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!
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.
One week after Fringe’s time-traveling, parallel world-bridging, and thoroughly brain melting season 3 finale, fans of the Fox sci-fi series are still steaming with burning questions. Did Peter (Joshua Jackson) erase himself from history? Who took the doomsday machine back into the paleolithic past? And whatever happened to the Blimp Guy that Olivia (Anna Torv) predicted would one day kill her? We culled our message boards for the most frequently-posed inquiries and then presented them to Fringe masterminds Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman. They were kind enough to respond, even if they acknowledged that for now, there’s little they can actually say. After all: There isgoing to be fourth season.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The finale was filled with glimpses of the Fringe future – or possible Fringe future — from a mysterious, maybe tragic event in Detroit to whatever happened Broyles’ eye. How invested should we be in that version of 2026? Should we be keeping these bits in mind moving forward, or were they just fun ways to flesh out the episode’s possible future?
J.H. WYMAN: It’s both. We loved the idea of going into the future and back again, because it allowed us to inform the present of the show with some thematic elements. So if we feel that we need an element of that future to enhance the drama in the present, we’re going to tell that story. Going forward, that glimpse of the future will be part of the tapestry of Fringe, but don’t expect to [go] there a lot. But what we know now — and this is the important part — is that our world is going to break down. That’s what’s waiting for us. I think the fans should be like: “That’s not a future we should be interested in getting to.”
JEFF PINKNER: To further that, one of the things we love to play with is the notion of choice versus fate/synchronicity. Clearly, what Peter did at the end of that episode is that he fundamentally changed the future. Our team is [now] on a separate path. It is unlikely that we’ll get to that specific outcome in 2026. But are events like what happened in Detroit inevitable in any version of the future? TBD.
WYMAN: And we do want people to invest in those questions. We know what happened in Detroit. We know how Broyles lost his eye.
At the end of the finale, we were left to believe that Peter’s consciousness came back to the 2011 present and that he made a different choice than the one that led to the 2026 future. It also appeared that his new choice affected all of history — past, present, and future. He may have even eradicated himself from existence. Can you shed any light on how we should be thinking about the ramifications of all this? Should we be debating tricky concepts like Grandfather Paradox and how they may be relevant to the story?
PINKNER: Absolutely. The most telling part — the most meaningful part — as it relates to Peter is when Walter in the future looked at him and said: “Bringing your consciousness forward in time will have consequences.” And there was a very meaningful, pregnant look between Walter and Peter. Much of the season was about Walter getting comfortable with the notion that he may really have to sacrifice Peter to undo all the damage he has done to the universe. He wasn’t ultimately faced with that choice until 2026. That’s what that choice was supposed to represent.
EW: Is William Bell (Leonard Nimoy) gone for good?
PINKNER: TBD for sure.
WYMAN: For sure.
In the episode “Lysergic Acid Diethylamide,“ our heroes saw a mysterious, menacing man aboard a blimp. Later, Olivia declared that this man would one day kill her. Are we ever going to return to Blimp Guy and that idea?
PINKNER: It’s definitely still in play. Without being too spoilery, there are things you think you have time to explore in any given season, but don’t. But yes, we are very interested in that moment and the implications of that.
WYMAN: A lot of people are wondering: “How did she know he will kill her?” We have an answer for that.
EW: What was the significance of Future Olivia’s fiery water burial?
PINKNER: The idea there was that based on deteriorating conditions of the world at that time, bodies are buried at sea or burned.
The opening credit sequence included a new black and silver color scheme and several new words, like “HOPE” “WATER” and “BIOSUSPENSION.” How were those words pertinent to the season finale?
WYMAN: They weren’t so much pertinent to the finale but for the introduction of the future of the show. In the past, we used words in the credit sequence as signposts for the episode. But this is a new paradigm.
My theory is that those words were clues meant to suggest that next year, Peter will be found in cryogenic suspended animation at the bottom of Reiden Lake near his childhood home.
PINKNER: We can neither confirm nor deny your theories!
Have we seen the last of Sam Weiss?
PINKNER: We’ll see.
Have we seen the last of Moreau, the future terrorist introduced in the finale, played by Brad Dourif?
WYMAN: Brad is such a fantastic actor. We are keeping our options open
Who took the “doomsday machine” back in time?
PINKNER: Either Walter mechanically put the machine through the wormhole or some human being traveled through the wormhole and took it back. Whether or not we’ll follow up on that, we’ll see. Hopefully the notion that came across was that “The First People” included at least Walter, and that he created the machine and sent it through time.
My theory is that a whole army of Peter clones accompanied the machine back through time. That was the significance of Future Peter telling Future Olivia that he was confident they would one day produce a bunch of little Bishops.
PINKNER AND WYMAN: [Laughter.]
One reader writes: “Dear Mr. Pinkner and Mr. Wyman, Please, please, please tell me that Lincoln and Charlie will remain part of the show next season!!”
WYMAN: We love them, too.
Is this the end of the Peter/Olivia romance? Or is that still in play?
PINKNER: Well, at the moment, Peter’s not even in play, so that curtails a relationship. And at the moment there are two Olivias, so it would be interesting to have a love triangle with just two Olivias. It seems a large portion of our fanbase was initially resistant to the idea of a relationship but got on board. We’re still very much interested in exploring it. Hopefully this is a long and unfolding story. We don’t want to shut down any avenues, be it Bell or Lincoln and Charlie or Peter/Olivia.
WYMAN: We think people are invested in the relationship, and we are, too.
PINKNER: We have said from the beginning that Fringe is a family drama masquerading as a science fiction/investigation show. But it’s called Fringe because it’s about three characters that live on the fringe of life and society and have a hard time dealing with their own emotions, but who find each other and find connection with each other. We will remain true to that.
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.
To get some tips how you can find a similar outfit like Anna’s, click here