Power Rangers Beast Morphers is kicking off the Hasbro era in stellar fashion, and a big part of the reason why is the show's delightful cast. Jasmeet Baduwalia (Ravi), Jacqueline Scislowski (Zoey), and Rorrie D. Travis (Devon) anchor an endearing cast of characters that fans have already responded to, and ComicBook.com recently had the chance to sit down with the Blue Ranger Ravi himself to talk all about auditioning for the show, debuting at Power Morphicon, playing the Blue Ranger, and even some advice for the next generation of Rangers that will follow in their footsteps, as well as what is in store for fans.
Baduwalia remembers the audition process well, a process that eventually ended up becoming five separate auditions.
"I think the process for me started on March 27th and the whole process was just like, I think it was about five auditions that we had to go through," Baduwalia said. "So it's a very long process and the first one is just a pre-read that you do with the casting official. Then you've got a casting director audition. Then you've got a producer audition. Then, you have another producer audition, and then you get the screen test or a chemistry test. I think for me the goal of it all is to make sure they get the right person. They want to make sure you have the physical abilities, they want to make sure you can perform well, just from acting to performing physical kicks, martial arts, or karate, or whatever you can do."
It helped that Baduwalia had already had some experience in martial arts, but he went into overdrive once the first audition came about, wanting to hone those skills as the process continued.
"I think I had around six to seven months of actually doing some Taekwondo, and then when I went and did the audition I knew that I had to make it sharper, make it stronger, make it look better," Baduwalia said. "I took private coaching from a local ... it's called 360 Martial Arts in Reno, Nevada. I went there and they were really good. I did seven days a week, wanted to make sure I had the most knowledge in martial arts so that they ... Chip, the producer, could ask me about anything."
Any extra knowledge you can go into an audition with helps, as you are relatively in the dark about who you're trying out for when you are reading lines.
"So you just go into it with the generic vibe. It just says reading for Ranger," Baduwalia said. "They don't tell you what Ranger you're going in for. They don't tell you what color you're gonna go in for. It's just mostly you're going in to read for a Ranger. Then when you get closer and closer you find out. For me, it was when I got the call. "Congratulations, you're the Blue Ranger," and I didn't know I was going to read for the Blue Ranger. It was mostly just what everyone thought fit. What the network, what the producers thought looked good at the end after the screen test."
Hit the next slide to find out what he wishes he would've known before the big audition!
Requirements Of A Ranger
The demands of being a Power Ranger are very unique, requiring the actor to not only fit the actual character but also to have a penchant for martial arts, and that's something Baduwalia wishes he had more of before trying out for Ravi.
"I think mostly I just wish before the show I just wish I would have done more martial arts," Baduwalia said. "We do a lot of fights in the show and what separates this from any other audition or any project I've been to probably is that the whole crew is like family. And this job does require you to perform. You should be able to do kicks or a little bit of flips or running. You've got to be physical. This role is very physical but it's also very fun. The writing is really good this season. That's why the cast really enjoys it because we do get to do some fun stuff like cast fights, and I think that's what really makes it fun."
Like any show, there's also a strict schedule to get all the filming done, and it definitely took some getting used to at first. Once they did though it was smooth sailing.
"At firsts before the show, I didn't know anything about 'oh, it's going to be early call times every day', so none of us were really prepared," Baduwalia said. "We were just like, 'this is our dream. Oh my God, we've been doing this for how long trying to make our dreams come true and then it came true.' Then we're like, 'okay it's going to be so much fun, it's not going to be that hard.' But there are long hours. It's 12 to 13 hours every day on set and everything's structured so you gotta get up, get to hair and makeup and it's all structured, and slowly, slowly, slowly we all kinda got the hang of and now it's just like second nature to us. It's super fun."prevnext
Sticking To Character
Making the fight sequences look convincing and entertaining is one of the more difficult aspects of putting Power Rangers together, but another challenge is remembering to flesh out your character during those scenes and not solely focus on making it look cool.
