Still ever present in our minds after all these years, the ‘Power Rangers’ franchise seems like it’s just never going to fade away. While the brand has had its ups and downs over the years, the fan base has kept the franchise running strong for almost two and a half decades! A big part of the reason so many people still have so much lover for the ‘Power Rangers’ brand is the legacy of memorable cast members that were featured on the series across the many seasons that have hit the airwaves. Many people have fond memories of the earliest ‘Mighty Morphin’ seasons, but this year we’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of the third big iteration of the brand, ‘Power Rangers: Turbo’!
Legacy has always played an important role in the ‘Power Rangers’ mythos, which is a big part of why so many people hold onto their fond memories of the ‘Power Rangers’ themselves. With so many longtime fans of the series on our team, we recently jumped at the opportunity to sit down with one of our favorite former Power Rangers Nakia Burrise, to catch up! Nakia portrayed Tanya Sloan (aka The Yellow Ranger) on both the classic ‘Power Rangers: Zeo’ and ‘Power Rangers: Turbo’ seasons. Check out our full exclusive interview below where we talk about her time on the show, what it meant to her, and what she’s up to lately!
Science Fiction: Power Rangers has been around a while now, going back over twenty years, with this past year marking the twentieth anniversary of your time with the show with ‘Power Rangers: Zeo! Did you ever think the series popularity would last this long?
Nakia Burrise: I actually got on the show in ‘95, and my episodes just didn’t start airing until ‘96! Zeo’s twentieth was last year, and Turbo’s is this year! But did I ever think the show’s popularity would last this long? Oh my gosh no! When I was on the show, I didn’t realize how big it was to be perfectly honest. It wasn’t until I started doing conventions in 2009 that I actually realized how big ‘Power Rangers’ is and continues to be! There’s a huge fandom! What a blessing.
SF: How would you say your time being a part of the Power Rangers has effected your life now?
NB: Well, I get to travel around the world, literally, and bring my family. I get to meet wonderful fans that bless my life every single day, and I get to meet wonderful volunteers. It’s just been awesome all around.
SF: When you joined the show, there had already been two yellow rangers that preceded you. What was it like coming into a show and taking over such an iconic role on the team?
NB: I made Tanya more about me! I’m unique enough I think to make the Yellow Ranger diversely different than Aisha and Trini, who are both two very special characters.
SF: Everyone’s got their favorites right?
SF: And you’re one of the few rangers who managed to be on multiple versions of the series as it evolved into different things with both ‘Zeo’ and ‘Turbo‘! Do you have a preference between the two of them as a favorite?
NB: Well I like them both for different reasons. I like ‘Zeo’ because my character actually had stories and they developed my character and I had a lot of plot to do. But then, I like ‘Turbo’ because we got to fight! Inside the episodes we have stunt-people and they’re inside the suits, and it wasn’t until Turbo that we actually got to fight inside the suits and do a bit more.
SF: What do you think is your favorite thing about having being a Ranger? Whether it’s a memory from your time making the show, or even just a moment with a fan that comes to mind in particular?
NB: There are so many! I remember the very first time going on set, and looking inside my dressing room, and sitting there in the corner of my dressing room and looking around and just thanking the lord for this opportunity! I just remember saying “oh my gosh I can’t believe this!” because at the time I was just a junior in college, and I was studying to be an actress. To be able to be employed before I graduated was a blessing in itself, but to be able to get paid to do what you love is a blessing. I also would say that just seeing some of the expressions of the fans that come to the tables and when they say things about how I helped change their lives, or how my character changed their lives or inspired them. All of that! It’s just amazing. Another thing was being some of the ‘Make A Wish’ Foundation’s “last wishes”… that means a lot.
SF: It’s definitely a really big thing to have been a part of. Speaking of big things, have you seen the new ‘Power Rangers’ movie yet? What are your thoughts on the film? –
NB: I have! And overall, I thought it was really great! There were a couple of things that I was not so… well, thrilled with. But I liked it a lot! I liked the nostalgia of how Alpha was and how Zordon was in a tube as opposed to the magnetic things or whatever it is they had going on there, but overall I thought it was a good movie.
SF: Since we’re talking about good movies, what can you tell us about your upcoming project “The Order”?
NB: Oh! I can’t say very much about it! But it’s kind of like the ‘Power Rangers’ meets ‘The Expendables’.
SF: Can you tell us a little about your character?
NB: My character, she’s… a bad butt. She’s completely different than Tanya, and this is completely not necessarily a kid friendly movie. You get to see a diverse set of different characters within… well I actually don’t know how much else I’m allowed to say! So I’ll just stop myself there.
SF: Fair enough! Are there any other projects you have coming up besides ’The Order’ that you can tell us about? Where can Nakia Burrise fans expect to see you next?
NB: Well, I have a website, NakiaBurrise.com, and I put up all of my upcoming events and so forth. I have a couple of shows that I have guest starred on that haven’t aired yet. A new show called ‘Rebel’, which is on BET Network, and ‘Baby Daddy’ which I think just came out like two weeks ago. ‘Jane The Virgin’ and ‘Atypical’ with Jennifer Jason Leigh! I just guest starred on there.
SF: So it sounds like you’re staying very busy!
NB: God willing! Then I also do some voiceover work for an animation show called ‘Dreamtopia’ which is through Mattel- that should be coming out soon. And right now, I actually wrote a show called ’Class Dismissed’, which is a web series that I’m trying to sell to some of the networks, and you can check out all of the episodes at ClassDismissed.net!
SF: Cool! Last question, if you had one thing to tell your fans, what would it be?
NB: All things are possible for those who believe. That’s my stamp!
Be sure to follow Nakia Burrise on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for all of the latest updates on all of her projects! And don’t forget to stay tuned to ScienceFiction.com for all the latest updates on ‘Power Rangers’ and ‘The Order’!
Jordan is a Staff Writer & our resident Toy Columnist here at ScienceFiction! Journalist, Musician, Toy Collector, and Overall Awesome Guy! For more on Jordan’s thoughts, toys, and wacky adventures, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Instagram.