At Tupelo Con, Andrew and Kinsey had the opportunity to speak with actor Paul Schrier! He is known for playing the character Bulk in the Power Rangers franchise and has appeared in close to 300 episodes throughout the show’s history. Check out our conversation below and let us know what you think!
How did you find an interest in acting?
I was funny looking. I lived in L.A. People said, “You should be acting because you’re funny looking and you live in L.A.” I found an agent and then I went on auditions and I booked my first, second, third, and fourth auditions. I did not get the fifth because it was for a beer commercial where I had to wear Lederhosen and I just didn’t have the physique. And then my sixth audition was for Power Rangers.
What was your audition process for Power Rangers?
Doing fight reactions from that promo where I have big hair and I went down the bowling alley on a skateboard on my stomach. It wasn’t Hamlet.
Did you and Jason Narvy [Skull] have strong comedic chemistry right away or did it take time to develop?
It was immediate because we had similar performance backgrounds as theater actors and we were both jerks.
Did y’all have to do any chemistry reads when auditioning or did they just throw you together after the fact?
No. They threw us in a room and before going in they said “This is the guy we wanna use for your sidekick. Give us the high sign if you think he’s good.” It only took a few minutes and I gave them the “God, please get me out of this room” signal. But it was too late, they had already signed his contract.
Did y’all ever do ad libbing on the show?
Some directors will let you ad lib when you’re working in TV and others are strictly by the book. Some directors are literalists and others will let you fly and do things. Very much like method acting, improvisation is difficult because sometimes it sucks and other times it’s great. But when you’re spending dollars for every take on set, sometimes it’s not good to let people ad lib because they will blow and you’re just wasting money for no reason.
Were there any comedic actors or performers who influenced the way you guys did comedy on the show?
Absolutely. Primarily Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Gilligan and Skipper, Ren and Stimpy, Tom and Jerry, President Bush and Vice President Cheney, Saddam Hussein and Baghdad Bob. Who else? Fat Albert and all of his not fat, not quaalude-d friends. Don’t quaalude yourself bro. Show business is a really [strange fart noise].
You directed some episodes of the show and to my knowledge you’re the only person in the history of the franchise who got to both act AND direct. How did that opportunity come about and what was the experience like?
That is true. Here’s the thing. If you spend more than two years doing anything anywhere and you don’t ask enough questions about how does this work and what the hell does this mean and why are you doing this and what is this equipment, then you’re kind of a dork. After a couple of years, I asked a sufficient number of questions. I told them I wanted to direct and they said “Absolutely not.” They said if you want to direct, shoot a short film, which I did. It was called “An Easy Thing” and it starred a bunch of Power Rangers crew members and Jason Narvy as bank robbers who failed in their bank robbery and then killed each other like wolves in the den.
Is this online anywhere?
I do not think so, but it could be posted online. It’s pretty cool. I mean I already told you the ending, so big spoiler: everyone dies. So after I did that I showed that to them and they said “Okay, you can direct.” And after that I was in and I did quite a bit of it.
There was talk of a Bulk and Skull spin off at one point. How far into development did that actually get?
Only to the writing stage and the focus group testing, where they were testing the concepts in front of kids and the main reaction from the kids was “Where are the giant robots? Where’s the kung-fu at?” Because really if you watch Power Rangers today what really holds up best is Bulk and Skull. The rest of it is just a bunch of primary color shitty actors lined up saying “Come on guys, let’s go!”
Do you have a favorite Bulk and Skull moment?
Yeah. Every week there was this thing that happened where they would give us a piece of paper with numbers on it and we would go to the bank with that and we would get money for it. [Andrew & Kinsey are laughing slightly harder than they should.]
After 26 years, the show is still going strong. What do you think it is about Power Rangers that has given it such longevity?
The themes of teamwork and acceptance and trying to do the right thing all the time. It’s just Cheez Whiz man. I like Cheez Whiz because you can squirt it into your mouth from eight to ten inches.
Do you have any upcoming projects you would like to talk about?
One of my big projects at this very moment is trying to not choke a bitch.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like to tell all of you punks out there that just because you’ve never got caught shoplifting, it doesn’t mean you should try it again.