There have been many Power Rangers over the course of 25 years but precious few can say they were a part of the first crew. I was able to chat with Walter Jones, who played the original Black Power Ranger Zack Taylor in season 1 of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Jones was able to be a part of something new that changed pop culture forever. Even if you weren’t a fan of the series, when someone mentions Power Rangers, you know exactly what they’re talking about. I talked with Jones about the original series, the 2017 Power Rangers film, and a new film he’s a part of featuring an impressive cast of original Power Rangers from previous seasons.
AiPT!: Did you know anything about the original Sentai series prior to auditioning?
Walter Jones: I had never seen the show or had any idea about it.
AiPT!: Was Zack the Black Ranger the role you auditioned for? Or was that the role given to you?
Walter Jones: I auditioned for the character Zack. I had no idea what color Ranger I would be. When I saw the costumes the first time I wanted the Red or the Black. I was happy to get the black costume.
AiPT!: Did you ever think that Power Rangers would last as long as it has?
Walter Jones: I never thought that Power Rangers would still be talked about 24 years later, much less that there would be new merchandise about the original series.
AiPT!: What did you enjoy most about the new Power Rangers movie?
Walter Jones: RJ Cyler was super captivating as Billy. I enjoyed all the actors! Great effects.
AiPT!: Was there anything you didn’t like about it? And was there anything you would have changed about the film?
Walter Jones: [It had] no Hip Hop Kido! It was a major motivator for so many fans to explore physical arts, dancing, gymnastics, parkour, etc… My character was the only character with that ability. It should have been included in some fashion.
AiPT!: Do you ever get tired of talking about Power Rangers? Is there any moment where you just aren’t in the mood for it?
Walter Jones: Talking about Rangers doesn’t bother me. I’m proud of its legacy. Of course, there’s a time and place for everything.
AiPT!: One of my favorite comedies of all time is Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. While watching this film I noticed that you made a cameo as an angry fan. How did you come across that role?
Walter Jones: I was looping (doing voice over) on the film and the producers decided they wanted to add that part. I auditioned and got it!
AiPT!: Who was the brain behind The Order movie that you and a fantastic cast of former Power Rangers are a part of?
Walter Jones: David Fielding and Karan Ashley are the brains of the order. Its going to be a very exciting project!
AiPT!: When can we see the film and how can fans help support it?
Walter Jones: The Order should be out next year. We still have production to complete.
AiPT!: You’re about to go on a dangerous mission but can only take one other Power Ranger from any season with you. Who do you take?
Walter Jones: The one solid leader has always been Red. Gotta go with the tried and true!
Walter Jones left the Power Ranger series after season 1 and despite never making a return as his character, he did come back to voice various antagonists. Jones was the very first actor to do voice work for any character other than a Ranger (mainly for monsters or villains) on a Power Rangers show after having a role as a Ranger himself. Jones to this day is still acting, dancing and makes Con appearances all over, meeting and greeting the Power Rangers fans that he helped create.
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