"Well, she's just so damned ugly," ... "No, the thing is, honestly, we saw many, many, many actors, a lot of good ones. And there's that thing where you're looking for that thing that clicks, and often it's just sort of an indescribable, strange sort of quality."
Abrams said the right actress proved elusive, at least until Bad Robot casting agent Ann Webster showed him Torv's audition tape for an Australian show. He watched it, and "I knew that was her," Abrams said, referring to Torv's Fringe character, Olivia Dunham. "She wasn't even reading our dialogue. Then we sent her our pages, and she auditioned for that, and it confirmed it. She came out and got the job."
The writer-producer-director explained that the concept for Fringe came about quickly and easily while he was "hanging out" with longtime collaborators Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. They were "talking about the kind of show we'd love to see on the air," Abrams said. "For better or worse, like most of the things that I do, it just comes from stuff that I'd love to watch. It's sort of a boring answer, but that's kind of what the truth is."
During a May 15 interview at the Fox upfront presentation to advertisers, Sci Fi Wire's Ian Spelling has JJ Abrams saying: