While generations of Power Rangers have come and gone over the last twenty-four years, the original team has always retained a special place in the pop consciousness. That fact has only been highlighted in the wake of the franchise’s recent big screen reimagining, courtesy of director Dean Israelite. And of course, the central member of any team is the Red Ranger. At the recent Great Philadelphia Comic Con, we were lucky enough to chat with the original Red Ranger himself, Austin St. John. In the course of the conversation, we covered his thoughts on the new movie, his role in ‘The Order’, and more.
Science Fiction: At the start of the series, nobody could have known that Power Rangers would become the phenomenon that it was, but what were your expectations when you were first cast?
Austin St. John: I expected that it wouldn’t get picked up by the networks. I expected it would get laughed off of TV. It was so comical and cheesy that… I uh, I didn’t see it for what it was in its entirety. So very quickly I figured out that I was wrong and I fell in love with the show myself.
SF: What is your favorite thing about being a Ranger? Whether it’s a memory from your time on the show or a moment with a fan that stands out from the pack.
ASJ: My favorite thing about being a Ranger, then and now, has always been the fans. It still is the fans today. So then I loved meeting fans when they were little, and today I get to spend all day hearing from people that tell me how much they love my work. And that’s pretty good, I’m pretty proud of that.
SF: You saw the new movie, right?
ASJ: I did, but I’m not really giving my opinion on that just yet. I want to see it one or two more times. What I will say is that Rita 2.0 was awesome! I got gypped on Rita 1.0!
SF: Any thoughts on the new Jason?
ASJ: You know, the only way I can think of what the new Jason just did, what Dacre had to do, would be if somebody asked me to go back and recreate Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris or Captain Kirk. That’s just a little bit of pressure with a whole world full of people that are gonna have a very definite opinion. So I gotta take my hat off to him. It took a lot of intestinal fortitude to do it, and I wish him all the success, man. I really do.
SF: Along with several of your fellow cast members, you’ve also been involved with ‘The Order‘. What can you tell us about your role in the film?
ASJ: Well I can’t say a whole lot, except that I’m gonna shoot people, kick butt, take names, wear leather, and make it all look good.
SF: Do you have any other upcoming projects you’d like to share with us today?
ASJ: Yeah, I’ve got quite a few other films. I have one I did last year with John Schneider called ‘Tres Leches’. You can go to the John Schneider Studios Facebook to check that out. That’ll be out later this year. I’ve got a faith-based romantic comedy I’ll be doing this summer called ‘A Walk With Grace‘, I have a film on the War of 1812 called ‘Gideon’s Frontier‘ I’m hoping to finish next year. I have a film called ‘Black Salt‘ where we’re creating the first Black Kung-Fu/James Bond-type character. I have a video game coming out in the next thirty days called ‘Black Salt: Corruption’. That’s gonna be awesome. It’ll be on cell phones and very soon it’ll be popping up in other places I can’t announce just yet. Allen Iverson is involved with the game, we got him to voice one of the characters. I’m involved, and there may be others coming along soon I can’t mention. I got a couple movies in there I’ve forgotten, I think. But yeah, I got a lot going on!
For more from Austin St john, including updates on all of his current and future projects, make sure to check out his website and follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. And while you’re at it, be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for all the latest news on ‘Power Rangers’ and ‘The Order’!