We think of the Power Rangers and remember some action scenes and visual effects that honored Japanese cinema (and the B series in general). We also remember those uniforms that from the sofa already smelled of lycra, plastic, and embarrassment. But actress Amy Jo Johnson, the pink superheroine, does not want us to be left alone with this and wants to remember that her character was a feminist icon.
“My time as the Pink Ranger not only became the training ground for my future career as a working actress but also, without even knowing it at the time, a way to inspire thousands of little girls to believe that they can be as bad**s as little boys. That, in itself, is priceless,” she recalled on Tuesday in Variety magazine, where she collaborated as a guest columnist.
The article is not wasteful. One only has to read that she feels very fortunate to have participated in the series in the skin of Kimberly Ann Hart even taking into account the working conditions. “I wanted to take this opportunity to finally thank you for allowing me to be your original Pink Power Ranger. Now, despite the fact that this was a non-union television series and I was paid peanuts and almost died a few times because of the makeshift low-budget stunts we performed, I am forever grateful,” she said.
The actress, who would emancipate herself from the character after getting the role of Julie in Felicity, the first series by JJ Abrams, could not imagine that the Power Rangers would become such a phenomenon after its release on August 28, 1993. Amy realized this when she and the rest of the cast consisting of Austin St. John, Thuy Trang, Walter Emanuel Jones, and David Yost attended a promotional event in Hawaii.
“I personally had no idea what was about to happen that fall of 1993. Remember the time you flew us all to Hawaii for our first live appearance? This was maybe a month after the show aired and I’m assuming there was no online presence back then to tell us how big it actually was. Well, needless to say, we arrived at the Honolulu International Airport without security and over 10,000 people were waiting to greet us! Yes, Haim, I was almost lei’d to death … literally,” Amy remarked
Amy Jo Johnson, 46, whom we have also seen in series like Flashpoint and Covert Affairs, is now focused on becoming a film director. “It’s the popularity of that experience that has also helped me raise enough money to create my first film as a director,” says the director of The Space Between, which opens this summer.
This nostalgic article is the perfect antidote for those fans who needed a positive key reading of the ’90s series, especially after the confession of Ricardo Medina Jr, the Red Power Ranger, who last week admitted to having murdered his roommate, Joshua Sutter, with a sword in 2015.
As the new film franchise directed by Dean Israelite has an openly homosexual Ranger (the yellow one, also known as Trini), it has also revived another controversy related to filming. Actor David Yost, who played Billy Cranston, the Blue Ranger, had to leave the series because he suffered bullying on the set for being gay. Yost, by the way, thinks these changes in the script are a step forward.
The film opens this Friday in the United States and the box office analysts predict that it could enter more than $30 million in its first weekend, a correct data, but one that does not assure a sequel. But Amy Jo Johnson, who stars in a cameo in the film, just in case has warned that she is willing to play a bigger role in the sequel. “I think I would make a wonderful villain,” she joked.
[Featured Image by Rich Polk/Getty Images]