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Fringe stars talk past, present and future

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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