Fringe Exclusive: Anna Torv Shares Her Take On a Very Spocking Twist

Viewers of Fox’s Fringe (Fridays at 9/8c) were left to utterly geek out at the close of last week’s episode, when William Bell’s “soul magnets” theory proved legit, and the late great scientist inhabited Olivia’s body.

Make no mistake, Anna Torv herself was agog when she first learned of the twist – one that forced into her repertoire a third Fringe characterization. “This is not one I had been asking for!” the actress admits with a laugh. “I was in shock for the first day, and then I think I hyperventilated, and then I called John Noble to say, ‘Can you please help me?’”

Torv’s reasons for turning to Walter’s portrayer were twofold. “When you are about to do something you’re kind of freaked out about, you want to be able to look up and know there’s a safe place to go to – and it’s there in John’s eyes,” she explains. And because Noble was in most of Leonard Nimoy’s scenes as “Belly,” Torv says, “I wanted to know what that relationship was like.”

Fringe Exclusive First Look Video: The Fight to Extract William From Olivia Begins!

Because she is Australian and already affecting an American accent for her portrayal of Olivia/”Bolivia,” Torv studied tapes of Nimoy’s Fringe work as well as consulted with the show’s dialect coach. Ultimately, though, she had to just jump in with both feet. “I’m no good at doing voices, mimicking people, so once I realized, ‘S—t, I can’t do this,’ you just take a deep breath and go for it.”

Bell’s most unexpected and equally unorthodox “return” promises to have a significant impact on the “machine” storyline that has Peter fretting over his fate as well as that of this universe. As Torv notes, the late genius “has a lot of information that we don’t have, so he’s an awesome resource for the team. And for Walter to have someone to work with is another [advantage].” Or could it be a liability…?

Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on Glee, Bones, Fringe and More

And as one might imagine, Olivia’s “possession” puts a pin in her nascent romance with Peter. “Well, yeah,” Torv confirms with a laugh. “I don’t think Peter is going to want to go to bed with William Bell!”

In other words, it’s business as usual for that oft-interrupted relationship. “Every time they sort of get it together,” Torv says, “something gets in the way.”

As if Torv taking on Spock wasn’t enough for this week’s Fringe, viewers will also finally meet this universe’s iteration of Lincoln Lee (played by Seth Gabel), who “over there” is one of Bolivia’s partners in crimefighting.

“See, that’s what I’m so excited about. You just don’t get to do that on other shows,” Torv says of Gabel’s own turn at double duty. “Seth on this side I think is just awesome. The Lincoln Lee of our world is a very cool character.”

Cool characters are obviously something the Fringe writers are never in short supply of – even if several of them seem to be played by a certain Aussie beauty. But Torv is thrilled, as an actress, to have such a wild sandbox to play in.

“It’s been a really fun season, particularly with the Bell stuff,” she says. “To work from the outside in, when I’m usually much more focused on what I’m thinking, has been great. I’ve never had the chance to play like I have this year before. I’m so grateful to the guys to keep giving me stuff to do!”

And if they have something even wilder waiting in the wings for (cross your fingers) Season 4? “I’ve made a decision,” Torv tells us. “I’m just going to go with it!”

Fringe fans: After getting Torv’s take and checking out our exclusive video, are you looking even more forward to seeing how this latest twist plays out?

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. mack says:


    Charming as always.

    I like the Bellivia storyline but I don’t like it interrupting things with Peter and olivia.

  2. Jeff says:

    Will be looking forward to “our” Lincoln Lee. Am sure Fringe will be renewed for a season 4.

  3. darclyte says:

    I nearly feel out of my seat when she pulled out the Nimoy voice. While not perfect, it gets the job done.
    I’ve been WAITING for Fringe Prime to bring in Lincoln Lee. I would have thought that Olivia, having worked with the “over there” version, would have made a suggestion to see if this guy is around and what he does as the “alt” version of him is SUCH an asset.
    As I understand it, he is VERY different than the “over there” version, much like how “our” Astrid and “their” Astrid are very different (but obviously NOT in the same type of way.)

    • darclyte says:

      Oops, nice typo. Obviously that was supposed to be “fell” not “feel,” although the seat I was in at the time is very soft.

    • Dan says:

      Torv’s Nimoy impression ‘isn’t perfect, but gets the job done’? Give me a break, for crying out loud.

