After the Sentai footage was used up a talented woman & beautiful young face was needed to fill the shoes and pointed wig of Rita Repulsa! Enter Carla Perez as the Empress of Evil who played the part until the very end of the Zordon Era at the end of Power Rangers in Space! Carla was gracious enough to take the time to sit down with us to answer some fan questions! Take a read below!
Had you ever heard of or watched Power Rangers before auditioning? What was the audition process like?
A: Yes, I did hear a little about Power Rangers, however I was not aware how popular the show was among the young audience. I originally auditioned for a movie Shuki Levy was directing at the time. Though I didn’t get the part, he did call me in for another character he had in mind to do a screen test for Rita Repulsa. And as they say, “the rest is history!”
When were you first hired to play Rita? Do you remember the first scene you filmed as Rita?
A: I can’t recall the exact date I began portraying Rita Repulsa. It was towards the end of season one. We did not begin with one full episode. I would film several scenes for different episodes where Rita had not yet became young.
Do you remember what it was like to hear you got the part?
A: Yes, at the time I was a young struggling actress going on auditions about 2 to 3 times a week. I would get a commercial or a small part here & there but I so badly wanted to be working everyday on a consistent basis. I’d pray all the time to one day work on a TV show and when my prayers were answered I thought I was the most luckiest girl in the world! It truly was an exciting time for me.
What was your first day on the set like?
A: It was fantastic! The cast & crew were among the best people I had ever worked with. They were so welcoming, kind and accommodating. I couldn’t of asked for a better group of people and the experience was even more special because we were a part of something big and legendary. Every day you could feel the excitement in the air.
How fun was it to film “The Wedding” multi-parter where Rita married Lord Zedd? That is one of our all-time favorite episodes!
A: I loved it, that was one of my all time favorite shows too! It was a huge task to orchestrate all those monsters in one room, but in the end we had one memorable, hilarious and unique wedding day that made all the craziness worth it!
Who would you say was your closest friend on the set?
A: I mainly filmed on another’s set since most of my scenes where set on the moon. Every once in awhile I did film with other cast members. I was close to the stunt men who performed in the Zedd, Rito and Goldar suits. When Catherine Sutherland was introduced as the new Pink Ranger, Kat, we filmed many scenes together and we naturally became close. She was and still is the sweetest person.
If you can remember, What was your favorite episode to film?
A: I have several but if I’d have to narrow it down, it would be Lord Zed and Rita’s wedding day & count down to destruction.
How did you go about playing Rita? Were there pieces of your own personality in her mannerisms?
A: That’s a tough question. Rita is extremely animated and all things evil brings her much joy that you can see it in her smile. Me, myself, I’m more on the calm side and spreading kindness gives me joy.
Did you put on a Rita-esque voice when you filmed your scenes or did you just use your natural voice?
A: With a character like Rita there is no other way to bring her to life but to act all of her out, and YES, that means including a Rita-esque voice. I always played Rita using the Rita voice.
What was the make-up / hair / costuming process like to become Rita Repulsa?
A: Every morning I’d have to arrive on set at 4:30 am to be in hair, makeup & wardrobe for two hours before I could start filming. As seasons went on and Rita became young, I no longer had to wear the facial latex they used to create wrinkles around my eyes and mouth. After ditching the wrinkles, make-up & hair became much more tolerable!
How was it to film scenes with the other female Villains such as Divatox (Hilary Shepard) and Astronema (Melody Perkins)?
A: I would have liked to of filmed more since with the other female villains! I had a good time acting out all the tension between our characters.
Did you and Barbara Goodson work together at all to make your performance work with her voice?
A: It’s funny, we never worked together. Basically, I would film all my scenes with my voice, then later Barbara would voice over to sink her voice to my lips.
Since returning to the Fandom, have you had any special moments with fans you want to share?
A: Oh yes! There are so many special moments that I will always treasure. The moments that touched me deeply is how Rita gave many of my fans confidence, hope & perseverance to get through the hardships they were enduring. Some terrible issues and at such a young age too, like abusive caregivers/parents, life threatening diseases and bullying. I didn’t know I inspired so many viewers at the time. I am grateful that I was able to give some hope, comfort and maybe joy to my fans, I love them!
Are you currently working on any projects/attending cons you want your fans to know about? Where can we Officially follow you on social networks?
A: I’ll be at Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo at the LA Convention Center, Oct. 28th-3Oth, 2016
Lebanon Mega Con at the Cowan Civic Center in Lebanon, Missouri, March 31st to April 2nd, 2017