Angel Parker on playing Marvel villainess Catherine Wilder in 'Runaways' (EXCLUSIVE)
Photo Credit: S & A
Film , Interviews , Television

Angel Parker on playing Marvel villainess Catherine Wilder in 'Runaways' (EXCLUSIVE)

In most cases, with expansion comes the challenge of quality control; measuring future endeavors against past successes. Set in its cinematic universe, Marvel’s web series and traditional television shows have all experienced this challenge at one point or another.

Most recently, Iron Fist and The Defenders fell short of expectations held by both critics and fans, which were set by the creative and commercial achievements of Marvel’s previous three Netflix series. As the brand is prepared to begin a relationship with Netflix’s largest competitor, Hulu, on November 21st, the idea that things may turn out less than perfect is certainly present.

Hulu’s Runaways, a show based on the comic of the same name, centering a group of teenagers who come to realize their parents are a part of a cohort of supervillains, is “very much a classic case of teenagers VS. parents, but only told the way Marvel can tell it,” as described by Angel Parker, who plays the head parent in charge, Catherine Wilder.

Photo: Riker Brothers Photography
Photo: Riker Brothers Photography

A promising sign that Runaways will live up to the hype is, ahead of its premiere, it’s already received favorable reviews (read Shadow and Act‘s review here)—which puts the show in a slightly better spot than either Iron Fist or The Defenders were in around this time during their runs.

Parker discussed with Shadow and Act what to expect from her character, the story, and the series as a whole:


Runaways may be one of Marvel’s lesser-known titles, but there’s certainly a lot going on in the story. What are fans going to see when they tune in?

This story is told with such nuance and such depth, there’s no real villain and hero. There’s times that both sides—the teenagers and the parents—make big mistakes…you’re presented with an opportunity, and you say yes or you say no. It’s kind of like the blue pill or the red pill. You don’t know which one to take, but once you go down that path, there’s no going back.

So we’re going to see this journey. We’re going to see how it began; where it started and where it’s taken them. And also the repercussions of their actions. We see characters struggling with the decisions that they’ve made and what it would cost them—many times, it costs them their lives. So the stakes are very, very high, but this is a story that’s told with real care. The storyline is told from every perspective.

The first episode is told from the kids’ perspective, and then the second episode is the same story but told from the parents’ perspective. So it’s the same scenes…but you get to see both sides of it. There will be times that you’re rooting for the so-called villain, and times you’ll understand what they did.


Photo: Hulu
Photo: Hulu

“So-called” villain is a good way to frame it, as you play one of the only parents who don’t have any actual powers.

That’s what’s so fun. The Wilders don’t have any special powers. Everyone has some sort of ability or some sort of aspect that helps them through our story, but the Wilders just have their brain power and leadership skills. It’s very relatable to fans of Marvel; basically superhuman people in normal situations, but what if you’re a normal human in a crazy situation? How does that affect you and the decisions you make then? It’s a fascinating story.

I love the part I play. I get to play a mom, a wife, a lawyer, a villain, a leader. It’s a fantastic role and I get to do so many things. You really get to understand Catherine by the end of it all.


If you could have a special power in real life, though—one from the show—which would it be?

(Laughs) Tina Minoru has that Staff of One. Man, if I could get my hands on that Staff of One, I could do some damage! She knows how to wield that thing. She wields it like a sword.


This wouldn’t be an interview about a Marvel series if I didn’t ask you about easter eggs. What can we expect?

I can say one hundred percent: the fans will not be disappointed. That’s all I’ll say, because you know what I want? I want the super fan to be sitting on the couch with a magnifying glass looking for every tiny thing, and jump up in excitement when they see the small easter eggs and the large easter eggs that we have. I don’t want to spoil that for them. They gotta jump off that couch—and they will!

Runways hits Hulu on November 21.


Cover Photo: Riker Brothers Photography

Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

© 2023 Shadow & Act. All rights reserved.