For Landon Liboiron, getting into character on the big budget dinosaur drama Terra Nova was as simple as walking onto its impressive Australian set.
“I remember the first time the whole cast walked through the gates of Terra Nova. It was just massive,” says Liboiron, who plays Josh Shannon, the eldest son of a family who finds a new life 85 million years in the past. “We were just in stunned silent. The director said he wished he had the cameras rolling. No acting required.”
Executively produced by Steven Spielberg, Terra Nova is the buzzed-about TV show of the new fall season.
It’s a time travel tale about a dying future world where the air is toxic and children are severely restricted. The Shannon family seeks a way out with a risky plan to travel through time — back to an unspoiled earth millions of years in the past.
“My character is the oldest brother and the only one really not excited about going back in time,” says the Vancouver-based Liboiron, who is probably best known to younger Canadian viewers as Declan on Degrassi.
“He has a life and a girlfriend and is at an age when he’s starting to turn into his own man. So he’s against going to Terra Nova.” But though the world of Terra Nova is unspoiled, it’s not free of danger — the biggest being the local dinosaurs.
Liboiron says he’s having a ball getting back in touch with his childhood love for all things dino-related. “When you’re six or seven, dinosaurs are these crazy, cool things. But as you get older, they kind of lose their magic. So working on this show has really brought back that childhood magic for me.”
But it’s not like he gets to pet the big lizards.
They’re all CGI, conjured up long after the cast has left the set. “It’s really a great challenge as an actor to create this world entirely behind your eyes.”
Terra Nova premieres September 26 at 8 p.m. on CityTV.