If you are a child of the ’90s, you know David Fielding. As the actor who originated the role of Zordon, providing not only the voice but also the face of perhaps the most iconic floating head of the decade, his presence was keenly felt by a generation. Beyond his time on ‘Power Rangers’, David has built a career in storytelling, both as an actor and a writer. Speaking with ScieneFiction.com at the recent Great Philadelphia Comic Con, David shared his thoughts on storytelling, Bryan Cranston’s take on Zordon, and his involvement with ‘The Order’.
Science Fiction: You’ve acted both on camera and in voice roles. Do you approach a role differently depending on the medium, and if so how?
David Fielding: You kind of have to approach them differently. I mean from doing stuff on the stage to doing stuff for the camera, it’s almost two different animals. When you’re doing stuff on the stage you have to be a little bit bigger so that people can see you in the back, whereas on camera you kind of have to pull it in and make it smaller, because the camera will amplify everything. So there’s a different way to approach both of those. So long story short, yes. [laughs] The answer is yes.
DF: The stories that are really interesting to me are not the real life stuff. I’m a big science fiction, speculative fiction, comic book guy. So I love everything that has an epic feel to it, something that takes me on an adventure. Something that allows me to escape the drudgery of life, and that’s what I’m really drawn to. Not to say that there isn’t a place for real dramas and real life kind of stuff, that’s not what I gravitate toward.
SF: The last time we spoke, Lionsgate had only just announced the feature film reboot of ‘Power Rangers’. Now that the movie is in theaters, have you seen it?
DF: I have seen it
SF: What did you think of it?
DF: I loved it. I thought it was awesome. I was really worried about how they were going to approach some of the things, but they really got the tone right and they really understood what makes the Power Rangers the Power Rangers, and how they all have to come together and work together to be a team, to be invincible. And I really liked the fact that Zordon was kind of a jerk at the beginning, but then he redeems himself at a certain point in the film. And I thought that was great, that they really got that message that you have to make the sacrifice call. I thought R.J. Cyler as Billy was just outstanding. All of the actors were really good in their roles, but R.J. really stood out for me. Elizabeth Banks as Rita was fun and scary, and Alpha was just weird. [laughs] But yeah, I really enjoyed it.
SF: Speaking of the movie’s version of Zordon, as an actor, what is it like to watch someone else step into a role that you originated?
DF: You know, it really didn’t seem to be that different from what we did on the TV show, other than it was an updated special effects kind of thing. I’m glad that they kept the concept, that it is like a big giant face or a big giant head. Obviously because of the technology it looks a lot better than what we did back in 1993. It didn’t really sound like Bryan Cranston did anything special with his voice, it was just his normal voice. Which I guess was their sort of way to try to make him more human or much more of a father figure. But I think there’s something very iconic about Zordon having this booming voice, so I was wondering why they did that. It wasn’t anything that I wouldn’t have done myself, just that they were able to manipulate the image so that you could see more of him. I thought that was great.
SF: And outside of ‘Power Rangers’ you also co-wrote the upcoming film ‘The Order‘ with Karan Ashley. How did that project come about?
DF: That’s really the brainchild of Karan Ashley. She’s been trying to get a project off the ground for a little over a decade, trying to get some of our ex-Power Ranger friends together and to do something on film together. And over the last ten years, various projects have come up but they haven’t gone anywhere for one reason or another. Either the money wasn’t there or the script wasn’t right. But since we’ve been doing the conventions and whatnot, Austin St. John let her know that I was a writer. And so she emailed me back in the late summer of 2015 and we started bouncing ideas back and forth about what we wanted to do. And by the end of October we had first draft of the script of ‘The Order’. Karan took it to all the other Rangers to see if they wanted to be a part of it and they loved it. It just took off from there.
SF: And you’re also performing in the film.
DF: I am.
SF: What can you tell us about your character?
DF: At this point, unless things change, my character’s name is Ralston. He is a former member of the Order, but now he operates on their council. He’s sort of an overseer/administrative type. But he may be on their side, he may not be on their side. Who knows?
SF: Do you have any other upcoming projects you’d like to share with us?
DF: Well, last spring I filmed an episode for a web series that’s going to be releasing soon called ‘Strange Happenings‘. It’s a paranormal, ‘X-Files’-type of series. And I have a book at the publisher right now, and when I get back hopefully I’ll have an email from them about release dates and stuff like that.
For more from David Fielding, including updates on all of his current and future projects, make sure to head over to his website and follow him on Twitter. 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’!