie alone, so every “selfie” I have of me on my phone has her right up in it… and I mean, EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.”

Barer and her IRL BFF used to have matching purple hair.

Credit: @arielabarer / Instagram

They even tried to start a feminist club at their school, so Barer felt very capable to play the part of Gert Stein. Barer told Brief Take that it’s actually helpful “to have things like the wig and the glasses to help me remove myself at the end of the day,” to remove herself from character.

Allegra Acosta is Tejana through and through.

Credit: @allegraacosta / Instagram

Her parents immigrated from Chihuahua, Mexico, and introduced Acosta to the love of acting with “Annie.” She was just 4 years old and she locked them in the room to give her very own solo performance. She fell in love.

Her family actually moved to Los Angeles so she could follow her dreams.

Credit: @lyrica.okano / Instagram

Acosta was just 8 years old when she begged her parents to take her to a showcase in Los Angeles. She performed Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and one agency told her they’d take her on if she moved. Six months later, her family uprooted and moved to Los Angeles. Solid move.

Rhenzy Feliz is Dominicano and proud of it.

Credit: @rhenzyfeliz / Instagram

His character isn’t explicitly Latino either, but Feliz’ was born in The Bronx to a 21-year-old single mom. The tight-knit family moved around Florida because she didn’t want to raise him in the cold. ????

The bromance is very real.

Credit: @rhenzyfeliz / Instagram

I mean, look at this professional photography. According to Ginny Gardner, the two are obsessed with each other.

Caption: “Big brother.”

The Latinos in the show have superhuman strength.

Credit: @maniblivion / Twitter

Guest actor Jan Luis Castellanos played a role in helping Molly Hernandez feel like she has a real community, both in superhero capability and in heritage.

All the actors had to create playlists for their characters.

Credit: @marvelsrunaways ‏/ Twitter

The directors told them to create playlists, and you can actually listen to the actor’s choices. It was all meant to get them into character.

“Marvel’s Runaways” is on Hulu because of “Handmaid’s Tale.”

Credit: @cinemartistry / Twitter

TV lead Jeph Loeb did tell Polygon, “The fact that as we’re coming around the clubhouse turn with ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ erupting and becoming part of the culture is huge.” Loeb wanted something new.

Carolina is Marvel Universe’s first openly gay character.

Credit: @ComicUno / Twitter

At first, the jock was going after her and we were all here to watch her turn him down. When these two started shipping, the internet exploded.

Spoiler: the actress didn’t know her character was part alien until the rest of us did.

Credit: @afterellen / Twitter

The actors don’t know what’s going to happen until they sit down for the table reading. Apparently, they all have their own conspiracy theories.

16. Lyrica Okano was super sick with food poisoning during this scene.

Credit: Marvel’s Runaways / Hulu

Just hours before this scene was filmed, Okano was being treated by paramedics before being on set by 5 a.m. She literally threw up between scenes.

Neither of these two are gay IRL.

Credit: @lyrica.okano / Instagram

Though Ariela Barer has come out as gay on Twitter. As far as we know, her character only has eyes for Chase.

The Pride ceremonies are filmed in a super old mausoleum.

Credit: Marvel’s Runaways / Hulu

The whole basement is a crypt of bodies that had been there since 1910-1930. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the actor who plays Victor Stein kept trying to freak his colleagues out by saying, “‘You know, dust is actually 99 percent human skin. We all know that. Just guess where this dust is coming from.’ But it was beautiful. We were a little freaked out by how many dead people were around us.”

The actors are all committed to representing a “bigger part of ourselves.”

@marvelsrunaways / Instagram

Fourteen-year-old Allegra Acosta sat down with Stylecaster and had this to say about Latina stereotypes in the industry: “I’m not saying that there isn’t poverty where I’m from or in Mexico. What I’m saying is that they made my race seem like we didn’t work hard and we were always on the side of the street. I didn’t like that. We have to be responsible and represent a bigger part of ourselves.”

Plus, Barer & Feliz seem to be pretty tight with Isabella Gomez.

Credit: @arielabarer / Instagram

Caption: “Slowly turning into an amorphous blob w the one I love most ????????”

