All Features


  PlayStation 3
  PlayStation 4
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Xbox One


NOCC: The Green/White/Red Zeo ... Ranger Speaks

Company: Wizard World
Product: New Orleans Comic Con 2013 Coverage

This year, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers celebrates its 20th anniversary, and while the team of "teenagers with attitude" started off with five members, it wasn't long before a sixth showed up and that character not only holds the record for the most number of consecutive seasons in the series, but he even came back later as a mentor for one season.

Jason David Frank, who played Tommy Oliver in the series, started off in the series as the evil Green Ranger, but was turned good after the first few episodes. He then lost his power and came back as the White Ranger and took over the leadership of the group. His role then changed themes several times, not only becoming the Red Zeo and Turbo Rangers, but eventually the Black Dino Thunder Ranger as well.

Currently, Frank is a MMA fighter, and while he hasn't competed in too many official bouts yet, he has made an impressive mark in the arena so far. As it turns out, he is also a major fan of skydiving and claims to have over 600 dives under his (black) belt. At the Wizard World New Orleans Q&A session, he was asked a variety of questions about all of these aspects of his life.

Of course, the main focus of the questions surrounded his time as an actor for the Power Rangers. One question asked why he returned in 2002 for the Dino Thunder series. He thought it would be good to go back and return to that character and he's always wanted to be a doctor. He says he can now respond when someone is looking for a doctor "I'm not one, but I played one on TV." He just hopes when he gets the chance, it isn't a situation where someone is seriously injured.

When Frank saw that one attendee was wearing a pretty good replica of the White Ranger costume, he asked the cosplayer if he was hot in the suit. When the man agreed, Frank said he knew how he felt. He also said that we wouldn't be able to understand anything he said while the helmet was on his head. He recalled many times on the set when the actors were talking and all anyone could hear were muffled sounds. When it was finally clear what was being said, more times than not, it was "It's hot in here, take the helmet off."

When asked what the most dangerous stunt he's performed on set, he recalled a stunt involving a tree where he got hurt, but he said they really didn't let the actors do all that much outside of the choreographed fights you see on the show.

Frank was also asked which of the seasons was his favorite. He said he enjoyed working on Dino Thunder because it was a great group of guys, but by this time, Power Rangers had become a kind of legend. When he started out, there were no previous seasons, it was just him and the five other actors. In Dino Thunder, the other actors looked up to him and talked about watching the show when they were younger.

He talked a bit about working with the original cast as well. He said there was a definite division in the cast. Frank, David Yost (Billy) and Amy Jo Johnson (Kim) were always together, while Austin St. John (Jason), Walter Jones (Zack) and Thuy Trang (Trini) were in their own group and they had their own feelings that eventually led to them leave the show. He said that when the new guys came on, Steve Cardenas (Rocky), Johnny Yong Bosch (Adam) and Karen Ashley (Aisha), they did a great job of mixing with the older three. It wasn't long though before other cast members started leaving and new ones started joining. Frank said that, after a while, he didn't want to get too close to any of them because you never knew how long they would last.

Frank also talked about auditioning for the script. He said that he had no idea what was going on and who these rangers were. He was confused about this guy named Zordon and the fact that they just had to look up into nothingness. When they first saw it, they weren't sure what to make of the floating head and after filming the original pilot, he brought it to his brother. When it was over he said "Dude, that was just dumb."

Another questioner asked if there was a difference between the time that the show was owned by Saban and when it was owned by Disney. Frank said that there wasn't a lot of difference, it was always cheap. He said the times he saw the changes were when the show was starting to lose momentum and a lot of different producers were brought in.

When asked about how he felt when the character of Tommy became the leader of the team, Frank said that he didn't really know it was going to happen. The Green Ranger was supposed to be in the show for 10 episodes, he was hired back for a few more and he was supposed to be done. Somewhere along the way, they wanted to bring his character back and Frank thinks that St. John might have had something to do with the handoff, but he isn't real sure about that. He liked being the Green Ranger because he could be apart from the group and do his own thing, then when the other Rangers were in trouble, he would be called in with his own Zord to save the day.

Frank was asked a wide variety of questions - he was asked if he had collected any props, which of the suits and which of the Zords were his favorite. He said that he was able to keep the Dragon Danger, as well as the Black Ranger suit from Dino Thunder. In his answers concerning the suit and Zords, he said that he used to wear the Green Ranger suit for charity events and that he really liked the Dragonzord.

When asked about any antics that might have happened off camera, he talked about Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy who played the comedic relief duo, Bulk and Skull. He said that those two would continue being their oddball characters even when the cameras were off and that it helped to keep the mood really light on the set.

Frank was also asked about his Mixed Martial Arts training and he explained that he spends a lot of time cross-training in different styles. One story he told was with a Thai sensei who was showing a move involving a knee thrust. The sensei would call out a name for the move, but when Frank asked the teacher for the proper spelling and pronunciation of the move in Thai, Frank realised the guy was just saying "long knee."

When asked what Frank's toughest MMA fight was, he said it was the first. He said that it mostly in his head and since he was a main event, he was sitting in the back hearing all of the other fights and injuries, not to mention all of the other things he had going on in his life at the time.

When Frank was asked about his skydiving experience, he said that it was a really fun hobby that he and his wife love to do. He did say that he was currently trying to petition Guinness Book of World Records to let him try out the world's record for highest board break. I am pretty sure he plans on breaking the board in mid-skydive at 10,000 feet.

Jason David Frank was a little different as far as most convention speakers are concerned. In a place where you have a mix of comic book creators in rooms next to major actors that don't really do anything but make film and TV appearances, Frank seems to be a person that knows that most of his fans stem from one TV series, but is taking on many more things other than acting. Frank seems to be more than just the actor that played the Green Ranger. His other ventures into his martial arts schools and his MMA fighting plus his family and his skydiving hobby makes him a speaker that can talk about an unusually diverse group of subjects. Like a lot of the panels at this year's Wizard World Comic Con, Jason David Frank was a joy to watch interact with his fans.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Related Links:

Generic NOCC: Sirtis Overshadows Burton and Spiner Generic NOCC: Stan Lee's Superheroes and Psychology

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated