This season on Fringe, Anna Torv’s been playing two Olivia Dunhams stretched to their limit. But she told a conference call just now that both Olivias are about to face their greatest challenge of all. Spoilers ahead!
That challenge? Going home. Torv hinted strongly that both Olivias will have to deal with going back to their old lives after having had a bigger taste of life on the “other side.” And with both Olivias getting to know the alternate-universe people who are technically their enemies — and gaining sympathy once they realize that people on both sides are good people, who are just trying to save their worlds — their loyalties will face a new test when they have to go back to their original groups, she said.
She also mentioned in passing that the show’s current structure, of alternating between episodes set in “our” universe and “over there,” is just in the early part of the season. “I’m looking forward to playing them as they are in their own world,” she says of both Olivias.
Torv said it would have been fun to play a version of Olivia who’s totally different than the Olivia we know — but in fact, the differences between the two Olivias are mostly pretty subtle. But getting to see Olivia through another Olivia’s eyes has given Torv a new perspective on her character — “I am seeing her clearly,” said Torv. “You don’t get to do that too often.” She also says that playing in two different universes has been fun, because each universe has its own energy, and she gets to enjoy playing off two slightly different casts — Charlie and Lincoln in one universe, Peter in the other.
She also hinted that seducing Peter is “just an assignment” for Fauxlivia, “but Peter’s a charmer, and I don’t know what she’s going to do when they’ve been together for a little bit.”
We asked Torv how her Shakespearean background helps her play a story with so much doubling and mistaken identities, and she said that Shakespeare mostly helps her play big operatic scenes with conviction. And when you have to say something like, “the shapeshifters are trying to destroy our universe,” it’s important to say it with a straight face. But she did say that she thinks “our” Walter Noble, the mad scientist, is just like one of Shakespeare’s fools, in the sense of being wiser than everybody else as well as having moments of dreadful pathos.
And Torv said she sort of missed playing the more repressed version of Olivia, as opposed to two versions who are both more open and emotional. She likes the role-reversal of having a woman be more cool and emotionally contained, while the two male leads constantly stand around the laboratory — which is basically like their kitchen — talking about their feelings and how they stand with each other. “I think so often, you have the guys that are the quiet, slient type, who do the tough stuff. And you have the girls who are working out and chatting and talking about their relationships,” said Torv. “Fringe turns that on its head.” Perversely, she found playing a more repressed character quite liberating.
By Alex Strachan, Postmedia News
“I’ve seen strange,” Peter Bishop, Joshua Jackson’s character in Fringe, said in the second-season finale, Over There. “This is something else.”
On its glossy, made-in-Vancouver surface, Fringe is another of those TV science-fiction serials that poses a larger-than-life mystery, then drops hints along the road to revelation and final redemption.
In the three seasons Fringe has been telling its twin stories of alternating, mirror worlds, it has evolved into something more than a sci-fi serial drama, though. At its heart lies a human story about loss and the tragic consequences of well-intended, heartfelt decisions, as reflected in its relationship between a haunted, science-obsessed father, played by John Noble, and his estranged son, played by Jackson.
VANCOUVER – If Anna Torv is tired, she isn’t showing it.
Torv is in every scene, this day. Shooting ran late the night before and the day’s call time was pushed back to 11 a.m. That means an already long day is about to get longer: Fringe may well continue shooting past midnight.
This crew is fast, though, and working flat out. Ever since The X-Files, Vancouver crews have earned a reputation for being among the fastest and hardest-working on the continent – one of the reasons Vancouver has been dubbed, not always as a compliment, Hollywood North. As freight trains thunder past the antique shop, horns blasting just steps from the film site, a small army of electricians, grips, props masters, camera operators and sound technicians scramble between the antique shop and, half a block away, a temporary bakery.
Fringe is filming in two places at once on this day, and Torv is a study in motion, moving between one site and the other, trailed wherever she goes by a heavy Panavision camera and grips hauling mobile dolly tracks.
