There’s less than two weeks until the 2017 edition of Power Rangers hits theaters, and we are dying over here. The cast is awesome, the costumes look great, the dinosaurs are unlike anything you’ve seen before… Honestly, the Lionsgate film can’t get here soon enough.
Fortunately, we got to go behind the scenes of the project when it was filming in Vancouver in 2016, so we were able to get the scoop on what to expect; that’s how we know how diversity plays such an important role in the movie. But, wait, there’s more…
While we were on location, we also got the cast members to spill about their auditions. Little did we know prior that more than half of them didn’t originally audition for their respective parts (or, at least, didn’t know they did)! Like, we’d heard that Stefanie Scott and AnnaSophia Robb were up for the part of the Pink Ranger, but Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott AND Becky G didn’t audition for the Red, Pink and Yellow Rangers, respectively — that’s three out of the five main cast members!
Here’s what went down:
Dacre Montgomery, Jason Lee Scott/Red Ranger
“I didn’t actually audition for this role. I was in my last three weeks of drama school. I just graduated from the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts which is in Perth, where I’m from. And on the very last night of the very last show, Macbeth — I was playing Banquo — I got a call. I had a text that evening asking me to tape for Power Rangers in the morning. It was from a manager, who’s now my manager in Los Angeles and I thought, ‘Fantastic, I’ll get up in the morning and I’ll tape.’ I got up in the morning and there were, like, six or seven missed calls from her. I rang her back and she said, ‘Can you be on a plane tomorrow morning?’ This being Friday morning. So I flew out Saturday morning, traded in my business-class ticket for two economies and brought my mum and we landed in LA; gained a day, landed in LA Saturday night and I met with Dean [Israelite, the director]. Then I went straight to the testing phase on the Sunday morning with another guy who had come from England for the same role, and then I got a call Monday morning at noon saying I had the role. Then Tuesday it was released worldwide. So, within four days of not even knowing the project.”
“There has been auditions, apparently, for many months and it all came around. When I sat down with Dean on the Saturday night after I got off the plane it turned out that almost ten years to the day, he had been studying in Perth and his final film, I had been the bully that poked the protagonist. I had one line. I was 10//11 years old at the time and that was his graduating final project, you would call it. Yeah, so it was kind of this crazy whirlwind, everything had come full circle.”
“Then, basically, I came back to Perth and finished Uni- University, I had three weeks to go. Turned 21, on the last day of Uni and then trained for three months and, yeah. Three hours a day, six days a week. Martial arts and yoga and weight training, a whole lot very diverse ranges. Training was fantastic especially because I was already into my training essentially being paid to train. It wasn’t about that, it was about, you know, I’d never done martial arts and GM sport and all that, so it was good!”
“I think I auditioned for 11 years and never got a role. But this was my first role.”
Naomi Scott, Kimberly Hart/Pink Ranger
“Actually, I auditioned for Trini first, I auditioned for Trini, yes, and I think they just saw the tape and then they asked me to do the thing, but as Kimberly, which was, you know. But then they obviously just decided I would be more suited to Kimberly and then.”
“I was in England. So what we do is we self-tape, well, you [Becky] sent a tape in too, to be fair ’cause you were on the road. But I’m so used to it, so actually a little funny thing: my tape I do with myself. So I record my voice and then I leave gaps for my character and they didn’t know that, so when I actually went- because what I was doing is there were five other characters in the scene, so I was like putting on these voices I was like, ‘Guys, what are we doing?’ trying to be like this other [character] and then I was like, ‘Yes,’ trying to be [another], and Trini, your [Becky’s] character I was making, like, *puts on a high-pitched American voice* like this, like, ‘Oh my gosh,’ ’cause I was trying to make something really different. And when I told them they were like, ‘What?’ like, they had no idea.”
Becky G, Trini Kwan/Yellow Ranger
“Yeah, for me, I had no idea I was even auditioning for Power Rangers. I was on tour and my agent sent me an email and she’s like, ‘Here are some sides. Can you do a self-take?’ And I’m like, ‘Girl, I ain’t got no time for this, I’m on a tour bus, there’s, like, 15 people here, like, I’m too tired!’ And she was like, ‘Please, B, please!’ And a week went by and she wouldn’t stop asking, so I was like, ‘Fine.’ I had literally 15 minutes in a hotel room to shower and after I got out of the shower I was like, ‘I’m just gonna record it.’ So I did one take, sent it in and I didn’t honestly really care because I didn’t know what it was for… very secretive… and she calls me a week later and she’s like, ‘Yeah, they want to see you! Can you come back?’ And I was like, ‘Who?’ And she was like, ‘Lionsgate, the Power Rangers. And I was like, ‘WHAT?! I sent in that self-tape and they want to see me?! Are you crazy?!'”
“And I went in and I learned more about the character, even before I went in, and I made the decision that this is something that I really wanted, that I felt I needed in my career, ’cause it’s something I’ve always wanted to do and there was plenty of opportunities in the past to do the acting thing and I got my first little taste on the show Empire and that was really fun, but for a movie, the commitment and effort and everything, the time, the being away from home, I didn’t feel ready for it [before] and for this I was just like, ‘I would love this’ and it all just kind of fell into place.”
So, all three cast members did audition… their experiences were simply far from traditional. How cool is that??
Power Rangers hits theaters on March 24.
Before Dacre Montgomery & Ludi Lin were cast, all these hotties were up for their parts:
While Variety reported the Power Rangers producers were looking for "up-and-coming" young stars to join the movie, Austin (who has a pretty full resume to his name) was one of the actors who tested for Jason Lee Scott (the Red Ranger).
You probably recognize Mitchell as Ben in Descendants, but you could've seen him as Jason (Red Ranger) in Power Rangers, too, according to Variety.
It wasn't producers who campaigned for Robbie to play the Red Ranger — it was the actor himself! When a fan posted a picture of the DUFF star as a Power Ranger he immediately jumped on board and expressed interest in being a part of the film. Unfortunately, it didn't work out.
If K.J. had been cast as the Red Ranger in Power Rangers like producers considered, he may not have gotten the starring role on The CW's hit new television show, Riverdale.
Ross is another Riverdale star who tested for a role in Power Rangers, but unlike K.J., he was considered for the Black Ranger.
Brian 'Sene' Marc
This actor's first major movie role came beside Emma Roberts and Dave Franco in Nerve, and he was one of the young men producers looked at to play Zack Taylor (the Black Ranger) in PR.
Daniel has experience acting in action-heavy projects (he appeared on Fear the Walking Dead and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), so it makes sense that his name came up when Power Rangers executives were thinking of young stars who could potentially join the cast as the Black Ranger.