MMPR-Remastered, a new Power Rangers website about to go live, conducted an interview with Matt Austin recently. Matt Austin, for those who don’t know, performed Bridge Carson in Power Rangers SPD and has done almost everything under the sun in regards to the industry. Matt has wrapped up production on a documentary called, Don’t You Forget About Me, discussing the legend that was John Hughes. Matt was nice enough to take time out of his schedule to talk with me. Without any further ado, here’s the interview.
(Photo Credit: Patrick Kerney)
Q: To start off with, how did you get into acting?
A: I played a thug in a play in grade three, begged my parents to get me an agent, but they said no. They didn’t want me to get involved in the industry at such a young age. Years later, I was asked to try out for the lead in my high school’s annual play. I got the part. The rest is history.
Q: You’ve done pretty much everything under the sun in the industry, whether it is writing, directing, composing, producing and acting. What advice would you give to people aspiring to get into those fields?
A: Just do it. Things have changed rapidly since I started. Computer programs are available for almost everything now. You can get a cheap camera and shoot, edit and screen your film to a massive audience thanks to YouTube, etc. Find someone in your city that does what you want to do, pick their brain and maybe shadow them for a while.
Q: Speaking of doing everything under the sun, what would be your favorite field to be in and why?
A: My absolute favorite is writing music, especially the songs I write for my daughter.
Q: What is your favorite character you’ve played and why?
A: I really enjoyed playing a character in a short film called Broke Body Saints. He was a street kid. It’s a character I rarely get to play because I’m often typecast as the “quirky” character.
POWER RANGERS QUESTIONS
Q: Let’s launch into the Power Rangers questions. How did you get the role of Bridge Carson in ‘Power Rangers SPD’?
A: I auditioned. My flailing around was apparently fun to watch. Actually, Bridge’s dialogue was written in a very particular way. Somehow I was the only one that made him sound like a real person.
Q: What would be a standard day for you on the Power Rangers set?
A: 5 a.m. – wake up. We all pack ourselves into a minivan. Arrive on set. Get into our wardrobe. Shave. Eat some avocado, Nutella, eggs, green tea. Block the scene. Block the scene again. Laugh at a Styrofoam monster. Laugh at Cruger as he accidentally walks into a wall. Pass out on the set as they light. Shoot it from MULTIPLE angles. Lunch. Do the whole process over again. Be taken home. Go for a run. Sleep.
Q: Do you have any behind-the-scenes stories you would like to tell us about?
A: There was one time we were shooting our training scenes where an extra stunt performer kept wiping out (purposely) in the background. We found it very hard to keep from laughing.
Q: Do you wish in any department that Bridge was developed differently?
A: Sure. I wish he could have had an episode where he lost his powers so he could touch people without his gloves on. That and I wish he and Boom had had their own spinoff.
Q: For fans who don’t know, you created a documentary on the Ranger fandom called Mor-FAN-ominal. What is it about the Ranger fandom you find so interesting?
A: I find it so interesting that unlike many other cult/sci-fi stuff, you guys are fans of something specifically made for kids, but I totally get it. I’m a big kid at heart and often find myself completely entertained by stuff my nine-month-old daughter watches!
Q: Where you a fan of Power Rangers before getting the role of Bridge and if so, what do you think of the newer seasons compared to the older seasons?
A: I wasn’t a fan, to be honest. I liked my season cause I felt like I was an X-Man. I always wanted to play Speedball from the New Warriors. This was sort of, kind of close. I think people are missing out if they think of Power Rangers as it was 10 years ago. The episodes that came just before and after me have wicked effects, awesome stunts and some great talent.
Q: To segue a bit, can you tell me a bit about your newest documentary Don’t You Forget About Me?
A: It’s about the lasting impact John Hughes had, why his films resonate deeply with people compared to other teen flicks and why he retreated from Hollywood. We cut to wicked interviews as we (the filmmakers) take a trip to Chicago to try to get the missing interview for our documentary, Hughes’s.
Q: What inspired you to take up the calling of creating this documentary?
A: Teenagers are much more of a product now and aggressively marketed toward. I look around and feel like there has been an innocence lost. I felt like Hughes’s films were so important to building my character. I was sad to think that didn’t exist for current teens in the same way.
Q: Is there anything you would like to say about the documentary?
A: The documentary really starts at the end of our journey. Going to Hughes’s house. I wish we would have shot the ups and downs of trying to make the film for four years, but we didn’t. Read the blog for more insight, it’s like a prequel to the doc.
Q: To conclude, career wise, what are you currently up to?
A: Trying my best to get one of three features off the ground (one of them being the Power Ranger documentary). You know anybody with cash lying around?
Q: Any last words?
A: Be courageous.
Thank you Matt for taking the time to have this interview conducted. You can check out more about Matt’s new documentary at Don’t You Forget About Me The Movie, which of course then links onto the production blog at Don’t You Forget About Me – Blogspot. The DVD is being released in Canada on Tuesday, November 3rd. While it is not currently available in the United States yet, be sure to check out the Blogspot (linked above) for more news on when wider distribution will occur. Thank you for reading.
(Courtesy: Evangelion via Rangerboard)