"I mean, the biggest challenge is sticking to your character because that's a long job," Baduwalia said. "And I think stunts is another big thing. I've never done stunts in my life, and I think that was one of the biggest challenges to make it look believable, to make it look crisp, to make a facial expression during the fight. Because sometimes you get so focused on just the choreography, you're like 'okay, okay what am I supposed to be doing?' You're supposed to be running on this thing and dada da da. It's very easy to fall into making it look like it's choreographed instead of feeling it out and making it real."
Baduwalia also spoke about playing Ravi over the course of an entire season, continuously finding the character as they made their way through the first season.
"Another thing which is sticking to a character," Baduwalia said. "Sticking to my character Ravi, for almost a whole first season was just like okay, you sort of adapt into your character. You sort of start to become your character, you make your character yours by putting your own personal characteristic into it and just making sure that you're happy with your work."
"And the fans," Baduwalia added. "The fans are the biggest thing, to make sure they're enjoying what they see when it comes to their TV screens."prevnext
Some Helpful Advice
For those out there who are looking to become one of the Power Rangers of the future, Baduwalia passed along some advice he got from Power Rangers creator Haim Saban and Producer Chip Lynn, something to keep in mind when you are up for that audition someday.
"Yeah, so really the number one piece of advice that Haim Saban and Chip Lynn told us when we got here was to be ourselves. If we messed up in the audition room it was okay, it was not the end of the world. And also just being prepared, just being prepared for the journey that's gonna be in New Zealand or wherever they're going to shoot next time. And have your acting chops ready, have your physical abilities ready, and at the end of the day, anyone can be a ranger because I'm like a full blood Punjabi Ranger, the first ever in the history of Power Rangers, which is crazy."
"It also just makes it feel like for me that anyone can be a Ranger," Baduwalia said. "Whatever skin color you are, however you look, however old you are, if you fit the role ... that's another thing that people need to know when it comes to auditioning. You can be the best actor in the room, but you're not going to get the job if you don't have the look. The look is really important."
As a reminder, if you do end up auditioning for Power Rangers, make sure to have some fun, because no one wants to spend months around someone who isn't.
"And just have fun because they want to see you having fun," Baduwalia said. "They're going to be spending so long with you in New Zealand that they just want someone to work with. They just want to be around someone that's fun, that they can get along with. Because no one wants to be around someone that's moody or pouty or doesn't want to be there. You've just got to have fun. Just have fun, just be yourself, because that really shows and be charismatic and that will really make you stand out."prevnext
The Power Morphicon Debut
The Beast Morphers Rangers made their debut at last year's Power Morphicon, and it was one heck of an entrance. The group got a huge reaction, and Baduwalia remembers what he was feeling before running out on stage as the Blue Ranger.
"I think one of the things I remember most was when Me, Rorrie, and Jackie were put into our ranger suits and were waiting out outside. So we're waiting in the wings to go out to the stage to be revealed. I was the first one to go on and we were all just nervous because this legacy has been going on for so long, and I was the first one so I was like, dang like, We had that fear of what if they don't like us? Are they gonna like me? What's gonna happen. Because we didn't know what the reaction was going to be."
The nervousness wasn't helped by the sudden realization that no costumed hero wants...the call of the bathroom.
"Then I was like, man I've gotta pee, I've gotta pee (laughs). "You know what I'm saying it's like one of those things and I'm in a suit," Baduwalia said. "And then our publicist said, "Okay, you've got to go on, you've got to go on." And there was just this nervousness of being accepted and everything. Am I gonna be accepted? What's gonna happen? There are diehard fans in there and as soon as I ran out to the stage, got up on the stage, man it really felt like a rock star.
The reaction was pretty incredible from Ranger fans, and he remembers it vividly.
