Exclusive: Fringe Welcomes Home Olivia's Wicked Stepfather!

As if you needed another reason to follow Fringe to its new Friday time slot, sources confirm to me exclusively that later this season, producers are planning to introduce a new Big Bad — perhaps the largest, worst Big Bad of them all: Olivia’s abusive (and never-before-seen) stepfather.

As you know, a 9-year-old Olivia — tired of watching her stepdad mercilessly beat her mother — shot and nearly killed the evil-doer. He eventually disappeared to parts unknown but has continued to send her cryptic messages every year on her birthday. What brings him back into the fold? And better yet, who should play the MIA monster? Let’s leave the first Q to the producers and the second one to Mr. Armchair Casting Director (that’s me!).

Michael Emerson: Not only is he probably one of the few actors who takes “Oh my God, you’re so creepy!” as a compliment, but this gig would keep him busy until things really get hopping on the pilot he’s hatching with his former Lost boss, Fringe producer J.J. Abrams.

Terry O’Quinn: If Abrams thinks Emerson is the wrong shade of black hat to menace his Fringe heroine, perhaps his other muse, Lost’s Locke, could fit the bill. He, too, should have a little free time before that pilot he’s doing with Abrams and Emerson kicks into high gear.

Robert Knepper: I haven’t enjoyed a piping-hot cup of English Breakfast since Prison Break put T-Bag’s portrayer on the map. Thank goodness his character wasn’t named Scones. I really love scones.

Jon Voight: His stints as 24’s controversial’s controversial Season 7 heavy and the de facto Jock Ewing of Fox’s short-lived Lone Star reminded us that this acting heavyweight is way more than just Angelina’s dad.

Willem Dafoe: I’m sure he’s a very nice fellow and all, but the erstwhile Green Goblin’s face alone frightens me. If he has lines, too — which, um, in most roles, he tends to — forget it.

Gary Oldman: Besides being a 100-percent brillopants thesp, the onetime Dracula brings just the right amount of out-there to his work to fit right in on Fringe.

John Malkovich: What’s better than being John Malkovich? John Malkovich being villainous. Sure, he’s more than gifted enough to play Mr. Nice Guy, but it’s so much more fun when he doesn’t. (For a probably less expensive option: Think Big Love casualty Zeljko Ivanek. He and Malkovich are practically evil twins.)

Who do you think should play Olivia’s Stepdaddy Dearest? Drop your suggestions in the comments section below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Mikaylah says:

    Willem Dafoe is definitely creepy! Gary Oldman would be a good choice too, I think. :)

  2. irg19 says:

    Oooo exciting development. Great casting suggestions, Robert Knepper yes please. That guy creeps the hell outta me.

    • Matt says:

      I don’t know how old he actually is, but Knepper seems to play a little young to her father. Torv is in her 30s, Knepper has a face to play a guy in his 40s.

    • Thusan says:

      I agree, Robert Knepper seems more like he could be Olivia’s father than the others. They could gray up his hair a bit. But if Fringe could get David Bowie…that would be the perfect actor!

  3. I would actually love to see a more left-field choice. Christopher Eccleston!

  4. Ashley says:

    No doubt, Green Goblin… He scares the bejeezus out of me!

  5. BrieannaE says:

    I love Michael Emerson! Best creepy bad guy, but is he, ever!

  6. Greenerpuddles says:

    I’ve really enjoyed seeing Lee Majors pop up on TV from time to time. Strong jaw, red hair, solid scowl and was the Six Million Dollar Man.

  7. Jay B says:

    NOT Voight! He is the most boring villian actor ever.

    I’d love to see one of the Lost alums get this gig. Both actors would fit well on this show.

  8. RyanT says:

    My comment seemed to have been eaten up. If this shows up twice, my bad…

    Anyways, I think those choices are great, but a little too on-the-nose. Someone I’d really like to see for the role? Victor Garber. Think about it and I think everyone would love it, too.

  9. amy says:

    Though both Michael Emerson and Terry O’Quinn are awesome, but won’t they be filming their pilot soon? Willem Dafoe would be an interesting choice, and it seems like he might take the right high-quality TV gig.

