Fringe: John Noble Conference Call ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe: John Noble Conference Call

      Email Post       11/24/2008 10:31:00 AM      

Fox held a conference call last week where a handful of journalist asked John Noble questions about Fringe and his character Dr. Walter Bishop.

On the accent:
John Noble: The character of “Walter,” because of his nature, he’s a top academic. We knew that he was probably born in – well, he was born in England, but he’d spent most of his life in Boston, which has a unique sort of accent anyway, and had lived in this sort of very worldly, peopled with scientists from all over the world, so he kind of lived in a different world and has picked up what we called a Transatlantic accent, so it is American, but it has sort of elements of British in there as well, and that’s the term we use in vocal, talking about vocal stuff is Transatlantic, and we did that quite deliberately because of the background of the character.
On Walter's relationship with Peter:
Julia Diddy ( “Walter” seems to almost be torn in terms of his loyalty to “Peter” and his loyalty to science, as if his experiments are also his children in a sense. ... It seems like there’s a sibling rivalry with “Peter” against science, so I was curious about the process you go through to play that.

John Noble: It’s an amazing observation. It’s true. It’s absolutely true what you say. Given a task, that “Walter” is incredibly focused, myopic when he has a task to do, and really other things become secondary. And we know this with a lot of people in our society are workaholics, and find it difficult to split their time between their work and their families. Now this is an issue that many of us deal with. This is an extreme case of that. And when he’s on his science, he really doesn’t have time for this squawking child next to him or for the wife, and I think there are plenty of examples of that in society, but “Walter’s” is just heightened a little bit. has an exclusive recording of the entire interview here:

Or, click here to read a transcript of the interview.
J. Noble: Hello, everybody.

Moderator: We’ll go to the first question from Joshua Maloni with Niagara Frontier Publications.

J. Maloni: John, thanks for your time today.

J. Noble: You’re very welcome.

J. Maloni: I have to say, yours is definitely one of the best new characters this season. Watching you last night chewing the gum and calling Jasika, “Asteroid,” I mean it’s just comic genius, I have to say. I’m wondering, how do you approach the parts and how much fun is it to play?

J. Noble: Well, the second part of it, it’s as much fun as it looks like. I mean it’s an absolute hoot playing. It’s obviously got serious aspects to it, but I treat it as a hoot to play the thing. Preparation, well, that’s probably the hardest bit, getting the timing right and doing the preparation on the scientific work. But working on Fringe is a great job. I mean it’s a great group of people to work with, and amazing scripts from the minds of J.J. Abrams and other people. They’re geniuses. Living inside their heads much be a very strange thing to do because they’re always coming up with something different. Overall, fantastic experience, and thank you for the comment about “Walter.”

J. Maloni: Yes. I mean, like you said, J.J., his shows, I mean the storylines are always, you know, they’re incredibly clever, but they’re also complex. And for the audience, at times, it can be a little challenging to follow. As a cast member, do you find it sort of challenging to follow all the sort of twists and turns?

J. Noble: Yes [laughs], absolutely. But I could also say that, as an audience member, I kind of enjoy reading things that make me concentrate or watching things that make me concentrate, and so, you know, that’s what Fringe does. And I watched an episode on Tuesday night, and I was in it, but there were things I missed, and I said, what was that? What did they say there? So I mean it’s fascinating to be watching something that does require concentration.

J. Maloni: Definitely. Thanks, John, for your time.

J. Noble: You’re very welcome. Thank you.

Moderator: Next we have Sarah Jersild with the Tribune Interactive.

S. Jersild: Thanks so much for taking my call.

J. Noble: You’re very welcome, Sarah.

S. Jersild: We were just talking about how “Walter” is this incredibly genial fun character, but he’s got this menace behind him, which we saw when he drugged “Astrid,” when he – we just discovered he was doing experiments on “Peter” as a child. How do you balance that being this sort of cuddly guy when all of a sudden we find out, he’s kind of scary?

J. Noble: Yes. It’s the dark side to stuff, isn’t it? I guess it exists in all of us. But with “Walter,” because of who he is and how he is and how bright he is and how disturbed he is, it just sort of surfaces a bit more often and a bit more radically than it does in most of us. I don’t find it that hard to find. I mean taking each moment when I’m doing a scene, I take each second and look at what’s gone through at that point, and sometimes those reactions just come out, to be honest with you, out of frustration, the character’s frustration, or out his greater purpose, whatever, out of his madness. But it’s certainly interesting to play, and it shocks the people I’m playing with at times. You see these shocked reactions from the other actors, but that all makes some good fun too.

S. Jersild: Great. Thanks so much.

J. Noble: You’re very welcome.

Moderator: We’ll go to David Martindale with the Hearst Newspapers.

D. Martindale: Hello, John.

J. Noble: Hello, David.

D. Martindale: I love the show. You’re really wonderful in it.

J. Noble: Thank you.

D. Martindale : At my softball game this weekend, I think I saw “The Observer” milling around. I was very concerned.

J. Noble: I think he was there.

D. Martindale: Yes. Yes.

J. Noble: Yes. He was supposed to be there.

D. Martindale: Do you have a head for science? Do you have an aptitude for even fundamental science?

J. Noble: Yes, I do, but more on a theoretical level than a practical level. One of my best friends, a fellow who I shared a house with many years and we were at the university together, he’s a brilliant scientist. He’s also quite mad. But we would talk, and my thought was the art, his was the science, but we could talk for hours. We found common ground in the theory, the theoretical side of it, and so I’ve always understood that or being able to talk about it, and also have written quite extensively. But put me in a lab with a whole lot of instruments, and I may not do so well.

D. Martindale: And I’ve heard it said that the line between genius and madman is very, very thin, and “Walter” definitely walks on both sides of that line. Do you find, I mean do you find this friend of yours, for example, some inspiration for that or someone else?

J. Noble: Yes, I certainly do. His name is Dr. Ted Steal, and he’s an extraordinary man, and he’s always ridden on the edge of the scientific community because he’s just absolutely no good at politics, but he’s a genius, and so, but he was a man whatever he did he did with absolute passion and focus and so if we were out drinking and partying, or if he was playing tennis or football or going after a girl, whatever he did, it was with complete and utter focus. That’s one of the aspects that “Walter” has as well. But he was also a lovely man, but he’d also fight people. I mean, at a turn of a hat, he would fight people, and so he was a fascinating guy. In fact, he’s having his 60th birthday this week, I think, and I can’t be there in Australia with him, but he’s an amazing man, and I’ve based a lot of this on him.

D. Martindale: Wow. That’s terrific. Thank you so much. I love the show.

J. Noble: Thanks so much for your comment.

D. Martindale: You bet.

Moderator: We’ll go to Fred Toppel with

F. Toppel: Hello, John.

J. Noble: Hello, Fred.

F. Toppel: In the upcoming episodes we’re going to see later this month and next, what are some of the great “Walter” moments we’ll see?

J. Noble: In terms of – I guess there are always two things. There are the sort of bleak and dark moments that you see sometimes, and there’s also the comedic, well what play as comedic moments. We’ve just really finished off the final episode that will be going on in December, and there are a lot of “Walter” moments in there just him being inappropriate really.

There are a couple of quite – the next episode, which goes on next week, we see “Walter” from a different angle, very vulnerable. He goes back into the asylum, and we see the very, very fearful man return for a while, although he does have some wonderful moments early in the episode. But when he goes back inside, he turns back into this incredibly fearful, stuttering fellow who we saw when we first met him.

It’s a very interesting journey that we see “Walter” go through. You know, he also solves these extraordinary things either because he had done them in the past or because he simply has the intellect to think now. We’re getting more episodes where “Walter” hasn’t done that experiment sometimes, but he has the mind to be able to see a way through it, so that’s the sort of thrust of things you will expect to see in the future.

Deepening of the relationship with the son, of course. There’ll be a lot more of this. As you go through, you know, this season and the next seasons after that, you’ll see the ensemble of actors interact a lot more than maybe we’ve seen at present. The relationships with the “Olivia” character will become more like relationships do when people who know each other for a while and start to kind of have an investment and care, and care for each other. We certainly will see that in the first episode coming back next year where we all bond together to support “Olivia,” and she for us. So that’s the sort of thing you can look forward to.

F. Toppel: That sounds great. Just as a follow up, do you approach “Walter” with some sort of logic for some of the weird, seemingly random things he says, or do you just go with it?

J. Noble: I think there’s – as an actor, I always have to find a reason. I can’t just sort of say something out of the blue, so I always find some sort of neural pathway in there, some image that it’s tapped. It’s like we are, we’ll see, we’ll smell something or we’ll hear a sound, and it’ll take us into a memory. You know how that happens to you as well? And so it’s like he continually has these little memory jolts that will – but instead of keeping them to himself, he talks about them, and say, “I had a fruit cocktail once in Atlantic City.” And that’ll just come out because it’s a memory, so he’s quite inappropriate at times.

F. Toppel: He’s a fantastic character, so thank you for talking to us about it.

J. Noble: Thanks so much. It’s lovely to talk to you.

Moderator: We’ll go to Marisa Roffman with

M. Roffman: John, how are you doing today?

J. Noble: How are you doing, Marisa?

M. Roffman: Okay. I’m doing very well. I’m very happy to be talking to you.

J. Noble: Thank you.

M. Roffman: So I have a question because “Walter” has been – he’s obviously very grounded in mythology between “William Bell” and Massive Dynamic. Are we going to see more of that in upcoming episodes at all? Do you know?

J. Noble: There’s going to be a growth in that sort of in the mythology. It’s not going to be laid all out for everyone to find in one episode.