As if one world wasn’t enough to explore the complicated world of fringe science, the FOX drama “Fringe” has actively gone where not too many series have gone before for a long stretch of the narrative – to an alternate universe. As the third season is dividing its focus between our world and the alternate world, the series is also allowing actors Anna Torv and John Noble to play double duty as, respectively, Olivia and “Bolivia” (more on that in a moment) and Walter and “Walternate.” During a trip last week to the “Fringe” set in Vancouver, our Jim Halterman hung out on the show’s extensive lab set (near a the lifeless stand-in for Gene the cow!) and talked with Torv, Noble and Joshua Jackson about how they’re able to make sense of the two worlds, what their wishes are with this third season journey and how the experience may alter the often complex relationships between Olivia, Peter and Walter.
First, what do we call the alternate universe’s Olivia, who is now in our world while the real Olivia is trapped on the other side? Jackson had an easy solution to finally decide on one name for the other Olivia. “In the scripts,” he explained, “it’s always Bolivia but my opinion is we should allow the people who watch the show to name her. So, I’ve heard Faux-livia, Alt-livia, No-livia.” Jackson even came up with a name that’s a little more tongue-in-cheek – ‘Extra Crispy Tasty Olivia’ – and shared its origins. “In the finale, [Peter is] eating KFC and that’s where it pops into my head.”
From an actor’s standpoint, how complicated has it been playing two variations of the same character? “It’s been really tricky, to tell the truth,” said Torv. “Because outside of the hair change they really aren’t so dissimilar. They’re so alike in that they’ve ended up in the same job with exactly the same unit with the same partner and the same boss so fundamentally they are genetically the same person and the only thing that has shifted [are that] their reactions are a little bit different or they’ve led just a little bit different of a life.”
By Brian Truitt, USA TODAY
Anna Torv has to wonder how she went from an Australian TV drama with a bunch of twentysomethings sitting around talking about their relationships over beer to an American sci-fi show like Fox’s Fringe, where she is regularly doing action sequences in alternate universes.
“Sometimes at 3 in the morning when we’re still shooting outside in the rain, running around and blowing things up, I want that scene where I’m on the couch with a cup of cocoa, going, ‘Sure, if you just call him, he’ll …’ But really, only at 3 in the morning,” says the Australian actress, laughing during a break while on the Vancouver set of Fringe.
orv, 32, is bubbly and makes herself chuckle a lot, unlike the serious nature of her character, Olivia Dunham, an FBI agent who works in the organization’s Fringe Division to solve strange problems of science that threaten mankind. Her role became a tad more complicated last year in the show’s second season, which revealed a whole new and different universe and a whole new and different Olivia.
Now in Season 3, Torv is playing both Olivia and her alternate-Earth self. Original-recipe Olivia is buttoned-up and blond, and Alt-Olivia’s more cocky and redheaded, but Olivia is stuck in the other universe and has to pose as Alt-Olivia to survive, while Alt-Olivia has infiltrated Olivia’s team — who think she’s the Olivia they know and love — as a double agent in the regular reality.
Don’t worry if you’re a little hazy on all that. So is Torv. “It gets kind of confusing keeping track,” she says, her Aussie accent giving way to the more American tones of Olivia every so often.
Asked what an alternate-universe Anna Torv would be like, the actress pauses. “That’s a good question. Oh yeah, I’d want her to be braver than me,” she says. “I think I am brave, but really it’s just in the privacy of my home. It’s where I have all the good ideas I never put into action.”
Though Torv carries a lot of geek cred in the sci-fi community, she’s not often a target of tabloids and gossip columnists. Her wedding to Human Target star Mark Valley in December of 2008 wasn’t held under the normal celebrity microscope, nor was their split this year.
Torv enjoys the bubble of Fringe that allows her a personal life. At the same time, though, “I don’t really do a lot,” she says with a laugh. “It’s not a joke: You hear actors always saying, ‘My favorite night is just to go home and sit in front of the TV.’ You stay out of trouble that way.”
Her character yearns to have a family aspect in her life, and Torv wants to start a family one day, too.
“I think that there will be children in my life,” she says, adding, “I don’t know when and I don’t know how, but I’m not thinking about that at the moment.”
