A few years ago, I interviewed Amy Jo Johnson (Original Pink Power Ranger) and Walter Emanuel Jones (Original Black Power Ranger) in 2013. I interviewed them because they both were my favorite power ranger’s from the original series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, which came out around 1993. Ironically enough, the interviews took place during the show’s twentieth anniversary and that coincided with some major nostalgia-like blog posts coming out on the web. I mean, I only interviewed Amy Jo and Walter because I was really curious about whatever happened to them.
I knew Amy Jo has starred in several tv shows (Felicity, Flashpoint, Covert Affairs, Wildfire, etc..) and I knew Walter was a famous voice over actor and World Salsa champion, but I wanted to dig in deeper and learn more about their time on the kids show. Through some stroke of luck, I not only interviewed both but I was able to learn about Amy Jo’s directing career–before her other fans did—and posted episodic blog posts on her new career path. Plus I also salsa danced with Walter in LA, and I actually saw the missing middle finger that several online discussion boards were curious about. The urban legend that the Black Power Ranger lost his middle finger on the set of the kid’s show was quickly debunked as soon as my interview came out.
Walter, as well as Amy Jo, are very sweet! I was pleasantly surprised that my childhood faves were genuine.
So lets flash forward to 2016. Many of you know that LionsGate will be releasing a Power Ranger’s reboot in 2017 featuring a young, diverse, and talented cast to play our original faves from the Mighty Morphin Power Ranger days. I also want to note that Naomi Scott will be the first South Asian Indian to play a power ranger, let alone, the infamous Pink Power Ranger, Kimberly Hart. This reboot has brought back the same nostalgia I was seeing online and in-person from 2013, when Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was celebrating their 20th anniversary. I guess with this new wave, I will ride it strong by posting an exclusive interview I had of Justin Nimmo, the original Silver Power Ranger from Power Rangers in Space.
His character, Zhane, was elusive on the show and the man behind the character, Justin, was elusive off-screen. After the show ended in 1998, he moved back home to Purcell, Oklahoma, got married, and started a rental business. He left Hollywood and the interwebs for more than a decade. While his peers were making rounds at conventions, his social media and web presence was static. He barely did interviews too. Several articles about him from 1999 until 2015 were speculation to whether he was dead or not. I noticed in 2016, after doing a quick Google search, that Justin was growing his social media presence and it appeared that he was finally making the convention circuit. I wanted to learn more about this elusive creature so I decided to follow him on Instagram. Justin has mad social media skills. He posts engaging pictures with captivating captions and he knows how to interact with his fans. Mind you, this is not an easy skill to pick up.
From having zero content online to now having posts on his character, daily life, and reunions with cast mates, he’s rocking the internet well. I was fortunate to have a live interview with him through Instagram:
Sherryn: What led to your role on “Power Rangers in Space”?
Justin: I was living in LA, looking for roles on tv and this one came available to audition for.
Sherryn: How did you prepare for that role? Do you still act? If not, what are you up to now?
Justin: Not much prepping. I played myself for the most part. I’m not acting now but I do run a business that sales household furnishings.
Sherryn: What is your favorite food to eat?
Justin: I’m so easy on food. Chinese, Mexican, Italian you name it. I like it. Probably easier to say what I don’t like. Not a spicy kind of guy nor do I care for raw coconut and watermelon isn’t something i’m going to crave.
Sherryn: Why did you dye your hair bleached blond for “Power Rangers in Space”?
Justin: My hair was bleached because that is what the power rangers wanted so not my choice.
Sherryn: There was definitely sparks between you and Melody Perkins from “Power Ranger’s in Space” ? Was their chemistry offset too?
Justin: Everything was kept professional so there was no off screen attraction ever discussed.
Sherryn: What are your thoughts on the new power rangers movie?
Justin: This new movie will be a big hit. It looks great and I look forward to seeing it. The suits are a little Tony Stark but still look awesome.
Sherryn: Were there any funny shenanigans off screen? If so, what are they?
Justin: We goofed around off camera but moreso just laughing and playing around. We didn’t want to get into any trouble.
Sherryn: What is your absolute favorite episode of “Power Rangers in Space”?
Justin: “Countdown to Destruction” was my favorite because my dad was on set and that episode was filmed in downtown LA.
Sherryn: What are your thoughts on children’s tv today versus 15, or so, years ago?
Justin: Now a days the tv shows kids watch would of had a different rating. There is a lot more blood, guts, gore, violence, skin and drug references. It seems like shows today lack a lot of the important values. Several children’s tv shows, from back then, have not stayed around to teach our little ones good values.
Sherryn: Do you keep in touch with any cast members?
Justin: Yes I have stayed in touch with the cast. More so in the past year than in the past. We talk back and forth about what we have been up to and what’s coming up?
Sherryn: What made you want to go back into the power ranger convention circuit? Which conventions can we see you at?
Justin: Chris Lee (Christopher Khayman Lee) hit me up last year saying that he was going to be in Oklahoma and wanted to meet up. One thing led to another and I ended up signing photographs with him. It’s nice seeing the fandom and listening to their stories. The next convention will be Rangerstop 11/4/16.
Sherryn: How can fans keep in touch with you? Which social media accounts do you use?
Justin: Fans are able to stay in touch by the fan pages I have set up. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Sherryn: Any last words?
Justin: I would like to tell the fans around the world thank you for making power rangers a part of your life and sharing their memories of how PR has helped them during tough times. It’s amazing how some fans know more about my character than I do.
Remember when I said that the main reason I interviewed Amy Jo Johnson and Walter Emanuel Jones, a few years ago, was because they both were my all-time favorites in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers? Well, I have a story to share with you all—an embarrassing one. I was super young when I watched the first series come out, and when “Power Rangers in Space” came out, it was a complete fluke that I even watched that show at all. Growing up, I lost interest in super hero shows and was more into makeup, WB shows, and teen magazines.
It was Summertime, and I was channel surfing a bit. I stopped the remote on this bleach blond haired dude, going on a date with a glammed-up villian (Astronema played by Melody Perkins). I was perplexed. I didn’t know what I was watching but after blond haired dude morphed into a Power ranger, I was feeling slightly embarrassed that I was still engaged to the screen. Zhane (played by Justin Nimmo) was a sweet, funny, cheerful guy who knew how to treat a woman–even an emotionally confused villain–like a perfect gentleman. I’ve never seen anything like this before on TV. Even on “Power Rangers”!
In dramas, especially the WB ones, the men play mind games and confuse women, remember: “Dawson’s Creek”? Do I need to remind any of you of the upheavals Joey, Pacey, and Dawson have faced?
On this particular series of “Power Rangers” you see an innocent romance play out between a sweet, quirky, gentleman and a woman, who wanted to be treated with respect. Apparently, “Power Ranger in Space” was the first series to have a love triangle, sibling rivalry, and to have the most profound conclusion to the Power Ranger series. I guess it made sense that this particular series, especially with Justin Nimmo’s character playing a confident gentleman, to have a profound effect on me. The Silver Power Ranger was one of my biggest tv show crushes. This one surpassed most of my other tv show crushes and I am ready to come clean with this heavily guarded secret.
Now, with shows like “Veronica Mars” most girls fall hard for characters like Logan Echolls because he was the consummate bad guy that they wanted to fix. Maybe I was mature (not immature) beyond my years but I always thought Zhane, from “Power Ranger’s in Space” was ten times better since he treated women with respect not neglect.
Were you a fan of “Power Rangers in Space”? Better yet, do you have an interesting memory from the watching the show? Comment below and share please.