Eye on Emmy: As Fringe's Anna Torv Says One Sad Goodbye, She Braces for the Biggest One
“I… I can’t even… I don’t even want to think about it,” she says of bidding Agent Olivia Dunham’s alt self goodbye. Shaking her head in disbelief and with palpable affection for a fictional being coloring her voice, she shares, “I’m totally going to miss her! I can’t believe they let me have her for so long.”
The moment seemed only appropriate to tell the Aussie beauty that this reporter harbored a bit of a crush on that rascally redhead from the “red” ‘verse. “I do, too!” she confides. “She’s so cute, and easy, and fun…. Because [Alt] Lincoln was always the leader of that team, she was always able to be a little more loose. She didn’t have to carry the show.”
THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
Torv makes no secret of her immense love for Season 3, which toggled between the “blue” (prime) and “red” (alternate) universes and dangled so, so much Emmy bait. “I’ve missed that back-and-forth,” she admits. Yet Season 4 — in which Peter’s presence in a timeline that heretofore didn’t acknowledge him eventually led Olivia to “remember” how things used to be — presented new notes for the actress to play.
“Any opportunity I get for Olivia to not be so dour all the time, I sort of relish,” Torv smiles. “When she gets her memories back, I didn’t want her to be troubled by it. I wanted her to be truly, ‘This is a great feeling and I don’t want to let this go!’ So that was one of my favorite little parts of the year.”
Speaking of small moments, I had to ask Torv about that look, the one exchanged between Fauxlivia and our Lincoln Lee as the bespectacled G-man revealed his decision to stay on the Other side as the bridge between the worlds closed down. Did the badass beauty actually blush?
“Oh yeah,” Torv confirmed, reminding that the foundation for the agents’ compatability was previously established during a convo between Olivia and her alt self. “[Altlivia] says of Peter, ‘Ah, the Secretary’s son. He’s a real bad boy,” and Olivia goes, ‘Just your type.’ And she’s like, ‘No, actually I like the nice guys.’ Because that’s who she is. That’s why our Lincoln is more suited to her than the Alt Lincoln.”
Whereas the aforementioned Fringe Season 3 asked Torv to play Olivia, Altlivia, one-posing-as-the-other and — because why not? — Olivia-channeling-Mr. Spock, Season 4 in its final hours dealt the actress another new challenge, by “powering up” her alter ego.
Yet even as Olivia was overcome with newfangled cortexiphantastic abilities, Torv ably portrayed someone not giddy about new gadgets but tentative about their nature.
“That stuff is the bloody challenge!” she attests. “How do you do stuff with your mind? When you’re not even looking at anything but a green screen? [Exploding] the lights was easier, but that scene where she’s punching through the air [to help Peter clobber David Robert Jones]…? I haven’t even looked at it, because that was just so awkward to do. But that’s the stuff [the writers] don’t think about. ‘Oh, that’d be cool!’ Yeah? Try doing it!” she relates with a laugh.
Looking to Fringe‘s final, 13-episode season, Torv confirms that Season 4′s Episode 19 – in which she did not appear (thus affording her a chance to hang with her visiting mum in Vancouver) – will inform what’s to come. Though she has not yet been made privy to how much of a time jump will occur between seasons, she’s confident that, save for maybe flashbacks, we won’t see Olivia pregnant. But other than that, “I’m not sure where Olivia is,” given her eventual and rather conspicuous MIA status in the year 2036.
“I don’t know if they’ll go for it,” she starts with a chuckle, “but I would love for her to have not been put in amber [like her team mates], but for her to have been hanging around…. sitting on the sidelines and teaching [daughter] Etta the ropes, sort of pulling the strings from behind, where the Observers can’t get her.”
Such a scenario presents, however, an “age”-old problem. And Torv knows it, yet has a fix for it. “People are like, ‘But what about you aging?’ And I’m like, ‘She’s been on cortexiphan!’ Then I would be able to work with Georgina [Haig, Etta]” – if the other Australian actress comes back.
Then again, it very well may be Olivia’s destiny to die a hero’s death. “I’d be happy with that, too,” Torv allows. “Yeah. I would be happy with that.”
WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DUNHAM….
What doesn’t make Torv happy, of course, is the prospect of ultimately bidding Fringe and her castmates farewell, once these next 13 episodes are in the can. ”I don’t think anybody’s really thinking about that” – yet – “but there will definitely be tears at the end, because it’s a huge chunk of my life – and a massively important one, too.”
And though her Fringe run got off to a rocky start, Torv says she would “absolutely” be game to follow it up with another TV turn.
“It’s interesting because after the first season, which was really rough — you don’t know what to expect, and I felt like a deer in the headlights – I was like, ‘I’ll never do TV again. I just couldn’t.’ But after the second year you start to see all of the good stuff. And then after the third season you’re like, ‘Absolutely.’ And now? Absolutely.”