By Nicole Hawkins
Special to the TJP
Originally cast as an extra, a Fort Worth man writes of his experiences playing the iconic role of Raphael in the 1991 “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze” in his newly released book, “Teenage Ninja to Mutant Turtle: Becoming the Reel Raphael.”
Kenn Scott pursued a life of martial arts, acrobatics, fencing and many other adventurous activities throughout his youth in his quest to be a movie and action hero, he said.
While he was living in North Carolina, a movie studio opened a few hours from Scott’s house, and he made it his mission to get through its doors.
When Scott eventually got into the studio, mostly by dressing up as a pizza delivery boy, he met someone who had information about a martial arts movie that was set to be filmed in North Carolina, he said.
Originally, Scott was hired as an extra for the first and second “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movies. Early into filming the sequel, the stunt double for Raphael broke his nose and was unable to wear the turtle costume, leaving an opening that Scott had the opportunity to fill.
“It was like a dream come true,” Scott said. “Even though I was wearing a big stupid green rubber suit, I was playing an awesome…ninja hero in the movie.”
“I knew that was just one step of many on the way to achieving my dreams but at that moment it was the greatest thing that had ever happened to me,” Scott said.
A mistake that Scott made was assuming his role as Raphael would lead him to be cast in other movies, he said.
“When I moved to Hollywood after [filming], it didn’t mean anything, really, nobody cared,” Scott said. “All it really meant was I had a great conversation starter.”
Although the role did not jumpstart Scott’s career, he said playing Raphael helped him as an actor.
“It mattered to me because it was like getting a tremendous education on making movies and what it took,” Scott said. “It prepared me for everything else I was going to do after that.”
“Being a ninja turtle is the single most defining thing about my life as far as the rest of the world is concerned,” Scott said. “More people know me because I was Raphael the ninja turtle than anything else I’ve ever done.”
Because of his “low level of celebrity” Scott is able to support a variety of charities, including the Sea Turtle Conservancy, which he is supporting through profits from his book, he said.
“It allows me to travel around the country and support various causes I believe in,” Scott said.
Scott said he decided to write his book for two reasons. The first, to provide fans behind-the-scenes stories about filming the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movies.
The second and more personal reason was born when Scott’s father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. While dealing with his diagnosis, his father began writing memories from his life and Scott decided to do the same. By the end of this process, Scott had the outline of a book, he said.
Scott decided to move from Los Angeles to Fort Worth for the start of a new chapter of life and to be closer to his brother, who lives in the area. He now serves as the Chief Creative Officer of Avadel, a Fort Worth-based advertising agency.
“Teenage Ninja to Mutant Turtle: Becoming the Reel Raphael” was released Oct. 31.