Eye on Emmy: As Fringe's Anna Torv Says One Sad Goodbye, She Braces for the Biggest One

Anna Torv simply isn’t ready to talk about it yet, the loss she experienced as part of Fringe‘s penultimate season finale.

“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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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  1. Am I the only one who thought that the first episode of Fringe for the new season SUCKED BIG TIME. No alt universe??? How is that possible? I mean, isn’t that what the whole premise of Fringe was about originally? This first episode just was like starting a whole new show/plot line altogether. It now has become “just another sci – fi” TV drama. I am truly disappointed. Am I the only one?
    Barb – Carson, CA

  2. rob says:

    I agree with most posts above. Fringe is a great TV show and its a shame its being cut. Good luck Anna Trov on your next project.

  3. vanda says:

    her smile is so cute

  4. Franklin Ashley says:

    Great series and I wish all the best to the cast esp Anna and John.
    you were always sweet but tough like my partner in real life was, nefore I retired. Hope to see you soon.

  5. I can’t understand how the writers and producers could do that to us fans – kill Etta? This is a Sci-Fi action drama, not a Drama Sci-Fi. It does not make sense to develop their relationships with Etta so quickly and kill her with so much hanging in the air. Also, she was supposed to help them with getting around in this new world with it’s protocols and teach them to block the Observers/Invaders reading them.

    Explain to me how one can not get upset when Georgia Haig did such a brilliant job of becoming part of our lives and then gets ripped away???????????????

    To Ann Torv – it’s nice to hear a non- American accent on your interviews :) . You’ve done a brilliant job with the Olivia character and will be sorely missed. Good luck. Ps. hope your future casting will be action/sci-fi/adventure or all three.


    • Ken says:

      Carly, you read my mind, I was saying the very same thing to my brother yesterday, in regards to what you said about Etta. I cannot see killing off Etta make any relevant sense at all, have not these two people (Peter/Olivia) suffered enough. These writers are just cruel and some how believe this is cute writing. As for Anna Torv, what can I say, this woman is stunningly beautiful,a brilliant actress,and totally unique in every way. I can honestly say that with all her attributes, her beauty,her smile,her gestures and mannerism, there is definitely no other actress like her,what a woman.

  6. Jan says:

    Still can’t believe they’re cutting it… it’s pretty hard to keep a sci-fi tv series going at the fantastic level of ingenuity they achieved. :(

  7. Austin says:

    It’s so difficult for tv actors and actresses to get acting jobs once they’ve been type-caste in a certain role like torv and noble, and maybe it would be hard to see either or them in another tv series so soon after this one ends, but I think I’d really like to see both on the big screen for a while before they try to get back on tv.

    • I am not going to read any spoilers on Season 5, but I find that the writers have not been true to Fringe as a whole – whether it was intended to up the stakes or not is not the point. We grew attached to the character and her death was heartbreaking and shocking.

      Now Peter is becoming a o baldy????? WTF???? One of the things that made this TRUE Sci-Fi GREAT, was Olivia’s relationship with the Bishops, making them better than they were.

      Tell the writers they suck big time. I’ll come all the way from South Africa next year with a worthy screenplay.

  8. TomTarpley says:

    Leave it to Fox to cancel yet another SiFi show early. Just like the X files…Fringe is going away to make room for trash like Glee and American Idol and other equally repulsive reality trash. The era of sitcoms and decent SiFi are vastly not sellable to an audience hooked on trash. So here’s what USA…switch the crap off…read a book or go for a hike and give your brain cells some decent peace and quiet. Maybe you will drop some poundage in the process! FRINGE RULES FOX…AND THIS ONLY MEANS ONE THING…MY VOW TO BOYCOTT TELEVISION NOW…IS ON….ESPECIALLY FOX!

