Interview with Landon Liboiron – What its like for a teenager in Terra Nova

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As Terra Nova nears the finale for season 1, we look at what its like for a teenager in Terra Nova through the eyes on Josh Shannon played by Landon Liboiron.

Landon isn’t new to television. Landon Liboiron has worked extensively on Canadian productions, most recently as a series regular on the popular teen drama “Degrassi: The Next Generation.” His additional television credits include “Wild Roses,” “Flashpoint,” “Don’t Cry Now,” “Crossroads: A Story of Forgiveness,” “The Dark Room” and “Mayerthorpe,” for which he won an AMPIA Award for Best Alberta Actor. Stateside, he most recently appeared in a recurring role on the drama “Life Unexpected.”

We had a chance to ask Landon some questions about his character and the show.

Tell us a little bit about your character Josh Shannon and the situation that lead your character to Terra Nova.

Josh Shannon is the life and blood of an adolescence teenager in season 1.  He’s angry in his own skin because he figures the world is treating him harshly. That being said he is also a very vulnerable, confused kid and when his mother’s job at being a doctor is what allows their family to go to Terra Nova, his only comfort in a dark world is suddenly uprooted.

Josh is very much at odds with his father and shows resentment towards him for what he feels was his father abandoning them. When playing that role, do you pull your character from the point of view of Josh is angry because his father was gone for 2 years? Or Josh is angry because he feels he is being forgotten in favor of his youngest sister?

It was never a case of Josh being forgotten over the younger sister, it was that Jim (his Dad) lost his control and that lack of fatherly figure in ones life can be very powerful to a young man’s heart.

Teens in Terra Nova have the unique and interesting social experience of becoming couples much quicker than they would have in 2149 and finds that the peer pressure to do dangerous things is just as strong but much more dangerous, do you think you could relate Josh if you were put into this situation?

If I were to go to Terra Nova I wouldn’t leave the house at night…I don’t care how beautiful that moon was or luscious the forest could be, there are Dinosaurs out there!

What has impressed you most about the story laid out in the pilot of the show? Sixers, Mysterious writings, possible second motive for terra nova?

I think what excited me most about the pilot was commander Taylor’s two faced motives and the two different tactics in which the soldiers of Terra Nova and the Sixers fight in combat. It always excites me when two distinct forces but head to head.

How have you adjusted to the CGI work around you? Obviously the dinosaurs are not there. How do you adapt to reacting to those things in a way that the audience believes you are seeing what we are seeing? (and we do believe you J )

Thanks for believing in me. I suppose when I’m on set I just beg the five year old living deep down in my soul somewhere for help. 

How did you get the role of Josh Shannon?

I auditioned a few times. I’m pretty fortunate to have gotten it.

Were you excited when you heard it was a Steven Spielberg show? What was your reaction when you got the part?

I believe my reaction was what I did the first time I ever booked a part. I bought a bottle of Dr. Pepper, a chocolate cake, and ran. I ran with joy.

Were or are you a fan of Jurassic Park? How does Terra Nova differ from that?

Jurassic Park terrified me as a kid. When they were stuck in the car up in the tree gave me nightmares. Terra Nova is definitely it’s own identity. Jurassic Park was the human race trying to bring dinosaurs to the modern world. Terra Nova is the human race going to the dinosaurs to find a new hope.

Have you been able to see the finished product with all the dinos and CGI? What did you think if you have?

I’ve seen a few episodes. I’m very proud of all the hard work put into it.

What has been your favorite part about shooting Terra Nova?

I think my favorite part was the family I made in Australia. That and the opportunity to explore a new world.

What character other than Josh would you be interested in playing and why?

Boylan. It’s always fun to be a crook.

What can we expect from Terra Nova moving forward? (may not be able to answer this one but anything you are allowed to say is cool)

What you can expect from Terra Nova is a family trying to survive in a circumstance so unfathomable that it’s just too tasty not to see what happens.

Robert Prentice