Jason O' Mara (Terra Nova)

Jason O' Mara: The Interview (Terra Nova)
Interesting Tidbits

Jason has made guest appearances on several TV shows including, CSI: Miami , The Closer, Men in Trees, and Criminal Minds.

Jason O’ Mara fought off the criminals in “Life on Mars” and he worked with zombies in “Resident Evil: Extinction.” However, starting Monday, September 26, 2011 at 8pm on Fox, Jason (as Jim Shannon) has to deal with the dinosaurs on “Terra Nova.” The show starts off in the year 2149 with the planet dying and the human race being left with no other choice but to send people back 85 million years to start over. Jim and his family are part of the 10th pilgrimage to Terra Nova and they are in for several surprises upon their arrival. Shakefire had a chance to interview Jason to talk about the new show.

SHAKEFIRE: How does Jim see himself in the world of Terra Nova and what struggles does he have to deal with upon arrival into the new world?
JASON O'MARA: Jim’s primary goal is to protect his family and ensure that they thrive and survive in Terra Nova. Also, whether he wanted the role or not, he has been made sheriff of this frontier town. Regardless, he has to go along with what Taylor (Stephen Lang) does and says. There is also a kind of partnership and a friendship that is emerging between Taylor and Jim. Even though he is usually in accordance with Taylor’s decisions, there are times he questions him because some decisions affect the very fabric of Terra Nova’s society that is being created along the way.

SF: What makes “Terra Nova” different from your previous TV shows that is possibly going to make this show a hit with audiences?
JO: The show is way bigger than the actors are. Steven Spielberg’s presence is one of the selling points. The dinosaurs obviously are a huge aspect of all of this, so we’re hoping that people kind of come for these reasons, but stay because they’re enjoying the world we’ve created. Also, the dynamics between the characters and the relationships that are forming is very important. As the season progresses and deepens you’ll get to know the characters better and see where we’re going with the story lines. I think we might be on to something here, but I have been wrong in the past.

SF: How is it acting in the world of Terra Nova? I mean without the dinosaur really being there and working on such a physical show in the wilderness.
JO: Pretty much everything is filmed in Brisbane, Australia. A lot of what you see, that is supposed to Chicago, was CGI because the beginning the show is set 150 years or so from now. They tried to recreate the city in the most imaginative way as possible. Overall, it has been a struggle to shoot this show because we are outside a lot and the Australian outback can be unforgiving. Thankfully, we haven’t had any medical emergencies due to the wildlife. There are a lot of snakes and poisonous animals out there. Also, we usually don’t get any days off or breaks because of the weather and the strict shooting schedule. As for the dinosaurs, which are mostly CGI, it’s hard to act scared when you are really running away from a stage hand in shorts and flip flops carrying a dino head chasing you. Overall, the show is a pretty big production, the size of which has not been or seen or done for broadcast television in recent memory.

SF: Do you think the “Terra Nova” will attract different types of people or fans of several TV genres?
JO: I think the show has a four quadrant appeal. The time travel aspect is cool for visual effects. The show also has futuristic effects, dinosaur effects and a lot of other things going on. We’re trying to create something that’s a little bit bigger than all that. It has that all-inclusive look and feel of a true Steven Spielberg production. We are trying to create a world that appeals to everyone and has something for everyone.

SF: Are there going to be a lot of people being mangled or eaten by dinosaurs on the show?
JO: Umm...let’s see. The best way to answer this is, on the show, dinosaurs kill people, but people try not to kill dinosaurs because they are animals and we are trying to be as humane as possible. We try to corral and wrangle the local wildlife using nonlethal and humane weapons to control them. I can’t give too many details on who dies though. However, I can reveal that one of the characters that you will have come to know, and hopefully love, will die by the end of the first season.

SF: Jim and his family were part of the 10th pilgrimage to Terra Nova. When can we expect to see the 11th pilgrimage arriving?
JO: You’ll see them by the end of season 1. We have no clue who’s going to be a part of the 11th pilgrimage, but they are coming for sure.

Jason was very well-spoken and gave a lot of great information about the show. Personally I am excited to check it out. The first episode is a whooping two-hour season premiere event happening Monday, September 26, 2011 at 8pm on Fox. 

Paul Arca
Interview by Paul Arca
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