The first actor to replace an original member of the ‘Power Rangers’ cast talks the 1995 movie, the 2017 reboot, and more.
You’ve seen countless Power Rangers come and go with cast changes and new seasons, but one of the first cast members to join Mighty Morphin Power Rangers by replacing an original member was the very talented Karan Ashley. She’s one of the most memorable Rangers–she was one of the first to introduce the first ever power coin and costume change from Sabretooth Tiger to the Bear Ninja coin and the Yellow Ninja Ranger in the 1995 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie. This change surely shook up the Power Rangers universe forever by showing us that anything can happen. I was able to talk to Ashley and ask her about her run on Power Rangers, her thoughts on the 2017 Power Rangers film, and a new film she’s working on called The Order.
AiPT!: Power Rangers was one of the most popular series on television. What was going through your mind when you found out you would be joining the series as the Yellow Ranger?
Karan Ashley: I was so excited. Being an actress was my dream and I had landed not only a television show but also a movie.
AiPT!: Tommy joined the team as a sixth Ranger but you were one of the first new faces in Power Rangers to actually take over for another Ranger. Were you afraid at all that people wouldn’t accept such a big change to the show?
Karan Ashley: I was very nervous at first. The original three that had left the show were extremely popular and there were huge shoes to fill stepping into their roles. Once I stepped on set, the excitement of being a working actress took over and any nervousness left. We also had an entire team of people who were super supportive.
AiPT!: What was it like for you to see Aisha make an appearance in the Power Rangers comics by BOOM! Studios?
Karan Ashley: I was so happy to see her show up in the comic. I did not know if they would include Aisha, Rocky or Adam. I also loved that her wardrobe looked a lot like my wardrobe in the Order trailer. She was tough and I’m anxious to see how the character develops.
AiPT!: What are your thoughts on the 2017 Power Rangers film? What was your favorite part about it and was there anything you didn’t like, or anything you felt should have been included that wasn’t?
Karan Ashley: I liked it a lot. They changed quite a few things but overall, it was great. My favorite character was Billy and I just fell in love with the new cast. They did an exceptional job. I do wish they would have invited all of us for cameos but seeing Amy and Jason there was great. I did wish the whole team would have did the traditional “It’s Morphin Time” moment.
AiPT!: Who was your best friend on the set of Power Rangers?
Karan Ashley: Johnny Bosch and I were very close. I obviously got along very well with Amy Jo and Catherine. The male energy outnumbered us so we did a lot of girly things off set. I can honestly say, I had an amazing relationship with the entire cast. We all got along very well which was a huge blessing since we spent so many hours together on set. When we see each other, we usually pick up from where we left off and I have some of the best friendships with them now.
AiPT!: And what is your favorite moment with them?
Karan Ashley: Making the movie! We got to shoot in Sydney, Australia and I think that was really the time we got to know each other. We had so much fun exploring the country and everything was just larger than life. Power Rangers: The Movie had sets that were out of this world. Everything from the costumes to the adventure within the adventure was just so amazing.
AiPT!: I spoke with Walter Jones and he had told me that you were one of the brains behind the new film The Order. How did you come up with that concept and why did you choose to not go with an obvious Power Rangers film?
Karan Ashley: The Order came from a desire to work with my cast and some of the other cast members who had been on later seasons. We have all gotten to know each other and we do comic cons together all the time. I always thought, man I wish we could work together. We did not want to do any Power Ranger reboot or fan film because it was already being done and there are so many fan films floating around out there. Plus as actors and artists, you just want to creatively do something different. You just want to stretch yourself and be a character you have never been before. We are super excited to start shooting and are finalizing a distribution deal. Once that is done, we will start filming.
AiPT!: What do you love most about being a part of one of the most iconic franchises of all time?
Karan Ashley: I love two things about being apart of this franchise. First, it’s the FANS. They are the most loyal group. When we were on the show, we were living out our dreams of becoming actors but we had no clue how the show was resonating with the fans. We had no clue that almost 25 years later we would be traveling the world and meeting all of our fans as adults. We had no idea the show and the characters we created had touched so many lives. It’s remarkable the impact it has made and now our fans are parents and their kids are watching too.
The other thing I love is the friendships I have gained from it. When I see or meet any of the other cast members, we are instantly making plans to hang out. We are instantly family. Some of these people are my closest friends. It is a huge blessing.
AiPT!: You wore a few different Yellow Ranger suits, which was your favorite?
Karan Ashley: My favorite was the movie suit. The were so sleek and cool looking. Although it was the worst to wear. Mine weighed about 25 lbs and had a corset. So it would kill your back and neck. But as they always say, you have to suffer for the look!
AiPT!: Say you get a chance to return to the show with another Ranger of your choice, who do you pick to join you?
Karan Ashley: I don’t know. That is a hard question. I am afraid I could never pick one!