Power Rangers have been a mainstay of kids programming since it first launched all the way back in 1993. Now, over two decades later, the franchise is still going strong, with countless toys, merchandise, and a new series. Power Rangers Dino Fury serves as the adaptation of the 43rd Super Sentai series, and features show-runner Simon Bennett.
With the show now on Netflix, CGMagazine took some time to talk to Chance Perez, the new Black Dino Fury Ranger on the show. An American actor and songwriter, he was featured on the reality show The Boyband Project. Making the move from music to acting, he plays Javi Garcia, the Black Dino Fury Ranger on Power Rangers Dino Fury. From his love of the series, to how he got ready for the role, Perez gives details on his character and what fans can expect from the new series.
CGMagazine: Were you a fan of Power Rangers before you got involved with this project?
Chance Perez: Oh, yeah! I was a fan of the Power Rangers when I was a little kid. I had the Power Rangers action figures, the swords, and the underwear, etc. I think my favourites were obviously the Mighty Morphin, but also Time Force was something that I watched a lot. I loved the movie.
CGMagazine: This is your first scripted role in a TV series. How was it coming to such an established franchise, and was there anything you were worried about taking on the role?
Chance Perez: Good question. I was nervous. I was really nervous. I had never acted on anything before. I was just really welcomed with open arms from the entire Power Rangers cast, the crew, director, and I showed up every day and tried to do my best and learn as much as I could, and I think that’s all that you can do. I had a lot of fun with it. I learned a lot, and I’m proud to be part of it.
CGMagazine: You mentioned you watched Power Rangers as a kid. Was it daunting to step into a role that so many people know. If so, how did you ever get past that?
Chance Perez: It’s not even really something that was on my mind, it was more that I’m just so happy because I know Power Rangers from my childhood. I grew up watching the show, so it felt natural, it felt fun to be able to step into that legacy and just give it my all and do my best. So, I had fun with it from top to bottom.
CGMagazine: Power Rangers is a very physical show. How was the training regime to get ready for this role?
Chance Perez: We had three weeks of training with the Japanese stunt team when we first got there. They taught us all the types of punches, straight jab, right cross, and then they taught us the kicks and everything like that. I’d say the toughest part was probably the stretching. It was intense stretching. We would warm up, and we would do a punch just to get our muscles all warmed up, and then they would have someone from the team push your back down and just contort you in all these different ways and definitely become more flexible. But that was a tough hump to get over.
CGMagazine: Are you keeping up with the training even now?
Chance Perez: Yeah, I’m doing my best. I’m going to the gym a few times a week and also doing HIIT training at home. After workouts, I do a post cool down stretch to keep in that shape as best I can.
CGMagazine: There are so many branches of Power Rangers, there are the toys, there are video games, there’s the series. How involved are you in all the separate parts that go along with the show?
Chance Perez: I know that there’s been a box set of all of us released. But I know that Tessa the Green Ranger and I have not had our toys released yet. At least not that I know. But hopefully they should be released in I think the spring of this year, so hopefully soon. But yeah, definitely focus on the acting when filming the show.
CGMagazine: Will you be buying your toy or given a toy when they do come out?
Chance Perez: Oh, for sure. Yeah, are you kidding me, I have to.
CGMagazine: For people that are new to Power Rangers, how would you describe the show, and what would you say to get them to watch and enjoy the series?
Chance Perez: From the beginning, Power Rangers has always been about inclusivity and keeping everyone from all different aspects of life. They bring them together and something that I noticed even as a kid from Power Rangers is that they might not win the first time, like when they go up against somebody new or whatever it is, but they never stop trying.
That’s something that’s so commendable in these heroes but also in day-to-day life. It’s such an important lesson to have growing up and from adulthood on even, just to never give up on something that you love, that you’re passionate about. I think that’s an aspect that I really gravitated towards about Power Rangers and about our season as well is we never give up. I think that’s something that’s important.
CGMagazine: How was it going from reality TV to acting, and what was the prep work you had to do to take that step?
Chance Perez: I assume you’re referring to the Boyband on ABC. That was obviously to put together a boy band. We didn’t have to do anything but be ourselves and try our hardest each week to learn new songs and get along with one another. We were all there for the same reason. So, that was a lot of fun.
I guess going from that to playing someone who isn’t yourself is a little different. Like I said, I had never acted before, so my character being a musician, was a really nice segue into this world. Because I’m also a musician, and being able to play that in my character brought this aspect of reality for me, where I was able to ground myself in my hobby a little bit more.
CGMagazine: How much of yourself did you inject into the character and were you allowed that freedom to make it your own?
Chance Perez: I can talk a little bit about it now that the first half of the season is out. My dad passed away when I was very young. So, there’s always been this missing figure in my life. So, when I had to play this role with Blair, who was Bordon Garcia, it really brought these real emotions to the screen on the days when we had to interact. He’s such an amazing guy. We had a heart-to-heart and talked about all that stuff. He’s a wonderful friend, wonderful actor, and it really allowed me to be able to inject this realism too.
CGMagazine: Anything else you want to leave us with before we let you go?
Chance Perez: I would love to say, I hope that you’ve seen the first half of season two, and that you enjoyed it. Also, with the back half of season two, it only gets better and there are so many surprises for you guys. I wish I could just spoil things a little right now. But I won’t, I’ll refrain. But, yeah, stay tuned because it gets really, really good.