Updated: Jan 25
If you grew up in the 90's, chances are you watched "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers". Well to say the least I was a huge fan of the show growing up and Tommy was my favorite. So when the opportunity presented itself, to interview one of my childhood heroes, I jumped at the chance.
Jason David Frank played Tommy on the show. Better known as the Green/White Ranger. Not only did he act on the show, but he's also a professional fighter, which only helped make his character badass.
Over the years since finishing the show, he has gone on to tour the country meeting his fans from all over the world. Not only is he one of the most gracious celebrities you'll ever meet, he's also one of the most inspirational. Check out his social media, you'll see.
When BOOM! Studios launched a comic based on his version of the Power Rangers, it ushered in a new generation of fans.
He's currently got a new Kickstarter to help get his new film made, "Legend of the White Dragon" from Bat in the Sun Productions. If you're a JDF fan like I am, go out and help support this new project, it looks awesome.
COMIC LOUNGE: When you first signed on to "Power Rangers", in 93 or 94, could you ever have imagined that it would become as big as it has?
JASON DAVID FRANK: It just tried to my job as best as I could. I just took it day by day. I knew we were on to something special and I believed it from day one. I embraced it for years.
COMIC LOUNGE: I know you were practicing martial arts professionally already. Did that make it easier to transition into working on the show? Did you perform your own stunts?
JDF: Well, it's actually funny, because I'm working on a similar thing right now. But yeah the transition for me was more for acting, I was a fighter, you know. You have to do things differently, punches are more straight lines, everything is more pratical for "Hollywood", it's wider and bigger and some times sloppier. It took me more time to transition into being an actor than a martial artist.
COMIC LOUNGE: Your iteration of "Power Rangers, because it's gone through so many different forms, has been reimagined at BOOM! Studios for a comic book series. It has been hugely succesful and critically acclaimed. What is it like seeing a new generation of fans latch on to those characters again, 19 years later?
JDF: I love it man! I'm a huge comic book collector. When I played Bloodshot, which is a comic book character, so I was really into playing Bloodshot. When I was a kid i collected comics.
So now that "Power Rangers" is a comic, and seeing the time lines and Drakkon, Kyle HIggins did a great job on the comic. I just love comics, so it's super cool to see official "Power Rangers" comics. Yeah we had some at Marvel, but this is on a whole other level. So I was excited for that when it came out. BOOM! does a great job. The comics are just getting even more popular.
COMIC LOUNGE: I had no idea you were such a big comic book fan. What were some of your favorite comic book creators and/or comic book series as a kid?
JDF: Obviously Stan Lee and everything at Marvel. I wasn't big into DC at that time, Marvel just held more value at that time. Although some people might disagree. I was a big X-Men fan. I have some Spider-Man books that Stan Lee signed. I have some stuff that was given to me and I just grade em and keep them.
I bought one of the most expensive Valiant books on the market. It's funny because Valiant books aren't that expensive, the most expensive one was $5000. The most valuable DC or Marvel book would be millions. This particular one I have, there was only about 17 made, it was a misprint.
I collected comics because I was a fan but also because I was a businessman.
I love comics, they're easy to read and I love being able to just grab a comic whenever I wanna go read.
COMIC LOUNGE: Are there any other characters that you would like to play? I know you played Bloodshot, but are there any other characters you would like to portray in the future?
JDF: I don't really have any. Remember, the reason why I did Bloodshot, was because nobody wanted Bloodshot. The reason why I did Emissary on "Transformers", is because nobody really wanted to.
To me, I have my favorite Wolverines, my favorite Batman. I grew up with Michael Keaton as Batman. So the new Batman now, I'm not used to. But, it's just to hard to step into a character I see already.
Their are plenty of characters I would love to do out of a Marvel book. But you know, we're working on something really big out of Bat In The Sun. I think when everyone sees it they're gonna be shocked. it's a new character that everyone is gonna like. It's a great story and I'm happy about that.
COMIC LOUNGE: Can you tell me what the most memorable moment has been, over your career, this far? That has really resonated with you.
JDF: Honestly man, it's all after the fact. Going to comic cons and seeing and hearing the stories that the kids CAN tell. When they were kids no one would listen, but now they're able to tell them. Kids not having a father, and me being a sort of "father figure". People getting married at comic-cons in front of me, proposing.
I think the with the show, I did the best I could and it was sad to say goodbye, but then the rest was history.