SDCC 2014: Power Rangers – EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Jason David Frank
by Matt Sernaker, Managing Editor
We are proud to continue our SDCC 2014 coverage with an exclusive interview with our old friend, Jason David Frank, better known around the world as Tommy Oliver, the Green Mighty Morphin Power Ranger!
As a follow up to our interview at Comic-Con 2013, we had to chance to discuss JDF’s new reality show (My Morphin Life), the upcoming Green Ranger Beat Down from the talented filmmakers at Bat In The Sun, Power Ranger training recommendations, and most importantly, who he thinks should play Tommy Oliver in the upcoming 2016 – Power Rangers theatrical reboot! We hope you enjoy.
CO: Jason, thank you for speaking with us once again.
JDF: Thank you Matt. It’s good to be here.
CO: I would be remiss if I didn’t say, “welcome back old friend” (hands JDF the original Dragon Power Coin).
JDF: Oh yes… (smiles) THE coin. The power is back.
CO: I’ve gotta say, I’ve been following My Morphin Life. It has been fun watching your many antics outside of the conventions…You’ve been really busy over the last year. Can you talk about what it’s been like filming your own reality show?
JDF: Yeah, it’s been awesome. It basically started last year, and we’ve filmed about seven episodes. I’m wearing a boot right now…we did a pretty cool base jump bridge episode. We just pick out certain things, and just have the cameras follow us. I don’t think we need to script anything because the drama just happens. I am filming here on Sunday, and doing the Green Ranger Beat Down on Monday. It’s been a lot of fun having the cameras around, and doing the reality thing was a little different. After awhile, you forget the cameras are even there and you just go about your life.
CO: You had your first “Beat Down” recently (White Ranger Vs Scorpion from Mortal Kombat), could you talk about that filming process?
JDF: Aaron (Schoenke), who is with Bat In The Sun, is really an amazing person. He really pushes the camera to the limits. It was awesome. I didn’t do it all, so we had a stunt guy who did parts of it too. We filmed it, and it got 4.5 million hits…and I’m telling you, the Green Ranger Beat Down is gonna be sick. I am going to be doing it… well most of it…. well as much as I can with my foot… I will take the boot off on monday when I’m fighting (smiles).
CO: So if I wanted to become a Power Ranger, and I’ve been working out and training hard, what other things could you suggest for a “Power Ranger Training Process”?
JDF: My biggest thing is dedication, and to believe in yourself. Never give up, no matter what. That’s just what I do….Just try to do the best that you can. Never tap, never give up.
CO: Well it has been a little while since you filmed your Super Megaforce appearance, and you’ve been showing up and doing fan events in full Mighty Morphin Green and White Ranger costumes, do you think you are going to keep going and do Red Zeo and Red Turbo Rangers next?
JDF: The reason why I did it, besides that we were filming the war, I just love to see twenty eight year olds go back to being eight again. No matter what they do, they can walk in the room and look and go “Oh my God! It’s you! WHOA!”. To bring them back to being a kid again, I think that is what it is all about for me.
I’m on the Wizard World line up next year, and we have like 26 shows. I’m on the card with some of these big guys, which is awesome for me because it just shows that they are supporting the fans of who they were for years and years. Stan Lee, who is great with his fans, is 91. I just strive to be that one day, and to continue to do what the fans want to see, and it’s what I want to see too.
CO: You are definitely very vocal as far as your interaction with fans, and the fact that you are constantly posting the videos from your different conventions has been a lot of fun to see as well. It has been great for those of us who grew up watching Power Rangers to see you coming back into the fandom in such a large capacity.
JDF: I appreciate it. By the time I’m walking to the elevator, I’m on my phone and I’ve edited and dropped a video from a con. I want to share an experience. It might also be a chance for someone to spot themselves in one of the little movies that I make. I love doing what I do. I do it for the fans, and I want to see big things happen with Power Rangers. I also want to see big things happen to my character.
CO: We just heard the announcement that Power Rangers will be getting a big screen reboot soon. What are your feelings towards that?
JDF: I think it’s gonna be great. I think Haim (Saban) is very protective of his product and wants to make sure the movie does the franchise right. We will see what happens. It’s not written yet, but they all understand that there is a whole world involved. They are fans, and they are very careful about it.
CO: More importantly, if they do actually re-use the original characters, who would you want to play Tommy?
JDF: That’s a hard one. I don’t know. I know this sounds funny, but Taylor Lautner (The Twilight Saga) is a good martial artist. He came from my home town. It would be weird to see someone else play the character of Tommy, because I plan to be around. I’m not going anywhere…but who knows.
Thanks again to our friend Jason David Frank and the amazing team at Saban Brands for making this interview happen.
We have more exclusive Power Rangers interviews coming soon to ComicsOnline.com, so grab your morpher and stick around for more. Meanwhile, check out our other SDCC 2014 coverage, reviews, and everything geek pop culture!