While there is room for personal preference, I don’t think I’d be stepping on too many toes by saying Tommy Oliver is the most popular “Power Rangers” character of all time. He’s donned multiple colors (green, white, black and red twice) while leading story lines in multiple seasons. So when Jason David Frank, the actor who played the character, rolled into New York Comic Con on Friday, it wasn’t that surprising that he was met with an enthusiastic room full of fans anxious to hear everything and anything he had to say.
Conversation with a Power Ranger
The panel was as informal as you’ll see at the Con. His tone was conversational as he interrupted himself to film a short video saying hello his family. At first the informality of it comes across as disorganized, but it quickly becomes clear that Frank’s down to Earth relationship with his fans allows both sides to have a good time. With no moderator, he had some funny anecdotes about his time on Power Rangers, his family life and even New York City traffic (he was late to the panel because of it).
A big hit with the crowd was his comparing his wife walking in high heels to actor Paul Freeman, who played Ivan Ooze in Power Rangers the Movie, wearing platform shoes throughout production. He even claimed that he, Johnny Bosch (Adam) and Steve Cardenas (Rocky) had bets going as to when he would first trip.
Frank has kept busy since his time on “Power Rangers.” A high-ranking martial arts instructor, he also trains as a mixed martial arts fighter. He has long campaigned for a MMA bout with WWE superstar CM Punk ever since the wrestler said he would be up for it. That has yet to materialize. Frank also has a web series called “My Morphin Life.” To get some perspective on the project, the first episode has him jumping out of airplanes to set the world record for most boards broken during free fall. That is, in fact, a real Guinness world record and (spoiler alert) Jason David Frank holds it. He also continues to act in some low budget projects.
Frank isn’t afraid to revisit “Power Rangers” either. He’s a regular on the convention circuit and played Tommy in the upcoming highly anticipated episode of “Power Rangers Super Megaforce” titled “Legendary War.” Let’s just say the newest team of Rangers gets some help fighting the bad guys. But on a smaller scale, he appeared in a YouTube episode of “Super Power Beat down,” a web series that debates who would win in a battle between super powered characters. This episode pitted the White Ranger against Scorpion from Mortal Combat. Frank mentioned at Comic-Con that he agreed to the appearance in order to defend the character.
When the subject came to the new Power Rangers movie in pre-production, he said he didn’t know much about it yet, but was told there would potentially be room for cameos. Likely unrelated to the movie, Frank also said he has something new in the works with Saban, the company behind Power Rangers, but he can’t announce it yet.
For a guy whose main draw is a show that aired 20 years ago, Jason David Frank definitely has a lot to say. But according to him, that’s why he has stayed relevant with his fans. He has a transparent relationship with them and open line of communication through social media and appearances. He even pointed out some specifics about fans in the room that follow him on Instagram. Tommy has always been the people’s Power Ranger and it seems Frank is the perfect actor to continue carrying that title.