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Power Rangers Unlimited

Karan Ashley Interview
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Conducted by Johnny Yong Bosch

Why did you leave the show? We've heard too many rumors.

You are right when you say there were too many rumors as to why I left "Power
Rangers." I'll be happy to set the record straight! It was an agonizing decision for
me to leave the show but I had to simply because shooting "Power Rangers" left
me with no life. We worked 12-15 hour days, sometimes six days a week. We
would shoot 2-3 episodes and two years of that just took its toll and I wanted to
do other shows and get into my writing and producing. It took sometime but I
was able to do that and it was the best decision I made because now I have
produced and co-wrote and starred in two of my own films. I do miss the good
times we use to have though.

What was your favorite project that you worked on?

My favorite project is my latest project, "Devon's Ghost"! (Available May 10th, 2005
online and in video stores) There is nothing like doing a horror film! We got to
run, scream, fight, and play with fake blood all day! I also got to reunite with "my
boys" Johnny Yong Bosch and Koichi Sakamoto. We had the best time working
together again, I made some great lifelong friends and I can't wait for Part 2!

First job ever?

My first job ever was cleaning out the ashtrays and emptying out the trash cans
in my mother's beauty shop. I don't think she ever paid me for that! HMMMM...
My first job was in a singing group called KRUSH and we were signed to A&M
records for 5 years. My first big acting job was "Power Rangers." I had done local
Dallas stuff prior to that.

Hobbies?

My hobbies are writing scripts, dancing, and watching soaps. I know that kind of
sounds corny, but I love my "General Hospital"!

High School? College?

I graduated from David W. Carter High School in Dallas Texas. Funny story... Do
you know the movie "Friday Night Lights"? Well I'm from Odessa, Texas and my
family went to Odessa Permian. Well the Carter Cowboys beat Permian in that
state game. I'm proud! My hometown and high school are now famous. As far as
college, I had been accepted to North Texas University but went to this open call
one month before the first day of my freshman year and landed a role on a show
called... "Power Rangers"!

Siblings?

I have 5 sisters and 1 brother. I'm the spoiled baby of the family.

How do you spell your full birth name? I've seen it spelled sooo many different
ways, it's driving me nuts!

Karan Ashley Jackson.

How did your former group KRUSH form? Would you ever go back into the
music business?

We were put together by my now film partners Tim Grace and Ron Day in Dallas.
A year and a lot of practices later we got a record deal with A&M Records through
Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (Janet Jackson's producers). We had a song on the
Mo' Money Soundtrack but our album was never released. I would like to get
back in the music industry one day, but no more groups. It's too hard to get
everyone on the same page.

Which costume did you like most: the show or movie?

I loved seeing the movie costumes on screen but hated to wear them. They were
about 20 lbs and killed mine and Amy Jo's back. The TV costumes were
spandex and embarrassing to wear. You had to make sure and not hit the craft
service table if you knew you had to put that thing on.

Were you and Amy Jo [Johnson] that close off set?

We were close because we were the only girls on the show. She was very sweet
to me and welcomed me when I came on as the new Yellow Power Ranger. Our
birthdays were close so we always talked about being Libras. I haven't spoken to
her in years but she is the type to just pick up where you left off. I actually had
good friendships with all the Rangers in my cast. When you spend more time
with your co-workers than your family, you can't help but get close.

What was your favorite Yellow Ranger moment?

My favorite moment was shooting the parachute scene in the "Power Rangers"
movie. I was about 30 feet in the air on wires and we were suppose to flip
forward 2-3 times then smile for the camera. Well I got 1 good take and by the
2nd take I was throwing up! I was so embarrassed but couldn't help but laugh
when it almost went straight into the camera.

Was it hard for you, Johnny [Yong Bosch], and Steve [Cardenas]
when you
first started out on the show? How did you feel
?


It was hard at first because the former Rangers left big shoes to fill. We knew it
would be a hard transition at first because they were loved by kids
,
but I think
eventually people saw that we were
n'
t trying to be them or take their place. We
were totally different and we all had qualities they could like and relate to. I
remember our first day and Jason
[David Frank], David [Yost] and Amy
[Jo
Johnson]
came on set and we were in the middle of shooting a scene so we
could
n'
t speak to each other right away. As soon as they yelled cut, Jason came
right up and introduced himself and the others and we all had a sigh of relief
because they were very nice.


What aspect of filmmaking do you enjoy the most?

I like it all. Some days I'm a total producer and I like to make big decisions, other
days I like to just be alone. That
's when I write and disappear,
but the best day
still is when we start shooting and I get to try and bring a character to life. I guess
the answer is acting! I
'm always an actor at heart.


