If there's one thing to learn from Fox's multi-million dollar primetime project, "Terra Nova," it's that nothing will ever be able to capture the magic of "Jurassic Park" -- but once you stop comparing it to the golden standard of dino-dramas, then the show can be quite enjoyable.
CGI graphics aside, at its core, "Terra Nova" is a family drama set 85 million years in the past. It has everything a primetime drama needs to succeed: family struggles, teenage angst, romance, action and adventure -- and the occasional dinosaur sighting.
Now there seems to be a teenage romance blossoming in the colony, and 26-year-old actress Allison Miller gave The Huffington Post the scoop on the growing relationship between teens Skye and Josh, the future of "Terra Nova" and some helpful tips on how to run away from angry dinosaurs.
There are some incredibly high-profile names behind this project. What were your expectations signing on?
I didn't really have any expectations. I knew that I would be flying to Australia, but I had no idea what that meant or what that country was like. I barely knew who I would be working with. I couldn't grasp the scale of it until I got to the set, and I saw how many crew members there were. There were about 300 crew members on set every day. It was a massive group of people, and that was when I really started to understand how large of a project it was.
Have you had the chance to meet executive producer Steven Spielberg?
No, I haven't. It would probably be difficult for him to get down to the set. I saw him once at the Dreamworks offices. He kind of just walked by me. Reading his name on the script every week was enough to make me feel faint, so I don't even know what would happen if I met him.
Now, your character Skye is really feisty and a bit of an adventuress, so what is coming up for her in the remainder of the season?
You finally get to see what happened to Skye in her past and see how she has handled herself since her parents died. She'll start to reveal more about herself as the season continues. Without saying too much, Skye will continue to cause trouble and try to solve it -- for herself and other people. At the heart of the show, it's all about family.
What about the relationship between Skye and Josh? How will that develop?
I think that Skye helps Josh appreciate everything that he has because he has everything that she wants. He has that family life, and he has everything that Skye has been missing for so long. Her ideal is what he has. She also has this father-daughter relationship with Taylor, but it's complicated. Skye has seen a lot of bad things happen to a lot of people, so she definitely values human life a lot more than most people her age would or would even think about.
I think that Josh and Skye's relationship has made Josh more likable as well. He was a little annoying in the pilot.
He has a lot of pain and hurt inside of him. He never wanted to move to Terra Nova, so I think that's where a lot of his angst comes from in the pilot. It comes from this place of abandonment. I'm glad people are finally getting to see why he is the way he is.
Has there been any word on a Season 2 pickup?
Not yet, but I would love one! I love everyone that's involved with the project. We've built such an amazing community here on set that I would hate to lose so quickly. I feel like we finally reached a comfortable place and we learned how to work well together, so it would be so wonderful to continue doing what we're doing. This past year of my life has been amazing, so why wouldn't I want to continue that?
Have you been watching the episodes as they air? Because I want to know what you think of all of the dinosaur action.
I have been watching the show. I think my favorite dinosaur that's been on the show so far has been the carnotaurus. They just looked so horrifying. The velociraptors were really scary too, and the terrasaurus as well, but something about the carnotaurus got to me. I've been pretending to see them for so long, so it's kind of interesting to finally see them on screen.
What was filming like having to pretend that something really terrifying is trying to attack you?
Luckily, some of the visual effects guys would show us a rendering on their laptops, so that we could visualize what was coming after us. They were like, 'Imagine this giant mouth coming right into your face,' so that definitely helped a lot.
But it must have been a bit difficult to visualize as well, right?
Yeah, it's a challenge, but it's a good test as an actor. I would start to tell myself equally terrifying stories -- not even dinosaur related -- so that I could capture the sense of urgency and fear. But there's no real way to avoid a dinosaur. You duck, that's really all you can do [laughs].
"Terra Nova" airs Mondays at 8PM ET on FOX. Watch a sneak peek of next week's episode below.
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