SALT LAKE CITY — Amy Jo Johnson’s career has been anything but simple.
In 1993, she kicked off her acting career as the Pink Power Ranger on “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” instilling her in the minds of young kids as a tough but kind action hero that spawned thousands of young imitators. Johnson is one of the many childhood heroes that will appear at the FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention Sept. 6-8 in Salt Lake City.
In addition to "Power Rangers," Johnson has also released a few country music albums. She’s starred in an episodic thriller television show called "Flashpoint." She even worked with Jennifer Garner — with whom she shares a striking resemblance — on "Felicity."
Most recently, she's directed and written her first feature film, called "The Space Between," all while beginning to build a family.
We spoke with Johnson, who lives in Toronto, ahead of her visit to Salt Lake City. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Deseret News: What have you liked about Utah when you've come through in the past?
Amy Jo Johnson: It’s beautiful. It’s outdoorsy and amazing. I had fun skiing there and that’s all I can say because it’s been so long.
DN: Why are you excited to visit for the FanX Convention?
AJJ: I really enjoy meeting people that have that have sort of followed my career for the last 20 years. In the last five years, I've become a filmmaker writing and directing a feature film, "The Space Between," (which came) out last summer. I’m gearing up for my second feature. These little indie films have a hard time creating a life.
I find connecting with people who support my career and support me to be really, really good for the life of these little films that I have become a part of because there are some very loyal supporters and people who have really been there for me throughout my career. And I get to meet them at these conventions, which is awesome.
DN: You were in "Power Rangers" at the beginning of your career, then you had a music career before returning to TV. You've also done movies. How would you kind of describe your career and your career arc?
AJJ: I follow my gut and my heart. I’m not money driven or fame driven. I’m an artist. Sometimes I feel like doing music. And sometimes, for a long time, I just wanted to act. In the last five years, I’ve been (raising my) little girl and doing “Flashpoint,” I’ve found the confidence to write and direct.
DN: What's your experience been like as a filmmaker?
AJJ: It was my first go at a feature film, and I cast a lot of close friends and it was an amazing experience without a ton of pressure because the budget was quite low. … I had all of these amazing supports and people who followed my career in “Power Rangers” … sort of rooting for me. I’m quite proud of the film. … I love it. It has a lot of flaws but so does any indie film. Through the festival process, I think I’ve fallen in love with all of the flaws. It’s sort of a heartfelt comedy and that’s sort of the genre I gravitate toward.
DN: We spoke to your former ("Power Rangers") co-star Jason David Frank recently. How often do you keep in touch with him?
AJJ: We text a lot. He’s starting to get into writing and directing, as well. And so I have a couple short films and my feature so he’s, you know, asking me questions, and I think he’d be great as a director.
DN: It seems on social media, you two are often paired together for these panels, Q and A's and things.
AJJ: We do this on purpose because we like to hang out once in a while. … I think he’s one of the funniest people I know. He’s such a character. I’m going to see him in Toronto. … We’re doing a convention here together.
DN: He was just on the anniversary episode of the "Power Rangers." Have you ever considered coming back, beyond your cameo in last year's "Power Rangers" movie? Would you do one of these anniversary episodes?
AJJ: When I did the cameo, I talked with one of the producers to see if I could come back and direct (the anniversary) episode. But that didn’t work out. So I think it would be fun to come back and direct. At some point, I do want to get into episodic directing and it would be really cool and interesting if my first episodic directing job was "Power Rangers” show because my first acting job was “Power Rangers.” … I’m open to it if they are.
DN: I was doing some research and it says that you often get mistaken for Jennifer Garner — and you'll sign autographs pretending to be her. Is that true?
AJJ: No. I’ve never done that in my entire life! I have never signed my name as Jennifer Garner.1 comment on this story
DN: Are you comfortable with being a cult fan figure? Are you OK with this being your legacy?
AJJ: I think it's really cool to be set apart with the "Power Rangers" and (to have been a part of) the beginning of it and the original cast. And I'm very proud of that. And I love the effect that it had on kids who are now adults, and the stories I’ve heard are wonderful and it has, you know, been a positive influence in many people's lives. At the end of the day, yeah, it's pretty cool to have had that.