Feliz sat next to Gomez during the Season 3 release of One Day at a Time, and Goth Carmen (Ariela Barer) and Isabella Gomez are as close in real life as they are on the show.

READ: Queer Latinas Have A Very Relatable Character In ODAAT’s Elena Alvarez

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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Says People Always Assumed He Was a Girl Growing Up Because He Had ‘Soft Features’

Entertainment

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Says People Always Assumed He Was a Girl Growing Up Because He Had ‘Soft Features’

Dwayne Johnson, agreeably one of the most “masculine” presenting people in the world, recently revealed that people weren’t always so quick to assume he was so. In an interview on “Sunday Today with Willie Geist,” that took place earlier this week the American actor and former professional wrestler revealed that when he was a child, people often assumed he was a girl. 

Speaking about his experience with presumed gender identity, The Rock revealed that people often thought he was girl because of his “soft features.”

“I would say between the ages of 7 and 11, people thought that I was a little girl because I had really soft features and I had really soft Afro hair,” he explained in his interview with Willie Geist.

The actor even went so far as to share a time in his life as a fifth-grader who was riding on a school bus.

“I sit down next to a kid, and within 60 seconds, he goes, ‘Can I ask you something?'” The Rock recalled. “I said, ‘Yeah.’ He goes, ‘Are you a boy or a girl?'”

Drawing on this time in his life, Johnson revealed that likely this also chalks up to his frequent moves as a child.

During his childhood, Johnson’s father Rocky Johnson was a professional wrestler who often moved his family around. According to John, he attended thirteen different schools by the time he was in high school.

“I have had a Forrest Gump-ian childhood growing up,” Johnson explained in his interview. “Wrestling in the ’80s and in the ’70s was way different than it is today. A lot of the times, including my father, the wrestlers would live paycheck to paycheck.”

The former wrestler reflection on earlier days coincides with the recent premiere of the hit NBC sitcom “Young Rock” a new series based on his life.

Fans of Johnson will be glad to know that he also stars in the series.

He is also portrayed by three different actors Adrian Groulx, Bradley Constant and Uli Latukefu.

“Growing up, and you know we specifically went with these timelines in my life that were very defining times at 10 years old, 15 and 18 … there’s a lot of things in between those years that took place … but it was complicated and the relationship that I had with my dad was incredibly complicated — that was fueled by tough love,” he explained during NBC’s TCA press tour in an interview about the series.

He went onto share that his father “was kicked out of his house at 13 and he was homeless, so that then shaped the man who then raised me… And in that complication came an extraordinary life that was full of travel. I lived in 13 different states by the time I was 13 years old, also lived in New Zealand.”

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Chloe Zhao Makes Historical Oscar Win By Becoming First WOC And Second Woman To Win Best Director

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Chloe Zhao Makes Historical Oscar Win By Becoming First WOC And Second Woman To Win Best Director

In its 93 years, the Academy Awards has only ever recognized only seven women in the category of Best Director. This is despite the fact that women have had a long and lasting presence in film history. This year, two women were honored with nominations at the Oscars this year. Emerald Fennell was nominated for her work on “Promising Young Woman” starring Carey Mulligan.

This year, Chloe Zhao, the director of “Nomadland” became the second woman in history to win the best directing award in nearly 100 years.

She is also the first woman of color to win the award.

Zhao won Best Director at the Oscars and became the first woman of color to win the award.

“When I was growing up in China, my dad and I would play this game. We would memorize classic poems and text and try to finish each other’s sentences,” Zhao explained during her acceptance speech.

She went on to recite a line of poetry in Chinese and then translated it in English, “People at birth are inherently good.”

“I have always found goodness in the people I met,” she said. “This is for anyone who has the faith and courage to hold onto the goodness in themselves.”

In addition, Zhao won directing awards from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and the Directors Guild of America.

Despite the presence of women in the entertainment industry, only seven women have been nominated for awards.

American filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director for her 2009 film The Hurt Locker. Directors Lina Wertmuller (“Seven Beauties”), Jane Campion (“The Piano”), Sofia Coppola (“Lost in Translation”), and Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”) are the only other female directors to have ever been nominated for the best-directing award.

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