‘Fringe’ stars talk past, present & future

05.18.2011
Posted by Annie in Fringe, Interviews & Articles

Last night Anna Torv & John Noble were honored by The Paley Center for Media as the organization presented An Evening with “Fringe” — where the stars talked to a rapt room full of actors and show devotees about their experiences on Fox’s sci-fi phenomenon.

But before they took the stage, Anna & John exclusively talked to PopWrap about the season three finale, what they think it means for their characters and where they hope things go in season four!

PopWrap: Congratulations on a truly incredible season finale — what did you think of it?
John Noble: I loved it. The script was evolving as we were doing it too – in particular, the ending with Peter evaporating. That was kind of a light thought that came in at one point and just made everyone say, “whoa.” But scripts often evolve like that, especially as they built the trilogy of episodes at the end of this season. So many things were happening, it was kind of mind boggling and very exciting, but kind of insane.

PW: Do you understand what happened?
Anna Torv: I do, but I’m not quite sure where it’s going.
John: At a psychological level, I absolutely understand it. For Walter/Walternate, I see them as the same man, so psychologically, I do understand. In dreams this happens, in other mental states this happens. So it doesn’t concern me that we do a literal representation that’s in another mind dimension, we all have those things.

PW: What excites you about the potential this universe bridge opens up for season four?
Anna:
So much! I don’t know for sure, we haven’t talked to the showrunners yet, but I would think this obviously means her baby doesn’t exist. I’m also curious to the concept of, “How much pain has Peter caused Olivia over the last three seasons?” Now, who is she without ever having experienced that? What kind of shifts will the characters make without Peter in our lives? But simultaneously how are we going to find him?

PW: I would imagine it also means you’ll be playing both versions of your characters a lot more next year.
John:
I think so too, and that is such a gift as an actor.
Anna: I love it. I’m also excited because we seen a lot of interaction between the characters, which we will now that they’re in the same world. Also, with Lincoln too! I know Seth [Gabel] is coming back!
John: Oh, he’s so great!
Anna: It’ll be fun to see him on both sides as well.

PW: That could get messy for Fauxlivia!
John: Well she hasn’t committed to him yet!
Anna: That’s true! Maybe Olivia will get her back and date Lincoln! She needs some love too [laughs].

PW: Tonight is all about the actorly part of “Fringe” and obviously these dual performances are an excellent example of that. How have you approached it?
John: I’ve always seen these characters as the psychological parts of the same man. It’s that melding together – now the pressure is on enough that they have to stop compromising and come together. Because, and this is my personal opinion, but to survive this situation, this man needs to be his very best and that’s a combination of Walter and Walternate. That’s the approach I’m taking to it and it seems to be working. But we’ll know for sure on Thursday, when we talk to the showrunners about season four.

PW: Oh man, you know that fans are going to be stalking your life on Friday now!
Anna: [laughs] John: They’ll tell us just enough to keep us tantalized – that’s what they do.

PW: What are you hoping to talk about?
Anna: In that last speech where Peter talked about who brought the parts back – Astrid or Ella – I’m interested in that. I wonder if we’ll do more back and forth with the future.
John: I’m excited to continue with the different universes, I like that they’re going to work together. That’s always something we’ve wanted to do – not show a black and white world. This way you don’t automatically choose one side. We work really hard to humanize both sides.

PW: Back to the alternates, do you prefer playing one more than the other?
John: I do. I enjoy Walter more because he’s so random. And as an actor, that means I can do whatever I want and get away with it, whereas Walternate is so stitched up. Walter is a lot more fun.
Anna: It changes, I vacillate. When Faux-livia first came about I was thrilled not to be in the suit, but then I played Olivia Over There and I loved her during that period. It changes.

PW: Favorite episode this season?
John: I loved the one with Christopher Lloyd. It was such a joy to work with him and he was so good in the role.
Anna: I actually think “Entrada” – I enjoyed that because I had so much fun stuff to do,. You’re always biased towards things like that. It was my favorite episode to make, I don’t know how it would be watching it.

PW: And lastly, this show has really lived and died by the fans — a very fickle community, it should be said. What kinds of comments have you been hearing from fans?
Anna: One of the things I love about doing the show is that anyone who stops me on the street, always asks “what’s happening next?” To be a part of something that’s bigger than you is fun because it means that the show you’re making is the star.
John: That’s true. When people stop me on the street, it’s so generous and then “what do you know?” [laughs]. We have incredible fans.

