What to Watch

What To Watch With Frontier’s Landon Liboiron

Plus, how Michael Smyth is the Luke Skywalker of Frontier.

by | November 21, 2017 | Comments

Jason Momoa in Frontier (Netflix)

While Jason Momoa goes under the sea as Aquaman in Justice League this week, his passion project also returns to Netflix. Season 2 of Frontier picks up in the Canadian wilderness with the fate of Declan Harp (Momoa) after he escaped the noose and collapsed in the woods, and Michael Smyth (Landon Liboiron) trying to carry Harp’s load for the Black Wolf Company.

Liboiron spoke with Rotten Tomatoes about the six-episode second season of Frontier. But first, he told us how he spends his TV time.


WHAT IS APPOINTMENT TV FOR YOU?

Curb Your Enthusiasm - June Diane Raphael, Larry David, Ed Begley, Jr. (John P. Johnson/courtesy of HBO)

Generally an HBO show. I really, really am fascinated by dark comedies and stuff like that. Even Curb [Your Enthusiasm], I couldn’t wait for Curb to come back. If I’m already a fan of the creator, I was really excited to watch The Deuce because you want to see what he’s doing next. So I think those are the shows where I need to be like, “OK, I need to see it now.” Generally those are the shows people are going to talk about and I want to be up to date. I was so late onto the Game of Thrones bandwagon, I think it was four or five, maybe even six season I hadn’t seen any of it. I remember there was this one night where two of my really good friends met. They hadn’t met before and they immediately started talking about Game of Thrones. They spent a good hour and a half talking about Game of Thrones which I hadn’t seen, so I just sat there and listened. I was like, “Never again,” so I immediately started watching Game of Thrones. I think it’s also one of those things where you want to be able to talk about these shows. Especially in my industry, we all want to talk about it.


WHAT’S ON YOUR DVR?

HAMLET, Laurence Olivier, 1948 (Courtesy Everett Collection)

Oh man, I’m actually watching a lot more films than television these days. There’s this new streaming service called FilmStruck, which is the Criterion Collection. I’m kind of in the stage of my life where I need to go back and watch what was before. I’m very interested in the stuff I haven’t seen yet from the past, than what’s building up [on my DVR]. It’s so great that there’s so much content out there but how do you keep up really with everything that’s going on?


WHAT IS IN YOUR STREAMING QUEUE?

Patton Oswalt: Annihilation (Elizabeth Morris/Netflix)

I have it all. I kind of lean towards Netflix whenever I want to laugh. I can always count on some good comedy because of all the [standup] specials that they do now. I just watched the Patton Oswalt special. It’s so, so touching and beautiful and funny. So I usually go to Netflix for when I need to feel light and laugh, HBO when I want to really watch something that will really, really push me to think. I’m so behind on their shows. I really want to watch Rome. I want to finish Boardwalk Empire. I haven’t finished Boardwalk Empire yet. I’m so behind. And then I go to FilmStruck as I’m learning about the history of film and just educating myself on the past masters and all that kind of stuff. I jump around based on what my mood is and what I’m interested in. If I’m hungover I’ll probably just sit and watch Netflix all day, right? Then when I wake up, I’m like, “Ooh, I need to really get a creative boost.” I’ll go to HBO or something. It’s all different.


WHAT SHOWS CAN’T YOU WAIT FOR?

Frontier season 2 trailer screencap - Jason Momoa (Netflix)

Can I say my own show? [Laughs]

Fred Topel for Rotten Tomatoes: You certainly can. A lot of people do.

Landon Liboiron: I don’t know. I’m so scatterbrained with it all. I don’t keep track of what’s coming.

RT: That’s cool. You’re more about catching up.

Liboiron: Yeah, definitely. I definitely watch in my own time, what I’m feeling at the moment.


Frontier season 2 trailer screencap - Landon Liboiron (Netflix)

RT: Are most of your scenes with Sokanon (Jessica Matten) this season?

Liboiron: Where we start in season 2 with Michael and Sokanon is that Michael and Sokanon are just trying to keep the Black Wolf Company afloat. It’s the two of them working together and the growth of their relationship actually. Obviously, a lot happens in six episodes. Eventually it leads to all the forces joining again.

RT: This season’s episodes begin with quotes from musicians. Did that mean a lot to you?

Liboiron: That, I wasn’t actually even aware of until later. I wasn’t aware of them when we got the scripts. That wasn’t a part of it. It had no influence in terms of what I was doing with my character. It’s an interesting idea.

RT: It does suggest that modern-day business, like the music industry, is relevant to the old business of the colonial trade.

Liboiron: Of course. It’s humanity, right? It’s a circle. It’s just a big circle, man.


Frontier season 2 trailer screencap - Landon Liboiron (Netflix)

RT: How far has Michael come from waking up on this ship in season 1 to being a central part of Harp’s company?

Liboiron: Yeah, in season 1 he’s much more voyeuristic in the sense that he’s just sort of being dragged along. He’s sort of a prisoner to the world. He’s just doing anything he can to make it. In season 2, he’s taking a lot more control. He’s deciding that this is going to be his new world. He’s almost getting sucked into it a little bit if that makes any sense. It’s the addiction of the business of it, the survival of it. He’s definitely a con man. He’s definitely a guy who likes to win. He does it in a different way than maybe the ruthless characters in the show. He’s very conniving and cunning. I think he’s kind of getting addicted to that new way of life and he wants to continue it.

RT: Has this adventure made him more sincere and given him a purpose?

Liboiron: I guess you could say it gives him a purpose. I remember the Blackies [Peter and Rob Blackie], the creators of the show, would constantly compare him to a Luke Skywalker kind of character. His journey is very similar where it’s like here’s this guy who’s just kind of living his life and then he gets sucked off into the new world. Yeah, the Black Wolf Company has definitely given Michael his sense of purpose which has caused him to make the decisions in his personal life, with Clenna and his past, just moving forward.

Frontier season 2 premieres November 24 on Netflix.


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