Nfld. & Labrador·Video

Lights, camera, action! Frontier comes to life at red carpet premiere in St. John's

It was a star-studded evening as the cast and crew of Frontier strolled down the red carpet to celebrate the television show's premiere at the St. John's Convention Centre.

New series filmed in Newfoundland premieres Sunday

Jason Momoa, Allan Hawco and Brad Peyton attended the world premiere of Frontier Saturday night in St. John's. (Mark Cumby/CBC)

It was a star-studded evening as the cast and crew of Frontier strolled down the red carpet to celebrate the television show's premiere at the St. John's Convention Centre on Saturday.

The period drama follows rival factions battling for control of the North American fur trade in the 18th century and stars Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones, Batman v. Superman), Allan Hawco (Republic of Doyle) and was directed by Gander's Brad Peyton (San Andreas).

Momoa, best known for playing Khal Drogo on HBO's Game of Thrones, said filming the series in St. John's was a joy.

"St. John's is an amazing city. I love it here," he said. "I connected with everyone. I'm pretty much [always] at local restaurants, local pubs." 

Jason Momoa plays Declan Harp in Discovery Canada's Frontier. (Andrew Sampson/CBC)

He plays Declan Harp on the show, a brute and mysterious figure who makes a bloody entrance in the very first scene of the premiere.

In this binge-watching era, it's an auspicious start that will likely leave many viewers wanting more.

"I've just watched all six right now because I can't watch just one episode," said Momoa. "I'm pumped for everyone to see it. I think it's a phenomenal, phenomenal TV show."

Homecoming for Hollywood director

For Gander's Brad Peyton, it was a homecoming of sorts. Frontier marks his first directing job back in Newfoundland since he directed Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in 2015's wildly successful San Andreas.

Like the rest of his career, he said he didn't really see this turn of events coming.

"I never would have imagined being in Newfoundland, shooting with Aquaman in the middle of winter, doing a period show about the fur trade." 

Frontier marks director Brad Peyton's first film shoot in Newfoundland since working with actor Dwayne Johnson on the set of the action thriller San Andreas. (Jasin Boland/Warner Bros. Pictures)

Peyton directed the first two episodes of the series and he said Frontier represents a chance to prove this province can compete with the big leagues.

"I really wanted to show that a Newfoundland cast and crew — with a little help from our American and British friends — could make world class material."

"That was one of the big things, just to come home and try to make people proud."

Republic of Doyle follow up

Frontier marks the follow up to Republic of Doyle for Take the Shot Productions and Doyle star and executive producer Allan Hawco is once again along for the ride.

He says Frontier will play a big role in keeping the film industry in N.L. intact.

See ya later, Jake Doyle. Allan Hawco plays Douglas Brown on Frontier. (Mark Cumby/CBC)

"It's a big load off my mind because that was one of the biggest pressures about stopping Doyle. All these people need to keep working or we're going to lose the industry, so luckily Frontier came along."

His character doesn't appear in the premiere and perhaps because of that, he's feeling very zen about the show's opening.

"I used to get nervous like it was an opening night for a play, which is terrifying, but we've done everything we can," he said.​

"I have a strange sense of confidence about this show that people are gonna dig it." 

Just the beginning

As the cast and crew migrated from the red carpet to the screening room, the show's producers and creative team spoke about how far they've come.

But just before the first episode was set to screen, there was one more interruption: Jason Momoa.

"I've done a lot of shows in my life. Some I'm proud of, some I'm not," he said.

"This is just the beginning. I'm gonna kick ass for many years to come." 

Frontier premieres Sunday night on Discovery Canada.


Andrew Sampson is a journalist with CBC News in St. John's.