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INTERVIEW: Saban's Power Rangers Mighty Morphin Cast!

March 21, 2017

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kids articles

By: Lynn Barker

In Saban's Power Rangers, ordinary high schoolers make a discovery that will turn them into amazing superheroes. Are they ready for that kind of responsibility? How can such a diverse group become an effective team and fight against Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks), a powerful witch and former Green Power Ranger as she launches an assault on Earth?

Before they become RangersBefore they become RangersCourtesy of Kimberley French

Power Rangers have been around a long time. They were in a Japanese TV show, an American TV show, two films in the 1990’s and more. The main characters from 1995’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers are the same in the new movie version but recast with Dacre Montgomery as Jason (Red Ranger), Naomi Scott as Kimberly (Pink Ranger), R.J. Cyler playing Billy (Blue Ranger), Ludi Lin as Zack (Black Ranger) and Becky G. as Trini (Yellow Ranger).

Rangers all suited upRangers all suited upCourtesy of Kimberley French

Check out what the new team had to say about growing up with the Rangers, tough training for the film, character relationships, how kids and teens can really relate to the characters and more!

Q: What were everyone’s experiences with Power Rangers growing up?

  • Becky: Growing up (the Rangers) definitely left an impression on me. I would watch the Japanese Power Rangers before school in the morning. We got the Japanese channel and I couldn’t understand anything but I thought it was the coolest thing because of the colors. Then, later on the Power Rangers movie (1995) changed everything for me. I was like “Oh my God, this is so cool!” and the Yellow Ranger was a girl in it and I was like “Yeah!”
  • R.J.: I used to watch The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers movie (1995) at a very unhealthy rate to be honest (he laughs). It was just really cool to be able to revisit it. Nostalgia definitely kicked in a few times, yeah.
  • Ludi: I knew a lot about them. I knew it started as a Japanese series and it had a lot of cool toys. I knew there was a legacy to hold up that was carried on through the years but what I didn’t know was that there are so many fans all over the world because they’ve been communicating with us and congratulating us.
  • Naomi: Yeah. I didn’t realize just how universal it was with people around the world, that it was a part of their lives. That surprised me.
  • Dacre: I think I just knew about the legacy. I wasn’t that familiar with the show but I knew what kind of impression it left on a lot of people.

Dacre, Becky and Naomi on setDacre, Becky and Naomi on setCourtesy of Kimberley French

Q: How was your training for the movie?

  • R.J.: We all trained really, really hard. Some of us trained at 87/11 and others wherever they were living. Then, when we got to Vancouver (where the film was shot), we all trained together in this really big warehouse that they fixed up for us to become fit kids. From wire work to mats for fight training or choreography, it was really cool.
  • Dacre: I did a lot of work with some trainers doing a lot of CrossFit training, Muay Thai, kickboxing and boxing. I kind of fell in love with boxing. There was a lot of Yoga and gym work. I changed my diet.
  • Naomi: I trained pretty hard leading up to going to Vancouver and I think the training was to have the stamina to get through the shoot as actors. It wasn’t just an esthetic thing. It wasn’t just what we looked like. It was such a physical shoot and you have to be strong so that was really important and a good challenge and a good discipline. We had to kick butt and be superheroes.

The group discovers something life-changingThe group discovers something life-changingCourtesy of Kimberley French

Q: Ludi, didn’t you already have a martial arts background?

  • Ludi: Yeah. Martial arts for me is like playing. How it prepared me, I think it’s like how school prepares you for life. It didn’t prepare me specifically for different types of action in this film but it allowed me to train and learn and adapt for the action I wanted for this character so it comes out organically.

Ludi Lin as ZackLudi Lin as ZackCourtesy of Kimberley French

Q: R.J., tell us about your character Billy.

  • R.J.: Billy is mostly a person who stays to himself. That’s why he just stuck to his parents. He didn’t try to find friends out there. He lost his papa. (You wanted to tell him) “Billy, there is no progression right now. It’s just you and your toys. That’s all you have”. That’s why, when Billy goes back to the mine (where an alien craft is buried), he is looking for more and finds it in these other characters, in the other four Rangers. He could open up to them. He went to the mine to find something to further his connection with his dad. Then he found all of these different jewels and these other people. That’s what made that friendship spark in Billy’s mind. He’s like “Okay, I came here to find this but I found these people. This must be good”.

Are they trying to tell us something?Are they trying to tell us something?Courtesy of Kimberley French

Q: And Becky. What is Trini like?

