If you grew up in the ‘90s, odds are you grew up with the Power Rangers, a bunch of high school kids who could harness their unique superpowers to ultimately save the world on repeat.
The show has had many incarnations and re-makes since it started roughly a quarter of a century ago, but some things don’t change, including the love fans have for their original rangers.
Amy Jo Johnson, who will be appearing at FanX: Salt Lake Comic Convention this weekend, was among that crew, taking on the role of Pink Ranger Kimberly Hart. And if you’d asked her back then where she thought the show was going? Well, it certainly wouldn’t have been where it went.
“Initially when I got the role, I wasn’t thinking, I had no idea, I could never have guessed that Power Rangers would have become as big as it became or have the longevity it has had,” Johnson said. “I never thought I’d go to FanX and see people in Power Rangers clothes. In the last two years, I started doing some conventions, and it is incredible the impact this character I played had on all of these little girls who are now women.”
Power Rangers was Johnson’s first major show, and the role of Kimberly was one she said she got largely from the fact she could do gymnastics.
“I don’t think I would have gotten the role if I wasn’t a gymnast,” she said. “I made up my own style of gymnastics and martial arts. People like Jason David Frank and the stunt coordinator, real actual martial artists, helped us, trained us and choreographed stuff.”
Johnson, however, handled the execution, and most of the cast, including Frank, managed their own stunts. The result was a series that has ultimately garnered a cult following.
“I just want to reiterate, the longevity of the show and the impact it had on so many little kids that are now adults is just mindblowing,” Johnson said.
Though she was ready to leave the show when the time came, Johnson said it was fun to be able to relive it in a way when the new “Power Rangers” film debuted and she held a cameo role with former Green Ranger Jason David Frank.
I really dug it – I liked the film,” she said. “Obviously it was very, very different than the Power Rangers I know, but it was geared toward a different audience. … It was really fun to be a part of it and to fly out, even if you blink you might miss it!”
As Johnson was preparing to leave the Rangers, she was offered the role of Susie Q/Maggie on the TV movie “Susie Q,” a role that was written for her.
“I loved the script,” she said of the film. “That’s one movie I would really love to show my daughter.”
In the last five years, though, Johnson has moved away from the spotlight of acting to writing and directing, but her Power Rangers fanbase is still there.
“For my first feature, I did Indigogo campaigning,” she said. “People who knew me as a Power Ranger were there to support me in my first film.”
Johnson acted for 20 years, with roles on shows such as “Felicity,” “The Division,” “Wildfire” and “Flashpoint.”
Though she also dabbled in music as a hobby, all that ultimately led her to where she is now.
“I found my confidence in those five years doing (“Flashpoint”),” she said. “I really found my drive and passion. I wanted to create, and start writing and start making my own stuff.”
So she went through a program to give her a boost and now is fully focused on filmmaking.
That won’t stop her from meeting her fans, though.
“I’m excited to come to the convention,” she said. “I’m excited to hang with Jason David Frank. He’s one of my favorite people and it’s always nice when we get to meet up at these cons and do panels and photo ops. He’s a riot – the king of the con.”
Amy Jo Johnson will be at FanX both Friday and Saturday, with photo ops and autograph opportunities available. She will also be featured in a Power Rangers-themed panel with Jason David Frank. For more details on the event, visit fanxsaltlake.com, or for continuing coverage, check out heraldextra.com/comiccon.