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[InC-terview] Former Green Ranger, Jason Chan

By Freddy  /  23 Mar 2017 (Thursday)

Jason Chan (second from right) with his co-stars of 'Power Rangers: Ninja Storm'

You might know Jason Chan from his award-winning web-series such as ‘What Do Men Want?’ or ‘Perfect Girl’. Nevertheless, many will fondly remember the Malaysian-born Australian actor as Cameron Watanabe, the Green Samurai Ranger in ‘Power Rangers: Ninja Storm’.

He is currently based in Singapore. We spoke to him about his experience as a Power Ranger and what he is up to now.

InCinemas: You played Cam, the Green Samurai Ranger in “Power Rangers: Ninja Storm”. How did you get the role?
Jason: When Disney took over Power Rangers they moved production from LA down to New Zealand - that's when they conducted auditions in Australia and New Zealand as well as North America. I had just graduated from drama school and my agent called asking if I would be interested in auditioning - that they were doing mass auditions. I watched an episode of Power Rangers (I wasn't that familiar with it) and immediately called them back. My first audition was uneventful - I read a short scene once and that was it. Went home and didn't think about it. Months later they called and said I had a call back. The call back audition was with Douglas Sloan, the original writer and producer of the first season. I read a couple of times, demonstrated some basic martial arts and then Doug said "ever been to New Zealand?".

Image Credit: Jason Chan

InCinemas: Could you tell us your experience being part of the series? How did it feel wearing your ranger costume and fighting in it?
Jason: I had an amazing experience - the crew and cast were like family. We were all on a new journey together since Ninja Storm was like a re-boot of the series. Everyone was new to Power Rangers since they were shooting in New Zealand with a whole new team so we helped each other a lot - so much so that Sally (blue ranger) was once told off by Doug for carrying sand bags! The costumes were cool - it was just such a buzz to be super hero that none of us ever complained about how hot those costumes were to act in. There were many layers of lycra - not very breathable!

InCinemas: What have you been up to after you finished your season of ‘Power Rangers’?
Jason: I'm a co-founder of BananaMana Films which is a company creating narrative content - TV series and films for global distribution. We've been lucky to have had a lot of attention locally and internationally recently for our content. One of our webseries "Perfect Girl" recently got picked up by NETFLIX and a Korean OTT platform Naver TVcast. Most recently we completed a Japanese Singapore co-production feature film called "Jimami Tofu". We're very excited about this film - it was a dream come true to have made a film and more so to have made a co-production with Japan.

Image Credit: BananaMana Films

[Read our interview with BananaMana on 'Jimami Tofu']

InCinemas: You still work in the entertainment industry, creating various successful series and films. What did you learn from your “Power Rangers” experience that you have applied in your projects?
Jason: I learnt so much about filmmaking during Power Rangers. I used to talk to the cinematographer, sound recordist and boom op whilst on set. They were so willing to share - it was an amazing learning experience. A lot was gained from just watching others too - my fellow actors, the way production worked, how directors worked with actors... it was film school for me.

InCinemas: What are the upcoming projects that your fans should look forward to?
Jason: Well, we've just finished our first feature film so I hope some of the fans out there are interested in it. It's not anything to do with Power Rangers or even in the same genre but it's something I'm really proud of and I hope it'll touch some of my fans.

Image credit: Jason Chan

InCinemas: As a former ranger, are you excited to see the new “Power Rangers” film in the cinema?
Jason: I'm quite excited to see what they do with it. I hear it's darker, grittier... it'll be surprising I'm sure. Overall I'm just happy that the series continues to have so much support and love over the years. Can't believe I still have fans - many of whom are now grown up and watching Ninja Storm with their own kids.

[Check out Jason's Instagram Account: @jasonchankk]

Power Rangers opens in theatres 23 March 2017.
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