    The bigger question is, Is Olivia’s wicked stepfather somehow tied into the greater mythology? Oh, how creepy would it have been for him to show up in the Redverse, still married to her mother?

  10. topoopon says:

    Peter Weller. He was great on Dexter this season.

  11. topoopon says:

    No he was already on wasn’t he?

  12. Matt says:

    Peter Weller? Not bad, was a little too quirky on Dexter for my taste, but he can obviously play it a different direction.

    Robert Patrick maybe?

  13. James says:

    How bout someone not so obvious…I’ll recommend Tim Roth. Wait, did I say not so obvious?

  14. Charles says:

    Powers Boothe would be insanely intimidating.
    However, seeing as they have already used Jared Harris, I would say Michael Emerson would be best play foil to the entire Fringe division. He could easily disarm Walter, upset Olivia, outplay Peter, throw Boyles off his trail… and… make Astrid order the wrong cup of coffee, or something.

  15. Tim says:

    Terry O’Quinn would be a fun choice… mainly because he’s familiar with the subject matter.


  16. Mica says:

    UGGH I’M BETWEEN MICHAEL EMERSON, TERRY O’QUINN AND GARY OLDMAN. But I’m sure people would love to see some Lost – Fringe crossover :)

  17. Laura says:

    Michael Emerson on Fringe? I’ve got chills. He is such an amazing villian. I love Gary Oldman as well but…if he had this role I would have to love him. And I really don’t want to love a guy who beat little Olivia :( But I am all for Tim Roth, I mean just picture it! It’s gold.

  18. xtrafis4fringe says:

    Dafoe is WAY TOO CREEPY. And i don’t think he’s good at being villain either. I don’t want him anywhere near Anna Torv (or little version of Olive!). OKAY. Terry is fine, and he could be great for the part. I pick him.

  19. Charles says:

    Another idea: Since Anna Torve and John Noble both were on the show “Young Lions” (According to iMDB, at least), perhaps they can someone from that show? Show a little more love for the Australian actors. John Waters, perhaps? He kind of has that Fringe “look”:

    • Kim says:

      Though technically he hails from New Zealand, Sam Neill plays creepy well and good – did anyone see the shot in Australia vampire scifi film Daybreakers, where he played an “is he good/or is he evil” daddy to one of the main characters? So he can total pull off the genre, plus he frequently forays into TV as a guest star, so its not outside the realm of possibility.

      But on the other hand, I totally second Michael Emerson as No. 1 choice, and they could very realistically age him to look 55/60. The lack of Michael on our screens is just sacrilegious. Hope he is available!

  20. Shane says:

    I’m surprised you didn’t recommend William Fichtner, Mike! ;)

  21. Sylvia says:

    Malcolm McDowell

  22. Shawn says:

    Zero possibility on both Ian McKellan or Patrick Stewart. The role probably would be better served with someone who has a presence to them not just a creepy factor.

  23. Aimee says:

    I vote for David Bowie. All kinds of awesome there. We’ve have David Robert Jones and Thomas Jerome Newton… why not Ziggy himself?

  24. Alex says:

    william fitcher (mahone from prison break) or fredric lehne (yellowed eyed demon from supernatural)

  25. Yosef says:

    James Remar. He has just the right blend of creepy and actual talent to pull off the role with credibility. For references, see Dexter.

  26. Pendras says:

    if it was sam neil id HAVE to love him. same with gary oldman and john voight (which im confused as why his name is on there i mean even a good actor like him i cant see him hitting a kid )

    i say terry all the way he screams ‘bad guy stepdad’

  27. Rane says:

    Er… Haven’t we had ENOUGH Olivia this season already? I want to see more about Walter and Peter.

  28. Vânia says:

    Terry O’Quinn, Michael Emerson or Victor Garber, THAT would be amazing. Can’t wait to see who they cast.

  29. Keith says:

    I think Terry O’Quinn would be perfecty!

  30. gigi says:

    JOHN MALKOVICH! please please! my favorite!!!!!

