Bryan Cranston seems usually charged up about his role as Zordon in the new Power Rangers film. The big screen reboot of the nostalgic ‘90s phenomenon stars Cranston as the voice of alien mentor Zordon, which he compares to being like a frustrated coach for unruly kids while the world is at stake.
“He is a frustrated mentor of these kids,” Cranston said at the TCA press tour last week. “They’re not advancing as [Zordon] hoped. Some of them are not taking this seriously, the responsibility … placed upon them or that they have been chosen for. And yet, you’re a mentor. It’s almost like being a coach. You want to break down the individuality of them so that they can grow as a team.”
The Breaking Bad star talked up the significance of his new role as a “bookend” to his career; Cranston started out doing voices for anime and kid’s TV, including Power Rangers, back in the ‘90s. “I was 23 or 24. I did a lot of villains and ‘You shall pay for that!’ It was fun. And I was glad to have the job. I was learning a lot.”
Cranston, who earned an Academy Award nomination last year for Trumbo, said he was approached for the role by media mogul and owner of the Power Rangers franchise Haim Saban. But Cranston said he was hesitant about joining the film because of its kitschy quality until a phone call with director Dean Israelite changed his mind. “I thought, Power Rangers? It’s kind of the [1960s] Batman television show, ‘Pow! Zing! Whap!’ And I had a phone call with the director and he said, ‘Think of it this way, Batman came from TV and became a completely different animal in the movies, so too is it here.”
Convinced to give it a shot, Cranston said he read the script which compelled him to sign on. “The kids sound like real kids and not everyone is this great athlete and everything is working out,” he said.
Check out Cranston’s early work on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers as the monster Twin Man from the Season 1 episode “A Bad Reflection on You.”
Power Rangers will be released March 24.