Teenagers With Attitude (and Spandex): Behind the Scenes of the "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers"

Life Beneath the Morphsuit

Every '90s kid wanted to be a Power Ranger. They kicked ass, wore slick helmets, and summoned Dinozords—that is, ginormous robot versions of the dinosaurs (...mostly) each character channeled. Take your pick: Mastodon (the Black Ranger), Pterodactyl (the Pink Ranger), Triceratops (the Blue Ranger), Sabertooth Tiger (the Yellow Ranger), Tyrannosaurus (the Red Ranger), Dragon (the Green Ranger) and White Tiger (the White Ranger). But what was it like to actually live and breathe the Power Ranger lifestyle? Empowering, sure, but according to the actors underneath the helmets, it wasn't the most comfortable thing in the world.

Frank: I was able to have the best of two worlds, playing evil and good at the same time. It was fun.

 

How did it feel to wear spandex on television? Humbling, I suppose, is a good adjective. —Amy Jo Johnson

 

Because we had all of the Japanese footage, the only time we wore our suits was in the Command Center, with our helmet off. It's funny—I was the only Ranger in history to actually wear the full helmet. I had a fight scene with Austin in the Dark Dimension, and they didn't use a body double. The helmets were hard to breathe in, hard to see out of. The reason they started using body doubles, they thought of all the hours that went into make-up and costume changes. They started doing that after my fight scene.

I feel great about being a superhero. That's why I went back to Super Mega Force.

Johnson: The first season of Power Rangers, we did wear the suits. After almost suffocating in them because the helmets only had three tiny holes to breathe through, we got stunt doubles. We did wear the suits with our helmets off sometimes in the Command Center. How did it feel to wear spandex on television? Humbling, I suppose, is a good adjective.

I remember at the end of first season, my boyfriend at the time and his buddies, who where electricians and grips on the show, tried to steal the Blue Ranger's costume and got caught. I think they were fired. God, that was so long ago.

If by playing a Ranger I inspired someone, that's awesome.

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