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Frugal Fashion: ‘Fringe’s’ Anna Torv on the blue carpet at Fox upfront

05.18.2011
Posted by Annie in Interviews & Articles

For “Fringe” fans, it’s hard to picture Australian actress Anna Torv in anything but a pant suit, a starched collared shirt and black boots, gun at the ready, as FBI agent Olivia Dunham on Fox’s sci-fi show. The 32-year-old is great at playing a tomboy on television, but her real-life wardrobe is far from it.

On Monday, Torv attended the Fox upfront in New York City, where the network presented its upcoming prime-time schedule to advertisers. Fans of the series were delighted to hear that Torv will be back for another season, with more — you guessed it — gray-and-black pant suits and ponytails. “Fringe” is slated to air on Fridays at 9 p.m. this fall.

Torv hit the blue carpet at the upfront party in a refreshingly girlie navy dress with teeny-tiny yellow polka dots and a bow accent at the waist, and a pair of peep-toe black patent leather heels.

The ensemble is a testament to Torv’s signature understated elegance. The dress is subtle but party-ready, the patent heels add just a hint of glam and the barely-there makeup and no-fuss hair are two of Torv’s best looks.

A polka-dot dress like Torv’s would look great with heels at a summer party under the stars or accessorized with some strappy sandals on your next lunch date. If a fancy summer soiree is more your style, check out the Dalia heart print chiffon dress from Asos for $114.48. For lunch with the girls, try the polka-dot dress from Zara with bow tie waist for $59.50 or the Retro polka-dot dress from Forever 21 for $24.80.

A polka-dot dress can easily slip from pretty party to house dress without the right accessories. Torv’s patent leather heels are the perfect addition. A plain black pair of heels would definitely work for this outfit, but a go-to pair of heels is always a good investment. For a patent shine, try the Via Spiga “Malibu” d’Orsay pump from Nordstrom Rack for $86.90, BCBGeneration women’s Ariel open-toe pump from Endless.com for $59.99 or the Nine West Escher pump with gray heel for $79 on Zappos.com.

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Anna Torv, John Noble of ‘Fringe’ Cast To Appear In Midtown Tuesday

05.17.2011
Posted by Annie in Events, Interviews & Articles

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) –What’s better than curling up on the couch and watching TV after a hard day of work?

Hanging out and watching a new episode of your favorite show — with the celebrity cast.

According to On Location Vacations, a Web site dedicated to celebrity sightings, the cast of the hit sci-fi show “Fringe” will be at the Paley Center for New Media tonight.

In addition to a screening of a new episode, two of the shows actors, Anna Torv (Olivia Dunham) and John Noble (Dr. Walter Bishop), will take part in a question and answer session.

While further panelists have yet to be announced, it is unclear if Joshua Jackson will be making an appearance.

The screening starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets will cost $20 for the general public, and $15 for Center members. You can purchase tickets ahead of time on the Paley Center Website.

The Paley Center for Media is located at 25 West 52 Street, New York, NY 10019.

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Paley Center: An Evening with Fringe

If you manage to attend, don’t forget to send in your pictures!

NYPost.com Best & worst dramas of 2011

05.15.2011
Posted by Annie in Interviews & Articles

Amid the overload of singing contests, and perplexing number of cake-based reality shows, the scripted series continued its comeback fight this season. Mama counts down the best and worst dramas of the 2010-11 season:
(…)
THE BEST

* “Fringe” The Fringe team shrugged off the “X-Files” wannabe label with a wildly entertaining season that crossed between two equally engaging universes. Anna Torv’s outstanding work in a dual role deserves an Emmy nomination.
(…)

Read the full Article and about the other series at NYPost.com

Fringe Finale Scoop: Producers Tackle Burning Questions

05.6.2011
Posted by Annie in Fringe, Interviews & Articles

Fringe finale is on tonight! If you live in the US, make sure you watch it live and give the show the ratings it deserves!

*** CONTAIN SPOILERS ***

The end of days are upon us.

The penultimate episode of Fringe saw Peter (Joshua Jackson) enter the machine, which transported him 15 years into a decimated future. As the very fabric of our universe is being ripped apart, Peter will attempt to prevent this grim future from happening. And along the way, lives will be lost (yes, that was plural!) Executive producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman answer burning questions about the finale:

How is this flash-forward different from others we’ve seen on TV before?
J.H. Wyman: The very nature of Fringe is that it’s all about choices that we make, so we get to celebrate that authentically. Whatever we see in the future can be adjusted and might be adjusted. We feel like we’ve actually earned the ability to go backwards and forwards to eliminate and re-contextualize the show for the viewer. There’s so much story to tell in the future, in the past, and the present with Fringe. It’s kind of like a wheelhouse that we feel comfortable playing in.

