EXCLUSIVE: Original Red Power Ranger Austin St. John Returns to Hollywood After 20 Years
By Ashley Crossan
It’s morphin' time!
It's been 22 years since we first heard the iconic phrase uttered by Red Ranger Jason Lee Scott on the beloved hit '90s series, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers -- but it never gets old!
ETonline caught up with the leader of the original leader of the pack, Austin St. John, to chat all things Power Rangers and get the scoop on his exciting new project that will bring him back to Hollywood after a nearly 20-year hiatus.
When St. John signed on for the children's series in 1993 at just 17 years old, no one could have guessed the show would take off like it did.
“Thousands of people tried out for the show. It was an open cattle call and people just came in from everywhere and I was convinced there was not a chance in you-know-what I was ever going to get anywhere near this…and I was wrong,” St. John told ETonline. “It was campy. It was just infectiously fun, but to a 17-year-old boy, I was embarrassed sometimes at some of the things they wanted me to say!”
St. John reluctantly departed the series in season two along with two other cast members after a salary disagreement. Following his departure, St. John (who dropped out of school to star in the series) earned his GED, and two college degrees that would take him overseas as a medic.
During his travels, St. John remained largely off the social grid, unaware of the Power Rangers fans that remained loyal to the original cast – that is until original Black Ranger Walter Jones (who remains one of Austin's closest friends) convinced him to attend a convention to see all the '90s fandom he's been missing.
“It was all just people I never would have dreamt would care less what I had been doing 20 years later,” said St. John. “The only reason I am back here right now, after 15 years with a successful medical career is because of the fans. That's it.”
The fan base has remained so incredibly strong over the years that Saban Brands and Lionsgate have teamed up for a reboot Power Rangers movie. But one thing fans want to see? Cameos from the original cast! St. John says, if asked… he’s in!
“We've had some talks with Saban Brands. There's been no agreements. Nothing in writing, so I wouldn't waste your time or anybody else's with propagating something I can't prove in writing,” said St. John. “I don't know if they'll be calling me back, but we can see. I wouldn't mind coming back and doing a cameo. It would be a lot of fun for the fans.”
“This film takes the Ebola virus super version and we watch it start from the very beginning,” said St. John, “Two years later, we kind of jump time and see where the world is. We follow the survival story of my character who not unlike in the past, kind of takes it upon himself to find survivors and help them survive and there are some really nasty twists.”
The film is set up through a current Indiegogo campaign. Donations start at just $10, and prizes include anything from an exclusive t-shirt, to being an extra, a producer, or even a camping trip with Mr. St. John himself -- where he’ll be your guide and show you applicable real-life survival skills.
So yes, if you want to see Austin back on the big screen (or maybe you just feel like going camping with the original Red Ranger), check out the film’s page here.
Check out this video for more on the interview with Austin St. John.