    • JohnDeacon says:

      @ TomTarpley – exactly on point! Network TV has been sucked down to the lowest possible common denominator, absolute crap that can be left on and ignored, or *watched* with a vacant-stare, inattentive because there’s no storyline or plot to give any thought to. FOX isn’t the only guilty party by far, but has a history of bringing “decent SiFi” then dumping it for more of the mindless crap that runs endlessly… Same for the “FOX News” impact on all media – pointless talking-headed fluff, not *news* at all.
      We ditched Network TV in the runup to election season 2008 and have never looked back. Thankfully I’d already been hooked by the storyline & characters of Fringe, so we just ordered the DVD sets and BYPASSED FOX entirely. Only registered here to see developments re: season 5 and more detail about the wonderful cast.
      Not that a couple million former TV viewers boycotting Network TV in favor of living & controlling their own lives & entertainment choices will have much impact – but as for us, we’re already there.

      THANK YOU Bad Robot, Anna, Josh, and ALL the excellent stars & guest-stars of Fringe. WE will see you more & soon (on DVDs) AND will follow your careers on IMDB in the future.

  9. Lilly says:

    Okay. So all I can say is that people are tired if looking at a variation of the same skin tones over and over. Listening to actors speak on subjects that are actually ancient in origin and well known by many cultures of people world wide since the beginning of man. Knowledge of other worlds and human abilities is not new information for the majority of the human population. Most of us are tired of seeing the distortion of sacred truth take place on television and be fed to a public that refuses to educate themselves on these matters and let artists shape your view of reality instead. Do your own research. Some people are born with talents and abilities that were not put there by scientists.
    Oh and Anna Torv is a bland bore. Why do women have to sacrifice their femininity to be seen as powerful or beautiful? All the subjects that are covered, sensationalized, and skewed are natural mysteries of Life that most Women are Spiritually in tune with. The Feminine Power is naturally magnetic. It doesn’t need to bust in a room with a gun and a male-oriented institutionalized title to find what she wants. Women are naturally psychic, reality jumping, superheroes. Naturally. SCIENCE HAS A MOTHER. And I have yet to meet a woman who spends a lifetime trying to be a man be happy with the results of her Life at the end of her Life. There are more people than you know who are ready to do away with this kind of crap. Turn off the TV and tune in to the Forces around you.

    • @ Lilly. Women are not sacrificing their femininity to be seen as powerful and beautiful – Anna portrayed an emotionally strong, competent, woman (not butch) who had tender and raw emotional baggage to deal with.

      I, myself, am in law enforcement and a Commander. You have to be hard on the criminals and fearless, else you die. Also, the men in law enforcement push your boundries everyday, so you have to be tough and sometimes hard on them, but that does not mean I don’t want to be feminine or cry whilst watching a drama.

      Ppl. Actors do research before they start shooting. Really. Don’t make a dumb comment when you don’t know what you talking about!!!!!

      Anna’s portrayal of this kick-ass FBI agent is brilliant.

      If you want Mother Science shows, don’t watch fringe.

  10. coil says:

    Anna Torv is one of the most impressive and underrated actresses on TV. Plus she’s a beauty and smart and funny and so down-to-earth. Fringe is truly one of the best shows out there.

  11. Big AL says:


  12. ericbeck says:

    Fringe and NCIS are only America made old network tv I watch.
    mainly because the socialist propaganda that the networks push and utter stupidity.

  13. paul says:

    Fringe is one of those shows that if you had a good mind track to follow the different plot lines makes for fantastic viewing,it’s one of the best shows on tv and am sad to see it go.
    Most of the show’s being aired these days are all one track,seems the tv execs just want to dumb everyone down,if i want reality I’ll just go out side,im sure i can find some dumb people to chuckle about.
    Yours Fringe fan from OZ

  14. Fringe Lover says:

    I have love Olivia (Anna) and the entire cast the ENTIRE run! I am SO sad that it’s not going to be on anymore… I certainly hope J.J. Abrams comes up with a new, equivalently intelligent and entertaining show in the NEAR future!

  15. Matt Young says:

    Been a Fringe Fan since Day 1, being from Canada, love the aspect of it being filmed on Canada’s west coast. Great job to all, I will def’n miss it and Olivia!