Is this a permanent jump or will you decide to jump backwards and forwards next season?
Jeff Pinkner: The ending of the finale sort of answers your question. As the Observers once told us, there are many futures happening simultaneously. Which one will come true is based on, as Joel just said, the choices that we all collectively make. The finale is the future in 2026 that our characters are on a path towards if nothing were to change. By the end of the episode, that change has occurred. So we may continue to tell storytelling that’s both in the past, like we’ve done a couple of times to see Walter’s story with Peter, and we may jump to the future again. But it won’t be necessarily the same one that we’re in in this episode.

The whole season has been building towards the destruction of one universe or the other, but in jumping ahead 15 years, you skipped over that. Will we see what happens or will that be mirrored in the deterioration of our universe in the future?
Wyman: We love to answer questions. There’s some great shows that love to ask them and maybe not answer them so quickly. We’ve always tried to sort of fill in the blanks and get the viewer to feel satisfied that they’re watching a story for a reason. We both feel that you’ll be satisfied, that you will understand what the future held for each universe and their collective and individual fates.

How have the characters’ relationships changed 15 years in the future?
Wyman: Some of them are what you would expect, but some of them are not. We tried to make sure that each one was at least logical, of course, and colorful in its own way; how they grew and what happens to them. But we looked at this as a huge possibility to paint a canvas in the future to allow the viewer to fill in some blanks and take that away with them and go, “Wow, that’s really interesting. How did this transpire?”

Thanks to the promos, we’ve seen glimpses of how bad the future is. Will Peter be able to prevent this future from happening?
Pinkner: It’s bad! I think that the question of the episode is: What’s to come? And for Peter, Olivia (Anna Torv), Walter (John Noble) and, obviously, the rest of the team — what is their role in trying to prevent what seems to be a pretty awful fate?

What can you tell us about the End-of-Dayers and Walternate’s plan to destroy our universe?
Wyman: The concept of End-of-Dayers is an interesting one because it deals with faith and loss of faith. That’s kind of a big theme for us; that people are constantly looking for things to believe in. Right now, in society, we feel that there’s a breakdown in a lot of different areas in life that people once had great faith in, like politics or religion or whatever. People are looking for something to believe in. So the End-of-Dayers are basically people that have faith, but faith in the end of everything. That it is the end of days that would deliver them into some sort of salvation. It’s tough to have faith when the environment is what it is and you’re living in conditions that these people are living in. It’s pretty dire.

Are the future citizens of the world aware of the cross-universe war?
Pinkner: Yeah. Fifteen years in the future, when the story takes place, everything has become much more public and necessary.
Wyman: Eventually you can’t hide it any longer.

We’re going to be losing a main character in the finale. What can you tell us about that? Is it permanent?
Wyman: Is this death permanent? You’ll see it’s not exactly what happens. Maybe the best hint is that there’s actually more than one.

Is this a mass casualty situation?

Pinkner: The deaths are actually both in entirely different contexts.

The Fringe finale airs Friday at 9/8c on Fox.

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Watercooler: Who Will Be Fringe’s Finale Casualty?

04.25.2011
Posted by Annie in Fringe, Interviews & Articles

Tick, tock. Tick, tock…

Now that Walternate’s doomsday machine was activated last Friday night, the countdown is on and in two weeks, we’ll be seeing whether our universe or the alt-world makes it out of Fringe’s third season alive. Then again, who knows? Walter and company are pretty crafty, so maybe both will be OK. Or maybe the worlds will merge. One thing we do know for sure is that we should expect at least one fatality. ‘Cause that’s how finales roll, you know?

In a recent interview with TV Guide Magazine, producers Jeff Pinkner and Joel Wyman dropped an ominous tease that fans can expect “a character they love” to perish before the end of the season. And after the events of past episodes, especially Friday’s kick-ass hour, the list of possible DOAs seems to be taking an unsettling shape. Fauxlivia is in federal custody for traitorously trying to cross over to our world; Peter is in a coma following his ill-fated attempt to enter the big-bang machine; and Astrid remains the only cast regular without some sort of a link to Nina Sharp. That can’t be good. And let’s not forget Sam Weiss, who might have to pay for being so shady; Lincoln Lee, whose love for Fauxlivia could compromise his judgment; and Scarlie, although killing off Kirk Acevedo twice would just be rude.

So, start placing your bets in the comments below and let us know who you think will bite it by the May 6th season finale. And if you say Gene, we will report you to PETA.

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Who do you think it is? No one I love can die!

