When you think of the original ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ series, it’s pretty much impossible to forget two of the series early antagonists turned comic relief, Bulk & Skull. What most people fail to realize though is that as the show went on, and new cast members were rotated in and out of the Ranger outfits, Bulk & Skull remained steady as some of the only tried and true characters to carry on for the first seven seasons of the show. They managed to stick around until ‘Power Rangers: In Space’ brought a proper end to the ‘Zordon Era’ of the franchise only to see it relaunched with an all-new cast the following season.
Actor’s Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy (Bulk & Skull respectively) managed to outlast literally every single lead cast member across the entire series, with Paul holding the record for ‘Most Appearances’ on the Power Rangers series. This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the ‘Power Rangers’ franchise, and in turn, of Bulk & Skull! We thought that was something worth celebrating, so we recently sat down with the dysfunctional duo, Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy themselves, to talk about their experiences with the ‘Power Rangers’ franchise and where Bulk & Skull are now a quarter of a century later! Check out our full interview below!
Science Fiction (SF): This year marks the 25th anniversary for the ‘Power Rangers’ franchise! The show has gone on to become such an iconic piece of pop culture history, and you were both with the show at the very beginning! Did you ever imagine it would become the phenomenon that it did?
Jason Narvy (JN): Well, it has been extremely iconic!
Paul Schrier (PS): No we did not! We definitely did not. In fact, we saw the footage- the Japanese footage, and when they finally decided to show it to us, and we were like “this sucks! This is dumb”
JN: (while laughing maniacally in the background) Yeah! We said, “it looks dumb!”. That’s worth keeping for posterity!
PS: you know when you laugh you sound like an elk who is dying!
JN: I am dying! (Jason continues to make a sound that can only be described as a mixture of a laugh and a scream, which leads Paul to make a similar sound).
PS: And that, is my dying elk mating call. “Help I’m dying please date me!”
SF: So Bulk and Skull started off as kind of the bullies on the show, but as the seasons went on, became much more altruistic and even heroic characters! How much input did you have as far as your characters’ development?
JN: Oh I like your use of altruism! That is wonderful
PS: Well, all-of-that-was-true-ism! We did have some impact on the development of the characters, to some extent.
JN: That’s the way it is with a lot of shows, no matter what. Sometimes they write the script and don’t know what it’s really supposed to be until they get those actors in those parts! So all actors, in some ways, guide where their character is going to go.m, you know?
PS: Although there was definitely an effort on the part of the producers to make them protagonists rather than antagonists. Because the bully thing wasn’t really going to last for much longer.
JN: And they needed the comedy, that’s for sure!
PS: That’s for damn sure!
SF: What would you say is your favorite ‘Power Rangers’ Memory?
PS: I can tell you this is an easy one! Every other week, on Friday, at about 3 o’clock, they would hand out paychecks!
JN: It was like a ritual!
PS: It was amazing!
JN: It was sacred!
PS: But not every Friday!
SF: This is kind of a weird question, but one of our readers wanted to know if you were aware of and how you feel about the relatively large section of the ‘Power Rangers’ fandom that considers Bulk and Skull to be the true protagonists of the ‘Zordon era’ which ran from Mighty Morphin to ‘In Space’? And If you were aware, how do you feel about that?
PS: Well if you look at the statistics, they are- those fans I mean – statistically on par with the number of fans that have advanced degrees. So when those people are in the know and have researched it, as well as what the subtext is showing…
JN: You mean when they perceive subtext?
PS: That’s amazing! And no, I think it’s true! I mean look what’s happened with the reboot for the ‘Rangers’! Your primary heroes are antiheroes! Your protagonists are the antiheroes this time! That’s really why there’s no Bulk and Skull in the reboot! They don’t need them because in a way they have become “Bulk and Skull”. They have become those shadowy, rock and roll, emo characters.
JN: Good characters, with depth, have needs! Needs and wants. And really, completely by accident, in the course of making a bunch of stereotypes, successful, cool, attractive high school kids… they don’t need anything! They’ve got it all!
PS: And Bulk and Skull clearly need something from the get-go!
JN: So, that being the case? We really had a real trajectory as characters.
PS: So really, the ‘Rangers’ were the Bullies. That’s the truth! I remember high school, you know who treated me like sh*t? Jocks. Cheerleaders.
JN: Well yeah but who is going to be watching the show? Jocks and Cheerleaders.
PS: I’m not saying they won’t-
JN: But if you’re an outsider? That’s the audience.
PS: And you know what we did? We clung together. And we played songs with tubas, or we would do Salesmen Death’s on stages!
SF: You guys actually both hold the record for most appearances on the ‘Power Rangers’ series overall! What keeps you coming back?
PS: Hold on… I hold the record. Let’s just call it what it is. Don’t lump him in!
JN: Wait hold on, let me just interject this caveat really quick- “watchable episodes” though?
PS: Oh ouch! I don’t like fish eggs, I can’t eat caviar. Don’t like ’em.
SF: Paul, for a few episodes, you even stepped behind the camera to direct. Have you given much thought to returning to the directors’ chair?
PS: I did! I directed all or part of ten episodes of the show. But directing for television is very challenging, and so now, I have other things that are far easier and require far less effort that I’m up to.
SF: Fair enough! Jason, you’ve taken on a number of stage show productions throughout the years, and now you’re an Associate Professor at Concordia University’s Theater Department training the next generation of actors! Do you find that there’s a big difference between preparing for something like a stage show versus on screen roles?
JN: Okay so, in theory? Yes. But in practice? No. The thing we were just talking about, what makes a good character? It’s throughout, I don’t care what you’re doing, stage, screen, even voiceover, you need to find that it lives in a truth. So when you’re preparing things in that way? That stuff is conversant throughout. Bad acting is bad acting, good acting is good acting. Its basic truths, wants, needs and all of that stuff. It’s just the tools you bring to bare for it! Yes, on stage you need to project more, in theory. But ninety percent of stages that I know are small enough that you don’t really even need those tools. They shouldn’t supersede the other tools of being honest and truthful in the moment!
SF: Paul, you were recently working on a tabletop RPG web series ‘Power Rangers Hyperforce’, can you tell us a bit about that and how it works as compared to the more traditional ‘Power Rangers’ series?
PS:How does it differ? Well, clearly it’s a completely different thing! Have you ever role played?SF: Occasionally.
PS: It’s pretty much like we’re playing D&D, in spaaaaace! I’m traveling through time, I don’t have to wear pants because I’m sitting at a table! You know what I mean? It’s fun! But I will say this, the ‘Hyperforce’ RPG is a superlinear experience. People that enjoy and are comfortable with linear experiences will totally like it! But people who less linear in their thinking, they have a harder time because they have that itchy channel finger and they want to jump around more. So there’s a certain segment of the viewership that is really into it! The stories are a lot deeper, the characters are a lot deeper, we cross into places that the series would never go. Much more adult things like love and loss, dead parents and robot arms and I have a dog!
SF: Well you never had a dog on the show, just Goldar and Rito for a while…
JN: Well he had Felix (referring to actor Felix Ryan, who portrayed Skull’s son ‘Spike Skullovich’ and hung out with Bulk in ‘Power Rangers Samurai’)
PS: Yeah… but we sent him back to the shelter.
SF: And finally, if you had one message to tell your fans, what would it be?
PS: Run! Run for your life!
JN: We’re being held against our will!
You can keep up with all of the latest info on Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy across all of the usual social networks like Facebook (Paul/Jason), Twitter (Paul), and Instagram (Paul/Jason)! Be sure to check out all of our other ‘Power Rangers’ cast interviews right here on ScienceFiction.com!