Who are some of your favorite directors, and is there a singular piece of
work, person, or anything that
just convinced you that you had to give show
business a try?


My favorite director changes every year. I have too many. If I had to choose, I love
Francis Ford Coppola for
"Godfather" 1 and 2, Quentin Tarantino for "Kill Bill"
1
and 2
,
and Michael Bay for everything he has directed. When I first saw Al Pacino
in
"Godfather,"
I knew I had to be an actress and maybe one day I could be in a
movie with him.


Did you have any fallbacks in case show business didn't work out?

No, I did not. Thank God it's working out for me. I think I'd rather wait tables and
beat the pavement with all the other actors in Hollywood before I would ever want
to do anything else. My producing and writing could be a fallback if I stopped
acting but I would never leave this industry totally.


What's the worst job you've ever had?

My first job was working in my mom's beauty shop cleaning out ashtrays and
emptying the trash cans. I was probably 4 years old. My mom believed in
teaching us responsibility. I
'
ve been working my whole life and I have been
working professionally in this industry for over 15 years.


How did you feel about the way Aisha was written off the show? If you had
creative control over your
character, how would you have gone out?


I was pissed off! They told me when I asked to be released from my contract that
I would get 10 episodes and it would lead to Aisha
'
s exit. We got a 2 week break
and when we came back I read the new scripts and I was gone right away. It
sucked because I realized that was the way they did it in Hollywood. My last days
on set none of the other Rangers were there and I never even got to really say
good-bye. If I had creative control
, I would have handled my exit a lot differently.


How did you get involved with "Power Rangers" in first place?

I went to an open call in Dallas, Texas and 2 days later I got a call that they
wanted to fly me out the next morning for a call back in L
.
A. I packed a few
clothes, got on a plane, and by that afternoon they were making arrangements
for us to have our belongings shipped to us because we landed the roles. In 4
days
, my life changed. It had to be the fastest change my life has ever took.


Did you know any of the cast before hand?


I didn't know anyone.

What are you doing now acting-wise?

I just finished "Devon's Ghost" and we are gearing up for our next film.

I believe the last thing I saw you in was that serious episode of "Hanging with
Mr. Cooper" where you
were shot in the end. How important is it to make
shows like that?


From a personal and general perspective I've been lucky to make my rounds on
different sitcoms. I have guest starred on
"Hanging with Mr. Cooper," "
The
Parkers,
" "Kenan and Kel," "One on One," and had a recurring role on "T
he Steve
Harvey Show.
"
I also did work with Disney and Nickelodeon and have shot 6
movies. I loved the
"Hanging with Mr. Cooper"
sitcom and it was very important
for me to make a show like that because it meant something to so many. I still
get people asking me about that show and it seemed to stick with them because
it was so serious. I want to do more shows like that in the future.


What are you producing nowadays? Is it music? If so, what type? Or is it TV
shows/movies/whatever?


I'm producing movies and TV projects. We just finished "Devon's Ghost," which
will be out on DVD May 10th, 2005. It is a horror film where we don
'
t just run,
scream
, and die
we actually fight back! Now whether or not we win is another
story
,
but check it out if you want to see some cool fight scenes from Johnny
Bosch, Reza Bahador (Devon)
,
and myself. Johnny Bosch co-directed this movie
and you won
't believe that it was his first full-
length feature film. I co-wrote,
produced
, and starred in "Devon's Ghost"
with my partners Tim Grace and Ron
Day. For more information check out a trailer at
www.devonsghost.com or
www.gagorderfilms.com. You can also sign up for updates, acting opportunities,
and a walk
-on roll in our next movie.
We are gearing up for our next movie
(action/thriller) which will be shot late summer 2005 and I have 3 TV projects I
'
m
in the process of pitching. If no one bites
,
I probably will shoot one of them after
we finish the film. I am just focusing now on jump
-
starting our film company,
GAG Order Films, with my partners Tim Grace and Ron Day. We have a lot of
projects that we want to see come to life
, so we have a lot of work ahead of us.


Do you have any props that you got to keep [from "Power Rangers"]?

No, I don't have any props, but I did come across an Aisha Barbie doll and gave it
to my mom for Xmas one year. I wish I would have got more because I can
'
t find
them now
, but she loves it.


Did you know martial-arts before you joined "Power Rangers"? If yes, what
form did you study?


I did not know martial arts before I got on the show; you had to be a dancer,
gymnast, or martial artist. I was a dancer and hip
-hopp
ed my way into that show.
I did add some kicks and punches just so they would know I could do it.


Is Johnny Yong Bosch the coolest ex-Ranger you know?

YES YES YES! (and he's hot) <--- italics added by Johnny

April 11th, 2005