Fringe exec: “Finale comes full circle”

03.30.2011
Posted by Annie in Fringe, Interviews & Articles

***MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS***

Fringe producer Jeff Pinkner has claimed that the show’s third run “comes full circle” in the upcoming season finale.

He told IGN that ‘The Day We Died’ will link back to the season’s early episodes, which saw Olivia (Anna Torv) replaced by her doppelganger Fauxlivia.

“Very much, the season was designed as a chapter and it will play out that way,” he claimed. “And the very end of the season hopefully will make you sort of revisit and look at everything that’s happened all year through a fresh pair of glasses.”

Pinkner also revealed that the script for the finale had not been altered following the news of the show’s renewal.

“Not a word [has changed],” he insisted. “But to be fair, we wrote the episode, perhaps foolishly, assuming that we would be on for season four. We never for one second entertained that [the season finale] would be the end of the series.”

The showrunner added that he would “certainly hope” to be given notice when the time does come for Fringe to end.

“The studio and the network know that we have an ending [in mind] and that for a long time we have been building towards [that] ending,” he said. “So we anticipate getting to tell the story in the way and the manner that we want to.”

Fringe returns to Fox on April 15. The season finale will air on May 6.

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IGN.com Exclusive: Fringe’s Future: Walternate’s Plan, Olivia as Bell, More

03.30.2011
Posted by Annie in Fringe, Interviews & Articles

With the show officially renewed, what can we expect heading towards the season finale?

We pick up with the three of us in the midst of discussing Anna Torv and all she’s been asked to do on the show of late..

Wyman: Look at what she did with [William] Bell! It’s astounding. And we’ve got to tell you, that’s all her. She interpreted that character the way it was and for us, in our wildest dreams… It’s just transcended all our expectations.

IGN: It’s such a fun, interesting choice. When you decided Olivia would be taken over by William Bell, did you tell Anna at all, “We’d like you to act like Leonard Nimoy,” or was it not quite that specific?

Pinkner: We pitched the idea to her and as Joel said, she sort of took a silent beat and then said, “Okay… So what are you guys thinking? Are you thinking that you’ll put his voice in my mouth?” And we said, “No, no, no.” Our premise, always, is keep the show grounded. Play everything as real and as dramatically authentic as possible, from camera lens choices, to angles to set design and props and obviously performance, because the crazy only plays if everything else is real. And so we said to her, “No, no, no. He’s inside of you. But it’s his consciousness in your body.” And she said, “Oh, I think I understand. Let me play around with that.” And we’re incredibly fortunate, because our cast are actually friends and insanely dedicated to their craft and the show. And she and John [Noble] spent a Saturday practicing and sort of working out the character together, because of course Walter has a relationship with William. So the two of them worked it up on their own and presented it to us – from her arched eyebrow and the way she carries her body, to the way she controls her voice. And it’s really astounding.

One thing that is important to note is that it delights Leonard to no end! Of all of us, the one who’s the most proud and most impressed is Leonard.

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IGN.com Exclusive Fringe Producers Talk Renewal

03.30.2011
Posted by Annie in Fringe, Interviews & Articles

With Season 4 now official, J.H. Wyman and Jeff Pinkner chat with IGN about the big news.

Fringe fans, myself included, got some very happy news Thursday night, as word broke that the show had been renewed for Season 4. In the wake of this announcement, I spoke to Fringe’s Executive Producers/Showrunners Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman, to get their reaction.

Because I’ve already seen tonight’s new episode of Fringe, “Bloodline,” I also was able to ask Pinkner and Wyman some questions about it and what’s to come on the series in the final four episodes of the season. But since this interview is running prior to “Bloodline” airing, look for the second part of our chat next week. Which is to say, don’t worry, there aren’t any spoilers here!

IGN TV: Were you surprised to get the renewal now? I think most of us assumed that we’d be waiting until May to find out.

Jeff Pinkner: It’s funny, because FOX has been so supportive, all year long. They were supportive prior to the move to Friday night. They put the move in context. They told us very clearly what we’ve been saying to everybody: “This is not a move on the way off the schedule. This is a move to see if your audience will follow you. We’re just trying to test the loyalty of the audience, because if the same audience comes back on Friday nights, we’re in awesome shape.” And of course, the audience did. And then ever since, FOX has been very upfront that there are lots of factors that go into the timing of pickups, but, “You guys are in great shape.” And then that started to get a little bit louder and a little bit more present over the last week or two, as we started to talk about what next year would look like. And then we both received the phone call from Peter Roth at Warner Bros. yesterday, who had just gotten off the phone with [FOX President] Kevin Reilly.