"The energy, the vibe, the looks on people's faces. Like finally, the Beast Morphers characters released, finally! So I think that was the most memorable moment, and I remember hyping up the crowd like 'come on, come on louder'! And Jackie coming in and Rorrie coming in and I was like wow, this is gonna be such a fun experience. Just seeing everyone, everyone smiling, seeing how they reacted so positively to our cast."prevnext
Since then we've had the chance to see the cast in three episodes, as well as the pleasure of meeting the Beast Bots, including Ravi's Beast Bot Smash. Power Rangers is unlike any other show in the fact that it blends Sentai footage with new footage and also uses a mix of old and new costumes. Baduwalia gave us a bit more insight into what it's like working the Beast Bots and the actors that bring them to life on the set.
"How it works is there are actors that are hired just for those roles, so the Smash costume is there and then they hire actors here that go into the costume so I'm interacting with real Smash. So I'm just interacting with him and we're just trying to use as much original footage as we can and just make it good and make it real. It's really good because the suit actors have been doing this for so long and they do the movements, but their lines are added in ADR by a voice actor later on."
It's great having a physical actor to work off of, though he does feel bad for them occasionally. If you've ever worn a sweater out and then the sun came out, just times that feeling by 20 and you get an idea of what it's like in those suits.
"But yeah, I think that's what makes it really good," Baduwalia said. It makes you be in the moment, but sometimes it sucks and I feel bad for them because it's really hot and they're in the suit. But everyone's committed, everyone wants to be there, so when Smash comes out and the Beast Bots come on that's what's really fun because you get to see them and get to act with them and they act with you and it makes it all look as believable as possible."prevnext
Interacting With The Fans
Baduwalia loves interacting with the fans and makes a habit out of checking out what the community has to say after every episode of Beast Morphers. It's been an incredibly rewarding experience for him, even when a few haters show up to the party.
"What I like to do is after every episode I post on my Twitter or my Facebook or Instagram and just ask people what their opinion is on the episode," Baduwalia said. "Just seeing what they really think about it and the ability to interact with fans and be able to make one post and have it affect the ranger community like, 'okay this is what's going on da, da, da, da'. I don't go on to see the negativity, like what's bad about the show because then you as an actor and you as ... that's the character you're portraying and it just makes you like dang there's... basically, there are haters out there and there are people that are always going to be there telling you, no no no this sucks or this is bad."
"But 99% of the time we go on and see so much positivity to the show that when we sometimes do see ranger reviews which we ... which I personally do, and just see certain people that I know that are really fans. Ya know I remember I shouted out RangerLiz on Instagram and Twitter and she was floored by just me even posting about her and just like wow. That's just one of them I can name right now."
"It's just so much positivity for the show that it's crazy," Baduwalia said. "So much love and so much support. I love seeing that, I love seeing people commenting and being like, "Oh, I love this about the show." or they make memes or they make GIFs or they create posts about us. I love seeing them speculate on what the new episode's gonna be about too. Because I'm like, 'oh yeah, yeah that is what's gonna happen', or it's like 'oh, you guys are in for a surprise.'"prevnext
Trying To Make This The Next Mighty Morphin
Before we wrapped up Baduwalia had a message for the fans, asking them to stick with the cast and the show throughout the season. They aren't content with just making a good Power Rangers seasons, but the next great one, even trying for that Mighty Morphin spot.
"Yes, I just want to say to the fans that there's a lot of exciting things coming up that you guys will be shocked, you guys will love it but just hang on to us," Baduwalia said. "Ya know this is our first season as Rangers, so we're slowly trying to reel you guys in. A lot of people are like, 'what's gonna happen with this?', What's gonna happen with this?'. You've got to remember that it's a season and everything's gotta be spread out. The fans can't have everything in two to three episodes. That's what I want them to wait on. You guys will love it and we're doing this all for them, for all the fans basically, and just putting our heart and really we're really ... every day we're out there for 13, 14 hours. I got Craig, our First AD's saying that this is the best season because everyone on the cast wants to be there, wants to make it the best season and wants to make it the season, the next Mighty Morphin. And I think I just want the fans to know that you guys will be surprised on everything that's going to come out."
Hope you enjoyed our chat with the Beast Morphers' Blue Ranger, and make sure to stay tuned to ComicBook.com for more from our conversation. You can also hit me up to talk all things Power Rangers @MattMuellerCB!
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