Pink Power Ranger Amy Jo Johnson ‘hated acting’ until she came to Canada

From the Pink Power Ranger to writing and directing her own films, Amy Jo Johnson’s career has significantly changed since she started as an actress decades ago.

“I knew I wanted to perform…since I was seven years old,” Johnson told the audience at the OLG Dream Deck at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on Friday. “I wound up acting, went to [Los Angeles] and got Power Rangers, so I acted for 15 years and I liked it, but I never loved it.”

Although she’s American-born, Johnson became a Canadian citizen in 2015 after not being entirely fulfilled in career in the U.S.

“I hated acting actually at that time. I found myself to be a very insecure actress…I needed to get out of L.A. because I found, for myself, I was constantly comparing myself to everybody around me and that’s just a terrible way to live,”

She picked up her things and moved to Montreal, eventually settling in Toronto after landing a role in the television show Flashpoint in 2008.

“That’s how I came to Toronto and…I fell in love with acting again, I fell in love with the entertainment industry again,” she said.

Johnson made her Toronto International Film Festival debut with her second feature film Tammy’s Always Dying, starring Felicity Huffman and Anastasia Phillips. Kathy (Phillips) is taking care of her alcoholic mother Tammy (Huffman), who has been diagnosed with cancer. Tammy is extreme, threatening to jump off a bridge regularly so Kathy can talk her down. The film showcases the mother-daughter dynamic between the two as Kathy cares for Tammy, while she is also given a spot on reality talk show to share her life story for money.

The screenplay was written by Joanne Sarazen but Johnson instantly connected with the story. Her mother passed away from cancer nearly 20 years ago and Johnson describes her father as a “non-functioning alcoholic.”

“So I went to a reading of it and was just so blown away,” “I just walked outside and hugged [Sarazen] and cried because I got it on such a core level, it was very cathartic for me.”

Original article, Elisabetta Bianchini

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