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Fringe renewed: Can fan passion trump ratings?

03.29.2011
Posted by Annie in Fringe, Interviews & Articles

(CNN) — Not so long ago, TV shows like “Firefly,” “Wonderfalls,” “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” and “Dollhouse” were mourned by science fiction fans as having been canceled before their time, due — as it always is — to low ratings.

Another thing each had in common: They aired on Fox on Friday nights.

So observers of the TV world were surprised Thursday to learn of the network’s renewal of the series “Fringe” for a full fourth season after two months in a Friday timeslot.

Adding to the surprise: It was picked up in March, much earlier than many other shows with “on the bubble” status — an equal chance of cancellation or renewal — would traditionally find out their fates. (One week earlier, NBC renewed two of its “on the bubble” series with a passionate fanbase: “Community” and “Parks and Recreation.”)

Fans and many TV critics feared that the show’s cancellation was imminent when it was moved from a Thursday slot to Friday. Despite encouraging words from Fox, fans rallied support for the show on social media, and star Joshua Jackson even got involved, reminding the “Fringe” faithful not to rest on their laurels.

The show’s ratings started out on par with what they were on Thursday but then started to drop, eventually hitting a series low six days before it was renewed, which begs the question: Did fan support and other factors count for more than the show’s raw viewership?

Fox’s news release announcing the pick-up of the show, about a war between an alternate universe and our own, certainly gave the fans plenty of credit. “The series’ ingenious producers, amazingly talented cast and crew, as well as some of the most passionate and loyal fans on the planet, made this fourth-season pickup possible,” said the network’s entertainment president, Kevin Reilly.

“Ultimately, I think Fox is making a decision not based purely on ratings but based on (fan) commitment and dedication,” said Jovana Grbic, editor and creative director of ScriptPhD.com, who is contributing a chapter to an upcoming book examining the science behind the series. “This is an unprecedented level of support for a show with a small but dedicated fanbase, something that sci-fi in particular has had a very difficult time attaining on network television.”

Dennis Acevedo, creator of FringeTelevision.com, attributes it to DVR viewing, especially considering its current timeslot. “It consistently ranks as one of the highest shows in DVR viewing,” he said. “And people who like it really like it.”

Acevedo quoted a recent interview on TheDailyBeast.com in which Executive Producer Joel Wyman said, “Not everybody likes licorice, but people who like licorice really like licorice. We’re happy being that.”

But is being “licorice” really all it takes to make a show successful today?

” ‘Fringe’s’ ratings looked very decent for a Friday,” said Robert Seidman, who follows TV viewership very closely as co-founder of TVBytheNumbers.com and found the renewal’s timing “a little odd.”

“The ratings that matter most are ones nobody sees, the ‘C3′ rating that measure commercial viewing live plus three days of DVR viewing,” he said. “All that DVR viewing is great for Fox’s PR department, but it doesn’t add much extra advertising revenue.”

Indeed, the anonymous Twitter user who claims to work for Fox, known as the Masked Scheduler, recently tweeted about an improvement in “Fringe’s” ratings the night after its renewal: “Supporting shows by viewing live helps more than u know.”

Another possible factor: Science fiction shows typically bring in audiences with higher household incomes. “Seeing that kind of data was what got me interested in doing the website to begin with,” Seidman said. “However, that data does not flow freely at all.”

So, despite the advent of DVRs and full episodes streaming online, have there been any other major changes since the days of “Firefly” that would add more weight to the passion of a show’s fanbase?

“There are now more people watching cable instead of broadcast. The broadcast ratings are lower now than they were when ‘Firefly’ was on,” Seidman said, meaning that some shows do, in fact, stay on the air with ratings that might have gotten them canceled in years past.

As for whether fan efforts can consistently make the difference between cancellation and renewal — in the way it seemed for shows like “Chuck” and “Jericho” in the past — Seidman said, “It can’t hurt, but I’m not really sold on that. I am sold to some degree: Fans’ passion about a show does register with the networks. But I don’t think that’s enough to save a show if the ratings aren’t any good.”

No matter the reason, fans understand just how fortunate they are to have the show last this long.

“As a sci-fi fan, expert and writer, the renewal and network backing pleases me because it sends a message to writers and developers of future science fiction television that there is a place for intricate, intelligent shows with a multilayered plot on network television, that the risks are worth taking, and that networks are beginning to recognize the value of the niche as a fan base,” Grbic said.

“I think Fringe is just a really unique situation. It’s been this experimental show at Fox since the beginning,” Acevedo said. “And so far, it’s gotten through everything thrown at it.”

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