Perhaps Fringe will discover another parallel universe where fans find out Olivia is a mom. Stranger things have happened, as Torv knows, since she’s a long way from that couch and cocoa.
“We’ll just keep going,” she says. “Each season, we just keep discovering more and more Olivias, and they just keep getting more and more different until I end up playing this Southern belle who reads palms.”
Anna is featured on the cover of the brand new issue of UK mag TV And Satellite Week and reveals what’s next for Fringe. 🙂
Anna will be on Ellen today. Local listings here: http://ellen.warnerbros.com/about/whenitson.php
On September 17th, the Fox television drama Fringe is returning for a second thrilling season, as it will continue to explore the unexplained phenomena and terrifying occurrences linked throughout the world, and known as “The Pattern,” in pursuit of a larger, more shocking truth.
The FBI’s Fringe Division formed when Special Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) enlisted the help of institutionalized fringe scientist Walter Bishop (John Noble) and his son, Peter (Joshua Jackson), to save her partner and lover from a shocking, indescribable death. Since then, the Fringe team imagines and tests the impossible while investigating unbelievable events, bizarre crimes and mystifying cases involving teleportation, reanimation, genetic mutation, precognition, artificial intelligence, and now parallel realities.
Series star Anna Torv spoke to the press about how Season 2 promises to answer questions, as well as bring new ones to the surface, while the dynamics between the three lead characters will continue to develop and shift.
Q: How will your character’s experiences with Walter and Peter change in Season 2?
Anna: I feel like it’s undeniable that Walter and Peter are the team, and Olivia is very much this singular person. The more information we get about these drug tests that went on and the abilities that Olivia keeps discovering that she has, you realize that Olivia’s partner is the Pattern. That’s what she’s connected to.
Q: What is the Pattern supposed to be?
Anna: Well, we’re not sure yet. At the moment, it really is just a pattern of events that this team has been investigating. The deeper they get, the same names keep popping up, but we’re still not quite sure. That’s the mystery.
PASADENA, Calif. — Leonard Nimoy, who made one guest appearance on “Fringe” last season in a pivotal role, will return in Season 2. And, according to the show’s producers, he’s welcome to appear any time.
“As much as he wants, truly,” executive producer Jeff Pinkner said. “We’ve made an open invitation. We’ve already filmed one of them.”
“There will be several more for sure,” added executive producer J.H. Wyman.
(The second-season premiere of “Fringe” is scheduled to air Thursday, Sept. 17, at 8 p.m. on Fox/Ch. 13)
Anna Torv, who stars as Olivia Dunham on “Fringe,” said it was “extremely” cool to have a sci-fi TV legend like Nimoy — most famous for his “Star Trek” role of Spock — on the set.
“Unfortunately, the set wasn’t very cool when he was on there, though,” she added. “It was like a heat wave in Vancouver.”
“Fringe” is produced in Vancouver, British Columbia, where you might think it would be cooler than, say, Los Angeles. But that isn’t always the case.
“It was 106 degrees outside,” Pinkner said. “And unlike Los Angeles or New York, the sound stages in Vancouver don’t have air-conditioning. It was 120-some degrees inside, and like a pro, (Nimoy) sat there all day. He never went back to his trailer, and did pages and pages and pages of dialogue and scenes with Anna.”
Premieres on Thursday, Sept. 17 (9/8c) on FOX
We last left Fringe in a very odd place. David Robert Jones (Jared Harris), the closest thing to an antagonist that the show has, was bisected by a closing dimensional rift, while Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) traveled to the alternate dimension to meet with William Bell (Leonard Nimoy). It was later revealed to the audience (though not to Peter) that Walter actually took Peter out of the alternate universe after this dimension’s Peter died as a child. It was a lot to chew on over the break, but don’t expect the season premiere to relieve much of the mystery. It is, after all, a show that thrives on mysteries.
However, if you’ve kept up with spoilers at all, you know that a new menagerie of characters will be coming to expand the series’ second season, which will begin with the episode “A New Day in the Old Town,” and will continue on with a string of strangely titled episodes (“The Night of Desirable Objects”? What’s that supposed to mean?). Here’s what FOX had to say about the new season.