  • Becky: I feel like when everyone first meets Trini, they think she hates everyone. But, really, she just hates what she is going through. She doesn’t know who she is and she’s lost. I think she feels like she has no purpose and she struggles trying to find that purpose. At first, being a chosen one, finding a power coin seems like an inconvenience to her but she realizes that these kids are her purpose and that she is able to have friends. She doesn’t have to feel bad for being different. She can be okay with that because all of these other characters are different as well. The other Rangers bring the best out in her. She realizes she can be a little nicer sometimes and let those walls down.

Trini (Becky G.) at schoolTrini (Becky G.) at schoolCourtesy of Kimberley French

Q: Dacre, what are Jason’s leadership qualities?

  • Dacre: I think he’s a good leader in the end because he doesn’t force it. He’s not like “I’m the born leader”. He thinks of it as a team just as I think of the whole operation as a team, my cast as a team. I think, a lot of the time, leaders need to insert themselves into the group in order to raise the group up and be more interested in others than themselves. I tried to bring in elements of my life and my interest in other people to Jason. I hope that that was conveyed successfully.
  • Naomi: I think a good leader is humble, definitely.

Dacre Montgomery as JasonDacre Montgomery as JasonCourtesy of Kimberley French

Q: Becky, is it just cool to play a female superhero?

  • Becky: It’s an honor to be a female superhero. Not just that but to be costarring with an amazing, talented young lady like Naomi Scott who does an amazing job as Kimberly. It sends a really good message to young girls out there and (it’s good) for guys to see that. The (Ranger) guys don’t treat us any differently because we are girls. I think the diversity in genders and us saying we’re not one without the others and we are all equal, is a message that I stand behind one hundred percent. The two girls don’t hate each other. That’s nice to see because, usually it’s the mean girl and the outsider and all they do is fight. They admire the differences in each other.

Are they trying to tell us something?Are they trying to tell us something?Courtesy of Kimberley French

Q: Naomi, did you enjoy the relationship with Becky’s character?

  • Naomi: Oh, 100 percent. Becky and I spoke about it. It had to be real. They are not sure about each other at first. At school you don’t necessarily mix with certain crowds and you might think “Oh, I’m probably not going to get along with them” but when you don’t judge and you try new things and try and hang out with someone else, it might surprise you. I think that is what the Trini and Kimberly relationship shows.

Q: How did you all react to seeing yourselves in the flashy suits?

  • Naomi: The minute we turned around and saw ourselves with the masks on, it just reenergizes you because you’re like “Whoa! That’s crazy!” It’s weird because it doesn’t feel like it’s you. That was kind of surreal.
  • Ludi: I think more than the first time I put it on was the first time I saw all of us together with the suits on when we were filming on top of a cliff with the sun setting and the light strikes the suits in a way that it glistens. All of us are together looking over this cliff in to Angel Grove and we’re about to go and save it. That really brought the team together  and it felt like we were a team of superheroes.

Naomi Scott is KimberlyNaomi Scott is KimberlyCourtesy of Kimberley French

Q: Why do you think the Rangers really connect with their audience?

  • R.J.: I think audiences will fall in love with these Power Rangers mostly because they will see themselves behind the masks. They can replace me (or any of us) with themselves. These characters are so human driven. They are young human beings with real problems and we show that. So, there is no such thing as perfection. Heroes don’t come from perfection. They come from people who accept imperfection. That’s the message that this movie puts out. Humans mess up and come back. We fall, we get back up.
  • Naomi: I think everyone has done something they regret. Especially in school, things happen. Sometimes, especially for girls growing up, someone will say something mean about someone or someone’s said something mean about you. I think everyone can relate to that. You realize that everyone in school is going through their own insecurities. Once you realize that, it helps you a little bit. Kids watching can see that you are better supporting each other than bringing each other down because you are probably going through similar things.

Billy sees something weird in the mineBilly sees something weird in the mineCourtesy of Kimberley French

Q: What will audiences take away from the film?

  • Ludi: They’re going to love the abilities. Fans of all ages relate to it. Older fans can enjoy watching a legacy that they loved with their kids. That’s wonderful

Q: Does the movie have a message?

Ludi: I think it just comes about organically because inside we all just want to do something good but what’s preventing us are these walls that society puts around us. For us to shed these walls and really understand each other and work together, we need to bond together and anyone can do that.

Saban's Power Rangers PosterSaban's Power Rangers PosterCourtesy of Lionsgate

Power Rangers is in theaters now!

 

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