SAFER AT HOME Star Emma Lahana On Starting Her Career In POWER RANGERS And The Show's Fans - EXCLUSIVE
Emma Lahana is best known for starring Cloak & Dagger and new movie Safer at Home, but her big break came in Power Rangers. Here, she explains what it's like to start your career in such a unique way...
Emma Lahana's latest movie is Safer at Home, a tense thriller which is set two years into the pandemic, and follows a group of friends who throw an online party with a night of games, drinking and drugs. After taking an ecstasy pill, things go terribly wrong and the safety of their home becomes more terrifying than the raging chaos outside. It's now available in select theaters, VOD & Digital.
The cast is a highlight in the movie, but it's Emma who steals the show as a newcomer to the group who finds herself caught in the midst of a crazy situation. The actress is one two keep an eye on moving forward, but she has many fans who still remember her best for one of her earliest roles: Kira in Power Rangers: Dino Thunder way back in 2004.
A series like that is obviously a great way for a young actress from New Zealand to get some acting experience, but given everything Emma's done since, it's fair to say it's a blip on the radar. When we caught up with her to chat about Safer at Home, we asked what it meant to her to be part of the iconic franchise which, as we're sure you'll know, has a very devoted fanbase.
"I think a lot of people who are fans of the show don’t understand that even though there are a lot of New Zealanders in the show, and it was shot in New Zealand, we did not have Power Rangers! I didn’t know what it was when I auditioned for it. I thought it was a cartoon!" she reveals. "I think, for a lot of us, we didn’t have that cultural attachment to it. It still doesn’t air there as it’s deemed too violent for children which is so funny because they’re like, ‘We’ll let you shoot it there, though, and take the tax money!’ [Laughs]"
"To be honest, I wasn’t familiar with it. At that time, I’d just done a Disney television movie and then that came along. I was just grateful to have a job. Especially in New Zealand, there’s such a limited amount of work, so I think anytime you have a job for over a year, you just go for it because that’s very rare that comes along. It was so long ago. I was like nineteen or something, but I was very grateful to have a job, and then get introductions. That and the Disney movie helped me come over to the U.S."
Inevitably, many Power Rangers fans still reach out to Emma on social media, something that must feel pretty strange when it was such a small part of her career. When we asked whether it feels odd to hear from people asking about a time that was really just a blip on the radar for her as an actress, she admitted it does, but expressed gratitude for their passion.
"Yeah, a little bit. I think people get kind of mad about it sometimes. I know I’ve made some people angry about it, but I’m always grateful. I’ve done a couple of conventions, and everyone is so nice, and it’s so great to meet people it means a lot to," Emma explained. "You know, there’s stuff I’m a huge fan of that I’m sure people who are in that it might not mean as much to them as it does me. Like, for instance, Ally McBeal [Laughs]. I don’t know how Calista Flockhart feels about that, but it was the show that made me want to become a television actor and be on TV. I don’t know how she looks back and feels about it, but I’m always grateful for any job and if something I’ve done has meant something to someone, then that’s huge, and I’m so grateful for that."
"What I tend to watch is so different from a lot of the stuff I do. I generally just watch reruns of Seinfeld [Laughs] and Curb Your Enthusiasm! That’s what I’m attracted to in terms of what I watch, a lot of comedy, so it’s definitely a case of everything I do, I work really hard, and show up and hope people like it and enjoy it. That’s all you can really ask for, and you do the best you can with the opportunities that you’re given."
It's fascinating to get this sort of insight from someone who was involved with Power Rangers at such an early stage in their career. It's easy to forget that the actors who take on roles like this aren't necessarily as into them as the fans watching at home, but Emma is clearly appreciative that her work resonated with viewers in such a lasting way.
However, there's much more to Emma than being the Yellow Ranger, as we're sure you'll know from Cloak & Dagger, not to mention Safer at Home, the trailer for which can be watched below: