Go Go Power Rangers! The theme song that defined countless childhoods even to this day. Many of you readers may recall the Original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers that began in the 90’s. Perhaps no ranger more memorable than that of the Green Ranger – Tommy Oliver! Well Dublin Comic Con (https://www.dublincomiccon.com/) has organised for none other than Jason David Frank to attend their March event. You can check out my full interview below with the White & Green Ranger himself.
Q: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers debuted back in 1993 and was a show that defined many childhoods, including that of my own and my brothers’. Going into the show at 19 years old, did you ever think that your role as Tommy Oliver would end up defining the majority of your career? Allowing you to travel the World to meet your fans?
When I got the role of Tommy, It was only suppose to be for 10 episodes. I wanted to go in an do my episodes and move on. I was shocked when parents started writing letters regarding children being sad, skipping school and not eating because Tommy had lost his powers. I never thought that this character would make such an impact, but I’m glad it did!
Q: So Power Rangers is an American adaptation of Japan’s’ Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger series. Before auditioning did you know much about the origins of the show? And since joining the cast, have you watched any of Super Sentai series?
I didn’t know anything about the Sentai series prior to the audition. When they said Green Ranger I thought I was going to be a Forest Ranger or something like that. I haven’t been able to see any the Super Sentai series, but I’ve heard good things.
Q: What was your motivation to apply for Power Rangers and did you have a previous interest in acting? If so, who inspired you in the very beginning?
My mom always said when I was growing up that I always acted out, so one day I was like, OK I’ll be an actor then. My instructor at Red Dragon, Chris Cassamassa, played Scorpion on Mortal Kombat, so I had some insight into acting from him.
Q: What was the most difficult stunt or scene you played during your time on the show? Are there any scenes you would love to go back and redo, or adapt into another direction?
The most difficult stunt was during the Turbo Movie, I had to jump into a raging river and act and make certain marks, and then grab this rope so that I could be pulled out of the river. I really didn’t know what I was doing, but at the end the director was like that was perfect. I didn’t even know I did it. I do wish I did the skydiving scene in the first Power Rangers Movie. I love skydiving and that actually was what opened my interest to it.
Q: With Power Rangers now in its 26th year, have you ever given any thought to returning to the franchise in another role, perhaps behind the cameras? Either in the director’s chair or choreographing stunts/fight scenes?
I would love to direct an episode of Power Rangers. I love cameras and I choreographing.
Q: How does it feel to be known as perhaps the most iconic ranger in the shows franchise? Having appeared across numerous seasons, with new powers and roles. Lending a helping hand and guidance to the shows new recruits. Do you feel like you have finally left the show for good, or can we expect to see Tommy Oliver back on our screens again down the track?
I would definitely like to do a solo Green Ranger series. I think Tommy is an iconic figure to the Power Rangers fandom. He’s the Wolverine of Power Rangers. I wouldn’t say I’m done for good, but I definitely would love to bring Tommy Oliver to his own stand alone series. There’s just so much that we can offer the Power Ranger fandom on Tommy’s life.
Q: Your passion and life surrounds martial arts. Impressively you have blended your values with the many different martial art styles you have learned, to create your own American Karate – Toso Kune Do. In your own words, how would you describe it to someone who wishes to join your Academy?
Although the literal translation is “The way of the fighting fist”, the name represents more than just fighting. It represents the never ending journey and continual struggle for personal excellence. The Toso Kune Do system incorporates an entire arsenal of dynamic kicks, elusive hand techniques and powerful restraining holds, combining a mixture of philosophies and disciplines from multiple styles of Martial Arts around the world into its curriculum. I also have an online training course, trainmejdf.com, where people can train from anywhere throughout the world.
Q: Is there any other franchise that you wish to be a part of? Or are you now just solely focused on your school – the Rising Sun Karate Academy? Can we expect to see you in any other projects in the near future.
I’m always down for a new challenge so if there is any other franchise that I’m passionate about I would definitely be part of it. I do focus on my schools and I have a lot of other projects in the works. Right now, I have a series of poems coming out, JDF Spoken Truth, where I can show my poetry and act them out. The first episode is currently on Youtube.
Q: You were an accomplished MMA fighter a number of years back, having won all the matches you fought in. What is your take on our own homegrown talent – Conor McGregor? Do you think you could teach him a few moves with your own style of Toso Kune Do?
I think Connor McGregor is a great athlete and has accomplished a lot in the MMA world; however, I believe in being humble always and sometimes life give us a wake up call so that we can be humble and get back on track to being better. I think I could definitely teach him moves. I think we all have room for growth.
Q: Lastly, what are your plans for your stay in Ireland during Dublin Comic Con? And have you got anything you would like to say to those that will be travelling to see you that weekend?
I definitely want to travel around and see Dublin. I don’t always get to go out during shows because I’m so busy, but I definitely want to take time to get around. I can’t wait to meet everyone this weekend. This is my first time in Dublin and I want to meet all of my fans here. See you all at Dublin Comic Con!
You can meet Jason in person across the weekend, with photo shoots, signings and hosting his own panel at Dublin Comic Con on March 9th and 10th at the Convention Centre located at Spencer Dock. It’s going to be an incredible weekend by all accounts.