      Torv – Australian
      Nimoy – American

      Torv – woman
      Nimoy – man

      Torv – 31
      Nimoy – 79

      Then throw in the fact Nimoy has such a distinctive voice – which in a lot of ways, with the differences listed above, can make impersonation harder – I thought the accent was spot on. But then I haven’t heard your perfect Nimoy yet…Give credit where it’s due!

      • eightbit says:

        Agreed 100%! I was incredibly impressed with how well Torv pulled off such an amazing impersonation. Nimoy has such a distinctive way of speaking that doesn’t just restrict itself to voice but is in his facial expression as well. Torv brought not only the speech but the affected expressions to life in her own face and character. Brilliantly executed, not just a ‘get the job done’ situation here.

      • Nina says:

        I would give credit if it were due – but it’s not. Who gets credit for not succeeding at something it’s their job to do?

        It doesn’t matter why it’s a challenge to do, it only matters that she didn’t meet the challenge. It’s her job as an actress to be other people so saying it’s not her fault that she couldn’t be this character because it was difficult is just saying it’s not her fault she’s not good at her job. I disagree.

        The fact that Nimoy’s voice and speech pattern is so distinctive *should* have made it easier rather than harder. She swung and missed. Doesn’t make her a bad person, but pretending it isn’t her fault doesn’t help matters either.

  4. Jason says:

    Anna Torv is radballs.

  5. Michael Sacal says:

    I’ve wondered if Lincoln Lee was solely created as a replacement for Olivia’s partner from season one because they can’t get him back on the show.

    • Zayne says:

      Uh, Charlie (Olivia’s season 1 partner) has been in every Over There episode so far. Clearly, if he did have differences with the creators, they’re resolved. I’ve loved seeing Charlie back.

      Unless you’re wondering if Lincoln was created at the end of season 2 Over There to eventually bring on in Our World as a replacement for Charlie. If so, I’m very on board with that because I really like Lincoln Over There and would love to see the dynamic his counterpart would bring to the team on a weekly basis. Can’t wait for tonight!


      Firefly, Sarah Connor, and Dollhouse judge you!

    • vodeeodoe says:

      John Scott was the character’s name and he’s currently the star of a tv show called Human Target. So he probably won’t be back, but never say never on this show – amiright? !

      • rachel says:

        Actually this on this one I think you can say never. I believe Anna Torv was married to the guy who played John Scott and they are now divorced. I’m assuming that’s why the over there Olivia had a different, though similar looking boyfriend.

  6. Cortexifan says:

    You go girl. Can’t wait for tonight. Fringe fules!

  7. Pamela says:

    She is wonderful and such an excellent actress!

  8. anto33 says:

    It will be interesting to see our Lincoln,I was curious about it.And the Bell-Olivia storyline is weird.I guess they did that because Nimoy said he is acting no more.The idea that a bell(do you get it ,a BELL?) can bring someone’s soul back is quite crazy,even for Fringe standars.I hope they manage to make a believable story.

  9. Lola says:

    Anna Torv, got to hell. Joshua jackson is ruined because of you!

    • santa1563 says:

      um…what?! how so?

    • Z says:

      u jelly? lol

    • Charlotte says:

      To Lola: Please, your comment is inappropriate. This simply isn’t the place for it. The storyline is amazing, all of the actors are first class and it speaks to an intelligent audience. Just enjoy it for what it is!

    • nas says:

      this troll strikes again – everysingle forum? really?? have u NO life at all??

    • Nina says:

      While I’ll agree that Anna Torv’s acting difficulties in this role(s) occasionally must make it difficult for the other actors in the show (as a big part of acting is reacting to the others in the scene). I neither believe that any of the others are ruined because of her, nor do I wish her ill will.

      I would like it if the producers/writers would stop trying so hard to make her the focus but not get rid of her completely!

  10. Carrie says:

    Anna Torv is terrific. I LOOOVE this show!

  11. Johnny says:

    Anna Torv is a goddess!

    I hope Bell won’t be around for too long because I miss Olivia this season; she’s been everyone but her.

  12. vodeeodoe says:

    I don’t want to be a pessimist, but they keep delaying the ourverse love story so much that I think Peter will eventually end up with Fauxlivia. Now I’m wondering if ourlivia will end up with our Lincoln, because that guy is so into her in the altverse… I’m so confused!

  13. Derek says:

    I think she’s much too hard on herself if she thinks she’s no good at doing voices. I would have recognized her voice as impersonating Leonard Nimoy even without the surrounding plotline…

  14. Christina says:

    Anna Torv is amazing! I love her, she is so talented.
    I’m looking forward to seeing our Lincon as well.

