While attending a set visit for Ninjak vs The Valiant Universe, a group of us got to talk with the former Green Power Ranger, Jason David Frank, about his role as Bloodshot in the upcoming webseries. Frank told us about his preparation for the character and how he immersed himself in all things Bloodshot.
JASON DAVID FRANK: I'm very excited to be working with Bat in the Sun and Valiant. I'm a big Valiant fan. After I got this role I started reading up on all the characters. But let's get down to the most important one, Bloodshot.
He was asked how he ended up getting the part.
JDF: Aaron Schoenke had come to me about working on the White Ranger Vs Scorpion. I hadn't seen his work at that point, but he was really nice, it was good timing and I like helping people out so I said I would do it. He came to the house and we talked about the Green Ranger series with Saban… which is not dead yet. It's still very possible… and we talked about Super Power Beat Down and I got to see his work. I had already agreed, but then I saw his stuff and it was really good. I still would've done it had it not been good because I had committed. No matter how many fans you have, we all started as amateurs at one point. Now they've moved up enough that they could say: 'we like Jason and want him to play Bloodshot'. So Aaron asked me and then I talked to Valiant and it worked out. I think the casting on this show is really great.
We then moved as a group because of a barking dog. Frank showed his knowledge of his character by reminding us that Bloodshot will eat animals to get his protein and jokingly offered to take care of the dog. He then continued.
JDF: When Aaron called about Bloodshot, I didn't know too much about Valiant. I wanted to research the character and I found that it was perfect. When I did Power Rangers, Tommy to me was an outcast kid. He was a popular character even though he wasn't in a lot of episodes and I felt the same thing with Bloodshot. He's a very cool, popular character that might not be in a lot of episodes, but he's cool. And he's like Wolverine, he heals. He has so many different powers and he's fed by Nanos. I almost read everything about him, even his other alias names and the powers they use in some books but not in others. The Reborn series has been great and I'm just really happy to be part of Bloodshot. I know fans are going to be surprised about the violence, having asked me in the past about violence in the Power Rangers movies and how I was against blood and stuff… but that's the Power Rangers. This is Bloodshot. This is what he's known for. A PG-13 Bloodshot is not going to work. That's what I was hired for as an actor and that's what I was attracted to. I got hooked up with these guys and I was talking to Michael [Rowe] about it… you've got this company that's building such a good strong base in Bat in the Sun and you have Valiant who is going to make a really strong statement and people are going to want to know what's next.
Frank was then asked what he thought it was about Bloodshot that pulled in the fans?
JDF: I have his first appearance. It was in Eternal Warrior #4 and he just looked cool. And I like Bloodshot because his mind is not all there. I can relate to that. There is so much going on inside his head you can't be sure if he's in this world or somewhere else and who's talking to him. And you can't kill the guy. You can maim him or take his arm, but you can't kill him. I thought he was like Tommy, not really part of something but kind of the Wolverine character. You have a little bit of Bloodshot here and there and then people wanted to see him more. I've read everything I could get and even with how he's changed over the years… different aliases, different powers… I've loved it all. This particular story, we're not utilizing all of his powers, but we are using his kick-butt attitude and soldier mentality. I think Bloodshot still feels inside sometimes, but he doesn't like to show that.
JDF: Bloodshot is not going to let anyone stand in his way. I think he and Ninjak are old pals but not the best of friends. Ninjak makes a lot of jokes and Bloodshot will tell him to go back and eat his fish and chips. So there is some good humor there. But I'm Bloodshot and I'm concerned with Bloodshots world, his thoughts, where he gets his protein from, the powers he's not using. It's Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe and sadly Bloodshot has to share the universe. But to me it's all about Bloodshot. That's my job, do the best I can for Bloodshot and help Valiant grow. Hopefully the diehard fans will see that this is a really in depth character vs just a cosplay character. You can take a character and do a cosplay but it's far more difficult to make it a fully formed live-action character.
We were told that his make-up took three to four hours to apply, so I asked if he would talk about the process:
JDF: At first I was really excited. When I was on Power Rangers we just had the powder. I wasn't one for all the make-up. But being here, it was cool to transform into something different. I felt like I could hide my rated-R side by wearing sunglasses. You have more confidence wearing sunglasses vs looking at someone eye-to-eye. Once I was in the suit, I felt like I was Bloodshot. I could stab some people, I could get stabbed. I could shoot some people and it's okay, because it's not me as Tommy or Power Ranger guy. It's a totally different feel. It takes a long time to get into and out of it, but it's totally worth it. The character looks great and it's definitely one of the most complex characters in the show. I bulked up a bit, I wanted to be about 210 for the role and I wanted to come in knowing everything I needed to know about the character.
Bloodshot's fighting style was brought up next and Frank was asked about the difference in style between his Power Ranger days and what he's doing for this series:
JDF: I saw Bloodshot as having more of a robotic style. He could kick you, flip you and slam you over there without ever really focusing on you or turning his head. You get in trouble for that in martial arts, but here it works well. Of course, he feels pain but he ignores it because he knows he will heal. And then there was fighting with guns. I never fight with guns. We didn't have them on Power Rangers, so it was a little awkward, but it looks cool. Every character in the series has their own, unique fighting style. A kick deliver by Bloodshot is very different from a kick deliver by Ninjak. I like that a lot.
If they could do anything, what would he like to do with Bloodshot next:
JDF: I'd love to do the Reborn series, it's such a great story. I want to do Bloodshot and brand it as hard as I can. I want to leave my mark on the character so no matter who else plays him in the future, I'm the one who did it first. I'd never play a superhero that someone else has already played. I don't want to be compared to anyone, I want to be Bloodshot.