Mind on Movies is thrilled to bring you an exclusive interview with some of the new Power Rangers.
|Left to Right: Dacre Montgomery, Ludi Lin, Jonathan Jimenez (Mind on Movies), Naomi Scott|
Don’t let these young faces fool you, Naomi Scott (Kimberly/Pink Ranger), Ludi Lin (Zack/Black Ranger) and Dacre Montgomery (Jason/Red Ranger) are ready to dazzle both new and old fans! Read below for our full interview with the cast:
What elements of the original Power Ranger franchise do you feel are being reflected in the reboot?
Ludi Lin: I think the core messages.
Dacre Montgomery: And the names! Yeah, I mean the names are all still the same. And the colors! Oh the colors!
Naomi Scott: Yeah, which is like going for the three obvious things! Look, I think there has to be so much in there for the old-school fans. And I think that that’s what’s really fun - is I think it has both. So you’ve got the people who were fans growing up. It has all the things that they’re going to get excited about. But then also for new fans, it is an origin story so there’s something new for everyone. It’s not just kind of re-doing something that’s already been done before. Which is really exciting. And then I think for kids, as they said about the message, each ranger, each character, is going through something that I think is relevant to kids now in 2017, which is kind of cool as well.
This is for each of you. Where did you find your core inspiration for portraying your characters?
Montgomery: This question came up before, mentioning what piece of art inspired us [for the role]. But I think for me, the inspiration, aside from like one particular thing to [portray] Jason was in high school, I wasn’t this character. I wasn’t popular, I didn’t play sports, I wasn’t fit. I think for me the biggest inspiration was how could I bring my experience of high school and attach it to somebody who has had a different experience in the script. And make him more like where somebody would be like “that character is interesting to watch because he’s not just a stereotype of a popular kid!” Because I wasn’t that kid in school. So for me, it was a bit of inspiration from just using my own high school experience.
Lin: Well, to be perfectly frank, my biggest inspiration was my own cultural background and all those that shared the same cultural background as me. I mean, I have grown up in a lot of places. And I feel like each time I’m displaced from one place to another. I feel like I’m an outsider. As a kid, [I was] being bullied or getting into fights all the time just because I couldn’t communicate, moving from place to place like from Mainland China to Hong Kong to Australia, and then North America. I just feel like a lot of Asian kids out there don’t feel like they could be strong or attractive. I have gotten this question all the time, of people asking me “where are you from?” And when I say I am Chinese, they don’t believe me. So certainly, Asian kids don’t feel like they can mesh or [feel] that they are not a complete part of that society. I have even been to this charity event recently, called “CAPE”, and someone was speaking about this camp they went to, where they were showing some kids up-and-coming Asian stars of film. And these Asian kids were going “wow, they are so attractive, so cool, they’re so handsome, they’re so beautiful.” And they realized that these kids were feeling like they were amazed that Asian people could be like that. And that shouldn’t be the case. I think it’s because a lot of Asians have been painted as caricatures in a lot of films and popular media. And the inspiration for me was to paint a more complete picture of a complex character that reflects different aspects of a person, rather than just an image.
Scott: Oh gosh, that’s a tough question! For me, I definitely just focused on “okay, who is Kimberly?” And you know, it’s kind of that fun thing, like when I was in drama class at school. And just the fun in making up a character. For me, honestly, it just came down to that. It just came down to having fun, playing, and kind of being like when I used to pretend to be someone else and actually coming up with a character myself and having a blank canvas. And going like okay, “who is Kimberly?”, and here’s what the script is like, and how can I put my own take on that? I think she is quite cool, she has a maturity about her, but she’s also not perfect. But she’s very strong, she’s very self-assured, and she knows what she wants. She’s not just this kind of wet [blanket], and she makes mistakes. And in the movie, it’s about how she reacts to those mistakes. I guess I was just like “oh this is going to be fun!” I can work with Dean [Israelite] to kind of be like, “Oh! Let’s pretend to be someone!”
Did any of you actually watch the show growing up?
Lin: I did! Also, Becky G and RJ, they’re big fans as well. I would like to imagine what they would have to say! I definitely watched the show. My first action figure was the yellow power ranger. And I watched the show every single day after school and Saturday mornings. I followed the show until the Turbo series. And then I don’t know why I stopped watching it but now there are, you know, 24 seasons! It kept going. So many rangers, it’s a real legacy! And then being a part of this series, I find out more and more about how immense this whole intellectual property is. Watching the show, I was enjoying it for myself and maybe my friends around me. But I didn’t know that people around the world also watched the show in different languages, [and in] different iterations!
I am sure you know this, but did you know that in the original Power Rangers series, all the stunts were actually done by the overseas characters and they just reused the footage? I just found that out and I thought it was so crazy! So did you do all your own stunts? Some stunts?
Montgomery: Look, we were given a really great opportunity to be able to do a lot of stuff. We had great stunt doubles that really helped us and also took on stunts when we couldn’t do stuff.
Scott: Which was a lot!
Montgomery: But no, all the stunts you see in the film were filmed in Vancouver as part of the same production!
Scott: Yes, indeed they were! It was fun! We trained really hard and we did what we could.
Lin: There’s a real focus on this. I get this question all the time. I like to do stunts because I find them exciting and I like to learn from them. But I think it doesn’t affect the end result. And my stunt double did an amazing job doing some of the most dangerous stunts. Zack is a character, he’s not just my character. He is a character that I crafted with my director and my stunt double. Action is a part of his character, that is an aspect of Zack. And Zack is not just my creation, I don’t take ownership for Zack because it came about as a collaborative creation.
Did you have a favorite Power Ranger?
Scott: A favorite Power Ranger? Oh… I think for me, because I loved red and red was my favorite color, I wanted to be the red one!
Lin: Yeah, I though yellow and green were pretty kickass.
Montgomery: I can probably say something lame like my mum. I didn’t watch the show growing up so I didn’t really have a favorite Power Ranger. But it’s been interesting to put my own rendition into it.
Are there any Easter eggs you can tell me about!?
Lin: I say just watch for the Easter eggs. Because if I tell you about them, they’re not really Easter eggs! There are Easter eggs though! It’s like Easter, you can go for an Easter egg hunt in theaters!
How are the costumes? Are they mainly CGI?
Lin: They’re actually not mainly CGI! They’re real!
Scott: The only part that has effects on it is that [points at orb inside the breastplates], which is just a white kind of orb. But other than that, it’s all there.
|Johnny (Contributor) was born and raised in San Diego. He's been a fan of films the majority of his life. He enjoys the feeling it invokes and the power it has to take you go another place.|