Virginia Gardner Breathes Life Into Classic Horror

Virginia Gardner Breathes Life Into Classic Horror

The newcomer who made waves as one of the first gay Marvel characters inherits the Halloween franchise.

The newcomer who made waves as one of the first gay Marvel characters inherits the Halloween franchise.

Photography: Milos Nadazdin

Styling: Yana Kamps

Text: Whitney Mallett

This interview appears in the pages on V115, our Fall 2018 issue. Head to to order your copy today!

Not every actress on the rise has inspired Etsy art, but Virginia Gardner has. “The coolest thing I’ve seen was a Karolina and Nico pillow,” Gardner says of the fan art inspired by her character’s relationship on Runaways. As Marvel’s first lesbian superhero couple, Karolina and Nico, played by Gardner and Lyrica Okano, have inspired countless homages and fans from the LGBTQ+ community, who have stressed how important the show’s representation is to them. “It’s a really special series to be a part of,” says the actress, who is now in the midst of shooting the second season.

The 23-year-old grew up in Sacramento, California. “If you watched Lady Bird it was basically like that. They really hit the nail on the head,” says Gardner, who like Lady Bird director Greta Gerwig went to St. Francis, the school that partially inspired the film. The theater kid knew she wanted to be an actress long before high school. “I saw Dakota Fanning in I Am Sam,” she says of the moment she first knew she wanted to act. The film hit close to home, as the main character, who had autism, reminded Gardner of her autistic brother. It was in then–six-year-old Fanning, however, that Gardner found her motivation: “I thought if she can do this then so can I.”

This October, Gardener will star in the the Halloween reboot alongside Jamie Lee Curtis. Before she was cast, she’d never even seen the 1978 original, so she decided to watch it, but on her laptop. “I thought it’d be less terrifying on the small screen,” she confesses. While much of what goes into a scary movie, like the music and editing, happens in post-production, Gardner says that there were still some spine-chilling moments on set: “When you’re in a closet and Michael Myers opens the door, it’s pretty freaky.”

Halloween hits movie theaters starting on Oct. 19! 



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