Exclusive: Fringe Welcomes Home Olivia's Wicked Stepfather!

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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!



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Comments (304)

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

    Comment by Mikaylah – January 4, 2011 09:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Oooo exciting development. Great casting suggestions, Robert Knepper yes please. That guy creeps the hell outta me.

    Comment by irg19 – January 4, 2011 09:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by Matt – January 4, 2011 09:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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!

      Comment by Thusan – January 5, 2011 12:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I would actually love to see a more left-field choice. Christopher Eccleston!

    Comment by theoncominghope – January 4, 2011 09:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Oh, me like! Nine FTW!

      Comment by Michelle – January 4, 2011 09:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Great idea, but I think he might be a bit young. I can’t see him with Amy Madigan.

      Comment by tracyjj50 – January 5, 2011 07:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No doubt, Green Goblin… He scares the bejeezus out of me!

    Comment by Ashley – January 4, 2011 09:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love Michael Emerson! Best creepy bad guy, but is he, ever!

    Comment by BrieannaE – January 4, 2011 09:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Greenerpuddles – January 4, 2011 09:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Jay B – January 4, 2011 09:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by RyanT – January 4, 2011 09:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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?

    Comment by amy – January 4, 2011 09:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Peter Weller. He was great on Dexter this season.

    Comment by topoopon – January 4, 2011 09:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Peter Weller has already guested on Fringe (S2: White Tulip).

      Comment by MR – January 4, 2011 11:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No he was already on wasn’t he?

    Comment by topoopon – January 4, 2011 09:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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?

    Comment by Matt – January 4, 2011 09:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • How bout someone not so obvious…I’ll recommend Tim Roth. Wait, did I say not so obvious?

    Comment by James – January 4, 2011 09:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Charles – January 4, 2011 09:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Terry O’Quinn would be a fun choice… mainly because he’s familiar with the subject matter.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094035/

    Comment by Tim – January 4, 2011 09:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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 :)

    Comment by Mica – January 4, 2011 09:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Laura – January 4, 2011 10:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by xtrafis4fringe – January 4, 2011 10:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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”:
    http://www.karina.phanfare.com/JW/4705779_5211277#imageID=102642430

    Comment by Charles – January 4, 2011 10:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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!

      Comment by Kim – January 4, 2011 11:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m surprised you didn’t recommend William Fichtner, Mike! ;)

    Comment by Shane – January 4, 2011 10:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Malcolm McDowell

    Comment by Sylvia – January 4, 2011 11:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Shawn – January 4, 2011 11:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I vote for David Bowie. All kinds of awesome there. We’ve have David Robert Jones and Thomas Jerome Newton… why not Ziggy himself?

    Comment by Aimee – January 4, 2011 11:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • william fitcher (mahone from prison break) or fredric lehne (yellowed eyed demon from supernatural)

    Comment by Alex – January 5, 2011 12:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • James Remar. He has just the right blend of creepy and actual talent to pull off the role with credibility. For references, see Dexter.

    Comment by Yosef – January 5, 2011 12:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Ohh I like this idea!!

      Comment by tracyjj50 – January 5, 2011 07:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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’

    Comment by Pendras – January 5, 2011 01:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Er… Haven’t we had ENOUGH Olivia this season already? I want to see more about Walter and Peter.

    Comment by Rane – January 5, 2011 03:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • You mean, Olivia, the MAIN CHARACTER?

      Comment by amy – January 5, 2011 07:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Terry O’Quinn, Michael Emerson or Victor Garber, THAT would be amazing. Can’t wait to see who they cast.

    Comment by Vânia – January 5, 2011 04:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think Terry O’Quinn would be perfecty!

    Comment by Keith – January 5, 2011 05:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • JOHN MALKOVICH! please please! my favorite!!!!!

    Comment by gigi – January 5, 2011 05:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Don’t know who I dislike enough to take that role. None of the above.

    Comment by Maryann Craven – January 5, 2011 05:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by DL – January 5, 2011 05:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sam Neil would be awesome. AWESOME.

    Comment by Dijea – January 5, 2011 05:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Trish – January 5, 2011 06:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • MATTHEW FOX! I know it doesn’t make sense, but I can’t wait to see him back on my screens. Lol

    Comment by James – January 5, 2011 08:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Titus Welliver

    Comment by Roxanne – January 5, 2011 08:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Chiana – January 5, 2011 12:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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?

      Comment by Aicha – January 5, 2011 12:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Robert Knepper or Terry O’ Quinn

    Comment by Michael – January 5, 2011 12:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Gary Oldman!

    Comment by Peg – January 5, 2011 12:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’d love to see Sean Bean play her dad. He can go from sympathetic to scary in a matter of seconds.

    Comment by Nancy R. Wilde – January 5, 2011 12:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!

    Comment by Matt – January 5, 2011 12:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Malkovich or Knepper! They are the creepiest of the creepy!

    Comment by Kelly – January 5, 2011 12:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • i vote for john malkovich!!!! :) in first and for john voight for second choice!! ;)

    Comment by zoe de grece – January 5, 2011 12:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Id like it to be Terry O’Quinn

    Comment by Max – January 5, 2011 12:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think Terrence Stamp would be a good fit!

    Comment by T – January 5, 2011 12:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Greg – January 5, 2011 12:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Michael Emerson

    Comment by Chris – January 5, 2011 12:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Terry O’Quinn Would defo work for me! The guy is very mysteriously looking + Looks like Olivia + GREAT ACTOR! Watched lost mostly of him.

    Comment by Glammy – January 5, 2011 12:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!!

    Comment by Vida – January 5, 2011 12:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My vote is John Malkovich,love him!

    Comment by Trish Keen – January 5, 2011 12:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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