22 year-old Australian actor Dacre Montgomery may not be a familiar name or face yet, but that is all likely to change this weekend when ‘Saban’s Power Rangers’ arrives in theaters. Montgomery plays one of the lead characters (possibly THE lead character), Jason Scott, the disgraced former star football player who must then become the Red Ranger, leader of a new group of superheroes who must save the Earth from tyrannical alien Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks). Lionsgate is banking on this film to kick off an entire franchise of movies and according to Montgomery, there is certainly room left to further explore these characters and their journey.
But in the meantime, viewers will see Montgomery again in another genre venue, on Netflix’s hit ‘Stranger Things’ which returns for its sophomore season this summer. While promoting ‘Power Rangers’, Montgomery admitted that somehow he never really knew about that cult phenomenon growing up in Australia. But that isn’t the case with ‘Stranger Things’, which he admits he was a huge fan of before joining the cast. (NOTE: Pics are from ‘Power Rangers’, not ‘Stranger Things’.)
“I am a huge fan. No doubt. Just before we came to L.A. for Comic-Con last year I think Stranger Things dropped at the start of July and I was in L.A., I watched it in Sydney just before I went to L.A., whenever it was, around that time. I went to L.A. and I met a few people over a few days in L.A. and I was like, “Guys, this show just came out, Stranger Things. These Duffer Brother boys are going to be the next Coen Brothers.” I was talking so much about this show. I literally loved it, left it, moved on. My parents got into it, and my parents never take my advice on what shows to watch. They’re always off watching Danish crime shows, which are also fantastic, but they kind of stick to that realm. And they watched it, and my grandparents watched it. Four months passed and then I got an email from my manager who [said], “There’s two season regulars joining Stranger Things, one of them is this 18-year-old bad boy.” I lost my shit, I was like, “I have to nail this.” I spent a day working on it and got two of my friends who were still at the acting university I went to help me that night put down a tape. I was so nervous [about] it and wanted it so badly I made like a short film. I had an opening score, opening titles and credits. And I got in like a G-string and danced naked to ’80s music with this leather jacket and crazy glasses. That night, Thursday night, I sent it off. I said to my team at 3 Arts and WME, I was like, “Dudes, this is crazy, literally the industry is going be like who the hell is this guy, or they’re going to love it. Hopefully the Duffers can handle this.” I didn’t sleep Thursday night, and I got the call Friday morning saying the Duffers want to Skype you on Sunday morning and they want to fly you to L.A. next week for the test deal. I was like, “Holy shit!” I Skyped the Duffers Sunday morning and we got a call Monday morning the test deal is off the plate, it’s an offer. And I was standing with my mom and I was like, “Are you kidding me?!” I had been auditioning for like four and a half months since I was shooting Power Rangers and this was the first role that I really wanted, and I hadn’t gotten any of the other roles I’d auditioned for or call backs or tests or anything, and I got an offer for this role. Then three and a half weeks later I moved to Atlanta and started shooting. And that was in October and we finish shooting at the end of April.”
‘Stranger Things’ already has a fairly large ensemble cast. Who is Montgomery playing and what does his character add to the established hit series?
“I played Billy. And he and Sadie, who plays my stepsister, had come to Hawkins, Indiana. We come to town and basically ruffle feathers I guess is my character’s kinda place. The Duffers were like, “We want somebody like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.” He’s wild, he’s unpredictable. Every day I go to set, I have some sort of new input, like I’ll sit down with the Duffers and be like, “what do you think about this line?” I’ve got prosthetics, I’ve got a crazy car, I’ve got earrings and tats, and it’s so wild. My character is unpredictable. I’m playing the antagonist as opposed to the protagonist, which I play in Power Rangers. I went into the postproduction house actually in L.A. about two and a half weeks ago, and the Duffers showed me and Joe Keery [Steve] most rough cuts of [episodes] one, two, three and four. We sat in these edit rooms, giggling like little girls. I’m still fan-girling.”
Hopefully fans of the first season, will continue “fan-girling” themselves when the hit show returns for its second installment this summer. (The release date hasn’t been revealed, but it should arrive in July, similarly to the first.)
Are you intrigued as to what these new characters will bring to the show?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter