Before he was Malcolm in the Marvel/Netflix series Jessica Jones, Eka Darville was his own superhero. In 2009, the Australian actor starred as Scott the Red Ranger in the fan-favorite, but low-rated, Power Rangers RPM on ABC. In an interview with Inverse, Darville says the experience of playing a TV superhero from a different universe paid off in an unexpected way.
Ahead of the Season 2 premiere of Jessica Jones on Netflix, Darville opened up about his Power Ranger past and how it was a far cry from the more grounded character he plays in the Marvel series. “It prepared me in the sense I got to practice my American accent, before I had to do it on a show people actually watch,” joked Darville with Inverse in a phone interview.
Though many Power Rangers fans hold Power Rangers RPM in high regard — the series took a more serious approach to the long-running kids’ series, with a dystopian future ruled by machines — the show aired at the very end of Disney’s ownership of the franchise. As a result, the show received little promotion and aired at odd hours, depending on one’s ABC affiliate. (Some fans vented on message boards at the time that the show aired as early as 5 a.m.)
Darville added that working on Power Rangers was a learning experience for a young actor at 18. “I was living in New Zealand, I did it with my closest friends I made in the industry. A lot of it comes down to Eddie Guzelian, who is an incredible writer. He came on for our season. I think anyone who’s actually watched Power Rangers, it’s quickly apparent our season is quite different.”
Though Jessica Jones isn’t Darville’s first superhero rodeo, he acknowledges that it and Power Rangers “couldn’t be further worlds apart.”
“While the Guardians of the Galaxy are saving the universe, these people are just trying to survive and maybe help someone on their own block,” he says. “That’s what I love about Jessica Jones, it is gritty and grounded and these characters are flawed yet beautiful. The exploration of the human condition in Jessica Jones makes it so rich, and what makes Power Rangers so fun is entertainment for entertainment’s sake.
“They are in completely different universes,” he adds.”
In Season 2, streaming now on Netflix, Malcolm is working as Jessica Jones’s assistant at Alias Investigations. Introduced in the series as a heroin junkie who struggled to get clean, Season 2 sees Malcolm clean and sober in an effort, Darville says, to prove himself.
“He’s having to prove himself because he lost faith in himself,” he explains. “He’s in a supporting role, taking care of business What he’s about is proving himself. And the only thing he can do [to prove] that is helping Jessica.”
Marvel’s Jessica Jones Season 2 is availible on Netflix.