  31. Maryann Craven says:

    Don’t know who I dislike enough to take that role. None of the above.

  32. DL says:

    I think Michael Emerson is too young, but O’Quinn would be amazing. Knepper and Voight are also good choices for me. Also, considering that you mention Zeljko Ivanek, why not… Zeljko Ivanek?

    But my absolute, first-choice casting that I would love to see would be Robert Patrick. He’s a fantastic actor, and very powerful with a very commanding presence, but can also be dark and somewhat vile (see his guest appearance on L&O: SVU). It would also be a sweet X-Files throwback since Fringe is (in my opinion) the spiritual successor to The X-Files. All around perfect for what I’d like to see.

  33. Dijea says:

    Sam Neil would be awesome. AWESOME.

  34. Trish says:

    The Fringe casting directors have done such an awesome job on this show, I’d like to see someone unknown, but awesome. I don’t like to be taken out of the moment by some super-recognizable face when watching a show like this.

  35. James says:

    MATTHEW FOX! I know it doesn’t make sense, but I can’t wait to see him back on my screens. Lol

  36. Roxanne says:

    Titus Welliver

  37. Chiana says:

    I’d like to see John Lithgow (another Dexter villain). He wonderfully combines charm/comedy with menace/evil. He also has the size to pull off a physical threat with Peter.
    I thought of John initially because that’s whom I thought was in the photo, only on second look did I realize it was somebody else (John Malkovich? Doesn’t quite look like him).
    Although I like the Lost and Prison Break actors, I think they’re too closely associated with their shows. I think Lithgow is such a character actor, that he can quickly make you forget your previous associations. Or a fairly unknown character actor. Supernatural hires some great actors (with fairly substantial resumes) that I haven’t seen much before. Plus, they’re already in the Vancouver area – a great benefit.

    • Aicha says:

      I think so, John Lithgow has the right amount of abusive daddy and nemesis essence. Though, we already seen him playing this part in Dexter. All the actors listed above are really big names and great actors but i don’t think that any of them has the Fringe factor on their image. Someone with a mixture of sinister, distance and purely evil intellectual look will do just fine (but we have no information on the character profile). But the same question again; WHO?

  38. Michael says:

    Robert Knepper or Terry O’ Quinn

  39. Peg says:

    Gary Oldman!

  40. Nancy R. Wilde says:

    I’d love to see Sean Bean play her dad. He can go from sympathetic to scary in a matter of seconds.

  41. Matt says:

    You HAVE to go with O’Quinn, he LOOKS the part, you don’t want someone that doesn’t even LOOK like Olivia being her dad, that’s just dumb, you want your audience to BELIEVE that they are related. They look very close to the same build and if you’ve seen lost you know how mean and angry Terry can get! He get’s my vote!

  42. Kelly says:

    Malkovich or Knepper! They are the creepiest of the creepy!

  43. zoe de grece says:

    i vote for john malkovich!!!! :) in first and for john voight for second choice!! ;)

  44. Max says:

    Id like it to be Terry O’Quinn

  45. T says:

    I think Terrence Stamp would be a good fit!

  46. Greg says:

    John Glover (Smallville, Brimstone), don’t know about the physical side of things but he was brilliant as Lex Luthors kindly/abusive father. Got to agree with Powers Booth also, though I’ve now got an image of Ian McShane (Deadwood) in Fringe.

  47. Chris says:

    Michael Emerson

  48. Glammy says:

    Terry O’Quinn Would defo work for me! The guy is very mysteriously looking + Looks like Olivia + GREAT ACTOR! Watched lost mostly of him.

  49. Vida says:

    Ok Since I’m a HUGE fan of Liv’s and we are also the same age!! I would love to see Terry O. Quinn make a debut on Fringe since he was such a HUGE part of Lost. Don’t forget Fringe fans, good ole’ Terry Quinn was famous as “The Stepfather” movie franchise!! He was crazy back in the 80’s so I’m 100% sure he can bring it to Sci-Fi on Fox Friday night!! Go!!! Terry Quinn!!

  50. Trish Keen says:

    My vote is John Malkovich,love him!