Fringe Team Shares Scoop on Bald Peter, Olivia's MIA Ring, Astrid's 'Moment' and More
Showrunner J.H. Wyman (center) with Michael Kopsa (aka “Captain Windmark”) and Anna Torv.
Speaking of Olivia, we asked Wyman when her wedding ring might resurface (since Peter wears his on a chain). “When it comes, it comes,” he hedged. “It’s a very personal thing for the character.”
Warner Bros. TV president Peter Roth (front row, far right) said that when J.J. Abrams pitched Fringe in August 2007, its juicest twist went unmentioned. Instead, he was simply sold on “a show about three brilliant people, and the dysfunctional relationship between a father and a son.”
In the alt universe, this cake is vanilla with chocolate frosting, while in 2036 it’s a pile of egg sticks.
Just how bald will Peter get, now that he’s slowly being transformed via tech into an Observer, and when last seen lost a clump of hair? “Not bald enough — but maybe too bald for people’s tastes!” Joshua Jackson shared with a laugh.
“The bar stayed high,” Blair Brown, here with Joshua Jackson, said of Fringe’s five-season run. “Once we all hit the set, there was never a sense of doing anything less than the best we could do — and that is rare.”
Fox CEO Joe Earley and Warner Bros. TV president Peter Roth flank series creator J.J. Abrams, showrunner J.H. Wyman and the cast.
Anna Torv said the recent “reversal of roles” — in which Olivia tried to coax Peter to open up after she found him watching old video of Etta — was “absolutely intentional,” and “a little bit more of that will come up” during the final episodes.
Why did Fringe creator J.J. Abrams withhold the show’s “alt universe” aspect from his initial pitches back in 2007? “Well, I’m not an idiot. If you start to pitch leading with what is heavy sci-fi, you invariably scare the hell out of everyone!”
Blair Brown affectionately likened her Nina, along with Astrid and Broyles to “grace notes” that complement the “dynamic threesome” of Peter, Walter and Olivia. As for her own character’s legacy? “Nina was the keeper of knowledge, through many universes, which is rare for a woman in any culture. But in America? It just doesn’t happen!”
Series boss J.H. Wyman said he “literally pitched the entire arc” of the final season to his cast (save for “some significant details in the end”), so “they actually knew what was coming.” His reasoning: “If I have the ability to write the scripts in advance and put the emotion forward, I should give them the same opportunity, to craft the characters and say goodbye to them in a proper way.”
Surveying how Astrid figures into the final salvo of episodes, Jasika Nicole admitted, “I didn’t know for a while what her role would be… because she wasn’t super-integral to what was going on. But she gets her moment to shine!”
White tulips were a dominant theme of the Fringe 100th episode party held Dec. 1 at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Joshua Jackson with girlfriend Diane Kruger
Series creator J.J. Abrams and showrunner J.H. Wyman bookend the Fringe cast. (Due to a rescheduled film commitment, Lance Reddick, who plays Broyles, could not make the party.)
Anna Torv, here with John Noble, previously told TVLine of her costar, “I have the luxury of watching him work, where I learn a lot.”
Seth Gabel — who was in Vancouver filming his upcoming run on The CW’s Arrow — said his run as Fringe’s Lincoln Lee was “amazing,” right down to his character joining AltLivia on the Other Side. “It was nice because you knew that they would possibly get together and find some happiness.” (“Possibly,” dude? Oh, p’shaw.)
On bidding adieu to his Emmy-caliber (yet sadly never nominated) Fringe character, John Noble said, “As an actor, you don’t get a better role than Walter Bishop. You simply don’t…. The writers have done as much as I could possibly wish for.”