    Fringe is the most awesome show ever. If I had one wish only I would wish that the fringe world was real, and then I’d go befriend Walter from our side. That other guy doesn’t really seem like someone easy to befriend. :P

  15. Muckbeast says:

    There is no Bolivia. Its FAUXlivia.

    Get it right.

    Even the writers of Fringe acknowledged it in an episode of the show, where the characters mentioned that they were “calling her Fauxlivia now.”

    Any tv writer/critic who uses the Bolivia term now is really showing their ignorance.

    • gerritv says:

      The show’s Closed Captioning refers to Alt-Olivia as Bolivia whenever she’s on. Isn’t that a little strange?

    • Nicky says:

      I’ve always wondered where they got the name Bolivia – what’s the B supposed to mean?

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Huh. I will have to correct Joshua Jackson then, who on the set in Vancouver repeatedly used BOlivia (as in Olivia “B” from the “B” side).

  16. JasTay says:

    What’s with Aussie female leads playing mutiple characters in TV shows. First Toni Collette on United States of Tara and now Anna Torv on Fringe. Where’s Anna’s Emmy?

    • Lianne says:

      While not Australian, I also recall the fabulous Lucy Lawless playing several characters in Xena, and sometimes at the same time. Lets see, there was Meg, Diana, Xena, and a Hestian Priestess. Meg pretending to be Xena, Xena pretending to be Diana, Meg pretending to be the Hestian Priestess… it was all wonderful and she did it all so very well.

  17. phamster says:

    William Bell is gonna comeback as William Shatner!

  18. Cale says:

    Fringe is by far the best put-together sci fi show on air. I was a sceptic all through season one but by season two when I actually saw the story begin to show it’s self I was hooked. I love fringe and if FOX even thinks of canceling this show I will be permanently living outside the fox building in LA patitioning until they get I back on. It’s bad enough that the few good shows always seem to get dropped while the lame-ass crap reality and teen drama shows always seem to rule the tv network. Just saying.
    Keep up the good work fringe cast/creators, you have me watching til the very end.

  19. dorish says:

    Ana Torv is spellbinding. When she flickered into Liv and back it was amazing. The twists in the story line are so much fun and the rest of the incredible acting is iciing on my Fringe Cake. Love it.

  20. Jen says:

    Oh, please, please, please. Powers That Be. Give us a Season 4. Please. I’ll give you my first born child. Promise. :-)))

  21. sladewilson says:

    If Anna Torv doesn’t at least get an Emmy nomination next year, somebody on that board should be waterboarded!!! She’s been killin esp. this season. Great work, Anna!!

    If FOX cancels Fringe, trust me – there will be a riot!!!

  22. Paige says:

    I totally agree that Anna deserves an award for her portrayal of Bell!!! She was absolutely spell binding, and any real Nimoy fan would see it in an instant. She got the phrasing, nuances, and attitude spot on!! FANTASTIC job!!

  23. Bircher says:

    My husband and I enjoy Fringe. It’s unique story line keeps us watching every week. I hope Bell finds a human host, but whatever they choose for him I know it will be entertaining. I love all the twists the writers have come up with. We enjoy Walter’s character, mystery and laughter makes a good mix.

  24. Lily says:

    This episode was AWESOME. Anna Torv has been amazing all season long, but if anyone doesn’t think she deserves an Emmy, this episode was proof positive that she does. Loving Seth Gabel as well. Would love to see him on a regular basis, he’s a great actor.

  25. HP says:

    Love Anna Torv this season! The Bell voice is dead on, but the physical nuances really take the cake. I’m loving the occasional eyebrow raises and changes in posture. It just goes to show that she is an awesome actress that she can play 3 different characters that truly seem like separate individuals (esp Olivia and Fauxlivia).
    Just an all around talented and classy woman.

  26. Claudia says:

    How amazing it would be if William Bell stay on Fringe as Gene? LMAO

  27. Nina says:

    HAHAHAHA!! Truly, shapeshifters dream of most of the posters on here. I really hope Anna isn’t “playing” Bell for too long as it is really quite painful to watch.
    Anyway, here’s a thought on where to put Bell’s consciousness: He designed the shapeshifters right? He tells Walter how to build one, or repair one of the ones they’ve “killed” and he downloads into one of them. Then they could make him played by whatever actor they can get – and theoretically, he can shift into other actors as required since he’s a shapeshifter!

  28. Zoe says:

    Anna is doing FANTASTIC! She’s got Belly’s character right down to the eyebrows. She’s a delight to watch.