  16. Jon Alan says:

    I have read through these comments and it never ceases to amaze me that people can’t just absorb themselves in the shows and genres they love. I discovered Fringe when looking for a good scifi/fantasy theme to watch when picking a show from the tablet tv show app providers. I was hooked immediately. In spite of actors being human, that is, having their own egos to manage while being someone else, I thought that ALL of the main characters were phenomenal. The writers seemed to know how to manage the necessary segues to build what was a monumental series.

    I feel as if I lost a dear friend when the SUITS decide that the ride was over on such high quality high intellect shows like Fringe. They are out of touch with quality and play to the least common denominator in terms of viewer intellect and interest.

    With Fringe the writers sculpted a unique idea and gave the mold to a set of excellent actors. After the horrendous error of canceling the best sci-fi western yet, after one season (you know the show) FOX took the chance and we were rewarded with 4 1/2 seasons of juicy, mind-bending episode after episode of Fringe, and so where do we go now.

    I wish those who can let go of picking apart the show and just be a silent part if it would be in the majority, but the dumbing down of America is the agenda of television. For those of us who use our minds to evolve, Fringe was an ally and a treasure. I think I will go put on a bio terror suit and pass gas while in it in honor of the decision to kill the show and then have a good cry over the lost friends and enemies I made while watching Fringe.

    What is next, what will top these few gems that help the high geek viewers to have a permanent place at the scifi table? And when will the Emmys give a subset of awards to best SciFi/Fantasy shows?

    DAMN, but I am going to miss Fringe.

  17. Bob T. says:

    I didn’t start watching Fringe until Netflix put out the DVD’s of the first four seasons. I prefer to watch shows like this as I can specify when I watch them and watch as many episodes in a row as I want or re-watch whatever I want. Now, Netflix has them streaming which is even better. I did watch the last season as it occurred but also bought the episodes on I-Tunes. I have probably watched the entire show four or five times over the last year and it is something that you can do because there are so many things that you can miss on first viewing and so many things that are tied in from season to season. I did the same thing with the show 24.

    To me, more than anything Fringe is a fairy tale love story. It has all of the allegorical characteristics: Wizards, damsels, demons (various episode evil meanies), knights (Broyles, Fringe agents from both Universes), witches (Meana), warlocks (David Robert Jones), dragons (the lizard like Observers), black magic (Cortexiphan), etc. Obviously W. Bell and W. Bishop are the wizards. Olivia is the damsel in distress. Odd since she is so stoic and warrior-like but that is to compensate for her vulnerability from being abused by her step-father and the Bell/Bishop experiments. Peter is the main white knight which is also odd since he is damaged goods in his own right. But the deviations from the stereotypical fairytale characterizations is what makes the protagonists so compelling. They are flawed, they make mistakes, they fail, they cause problems to themselves and those around them. But in the end they all strive to be better people. As much as Peter strove to be a better man than his father; Walter strove to be a better man than he was once and Olivia to be a better woman than what she felt she had become. And each of the character’s interactions helped them in their personal journeys of self actualization.

    All of the cases they worked on were themselves allegories of what the main characters were going through. And many of the cases dealt with love in some form. I loved the show for tackling all of the aspects of love, both good and bad, fulfilled and unrequited, the misunderstandings it can create, the power it has to change people and the world they live in. Does love conquer all? I don’t know if it does in reality but certainly it does in a fairytale.

    I have no criticisms of the show though I have read all of them: about the episodes, particular seasons, the actors, the characters, the writers, the ending, etc. But to me the very effort to put a show on like this transcends all of that and the fact that enough people had faith in it to allow it to conclude is a very, very rare thing in TV land. It will certainly become a cult classic as it has already. And it should. So much on TV is formulaic with characters you don’t care about and stories you have heard before. This show attempted to break a lot of those stereotypes and sometimes it succeeded and sometimes it may have fallen short. But like Josh Jackson said once in an interview that he hoped the show would strive for being truly great and falling short than just to be mediocre and succeeding.

    Kudos to Abrams and Wyman and all of the other show runners for providing some really worthwhile entertainment. It was said back in the sixties that TV is a rarely well-done medium. For me, this show was cooked to perfection.

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