M. Roffman: Right.

J. Noble: Of course, you understand, Marisa, that J.J. won’t do that.

M. Roffman: Of course. No.

J. Noble: And in fact, one of the things that they also do, these people, is that they keep the process pretty organic, and as things happen, as things happen in their mind, this is the writers I’m talking about, or an actor, one of the characters will invent something or a new character will evolve, and they keep it open to evolving the script as they go along. We’re constantly getting rewrites. Sometimes just before we go on set, we’ll get a rewrite because they’ll have a better idea on what line to say there. And so that’s, whilst that’s challenging, it’s also very, as I said, organic. I personally love working that way.

M. Roffman: Okay. Well, thank you so much for your time.

J. Noble: Thank you so much.

M. Roffman: Have a great day.

J. Noble: Bye.

Moderator: We have Troy Rogers with

T. Rogers: Hello, John. Thanks for taking the time.

J. Noble: Good day, Troy. How are you?

T. Rogers: Not too bad. Do you have any say over what type of food “Walter” is looking for from episode to episode?

J. Noble: No [laughs], but it’s very funny because this week we had a week where we hadn’t been filming. We’ve been doing a lot of preparation for the next episode, and also sort of ADR and publicity. But I’ve had a chance to have a look at the blogs going on, and there are blogs going around about what “Walter” is going to eat. It’s very funny stuff, and the whole – there was one I tuned into, and it was going for pages and people having such fun just about what “Walter” is going to have to eat next. I think they finally … with a cheese steak, so we’ll see if the writers put it in.

T. Rogers: Yes. A lot of the people think you’re going to eat something sweet….

J. Noble: No [laughs]. Isn’t it funny though? It’s great fun that a television show and a character can get people having so much fun with each other.

T. Rogers: Yes. Exactly. Actually, another follow up, I was just curious what’s the weirdest thing you’ve learned so far working on the show?

J. Noble: Golly. Do you mean within the content of the science?

T. Rogers: Yes. Concerning the cases that you guys….

J. Noble: We’ve got some coming up. A lot of it is – I get more interested in the neural aspects of it, I suppose, than say the parasitical elements of it. When it goes into that sort of neural stuff and it’s a little strange in that sense, I get very excited about it. Obviously the parallel universe episode we did, which was called “The Arrival,” was probably outside of the realm of what we normally think about, although I have to confess, I had a very similar conversation about parallel universes with a friend of mine sitting in the university campus 30 years ago looking at the stars, and so it was an interesting thing to revisit that. You remember what I’m talking about?

T. Rogers: Yes.

J. Noble: So that was kind of memorable for me, that one.

T. Rogers: Okay. Great. Thanks again for your time.

J. Noble: Thank you, sir.

Moderator: We’ll go to Suzanne Lanoue with The TV MegaSite.

S. Lanoue: Hello. Thank you for being here with us.

J. Noble: Thank you, Suzanne.

S. Lanoue: I noticed that you’re speaking voice, your natural speaking voice, is very different from the one you use on the show. And I know you have quite a bit of experience acting and directing and teaching acting and all that. I was wondering, I noticed that the character has a lot of vibrato in the voice, and it almost sounds like – I don’t want to stereotype – I don’t want to say bad – stereotype like the great actor voice. I was wondering how you came up with it.

J. Noble: The character of “Walter,” because of his nature, he’s a top academic. We knew that he was probably born in – well, he was born in England, but he’d spent most of his life in Boston, which has a unique sort of accent anyway, and had lived in this sort of very wordly, peopled with scientists from all over the world, so he kind of lived in a different world and has picked up what we called a Transatlantic accent, so it is American, but it has sort of elements of British in there as well, and that’s the term we use in vocal, talking about vocal stuff is Transatlantic, and we did that quite deliberately because of the background of the character.

S. Lanoue: Did Mr. Abrams help you with that when you say we, or do you mean … coach?

J. Noble: No. I guess that was my job to think about that and come up with something, but it was accepted. I mean, if they hadn’t liked it, they would have told me, I’m sure.

S. Lanoue: All right. Thank you very much. I love Fringe, and it gets better with every episode.

J. Noble: Thank you so much.

Moderator: Next we have Joe Diliberto with Soap Opera Weekly.

J. Diliberto: Hello, John. It’s a pleasure.

J. Noble: Thank you, Joe.

J. Diliberto: I love the relationship on the show between you and your son, your character, that is, and your son. How important is the father/son relationship, and do you expect the dynamic between them to shift or change in any major way, i.e. “Walter” maybe becoming a little more normal?

J. Noble: From my point of view, and I think Josh Jackson will back this up, probably the most, the thing that has held our interest most so far has been that relationship and, in a sense, as individual actors, what we’ve worked on, we’ve probably talked more about that, Josh and I, than about anything else. We just kind of feel that it’s special to do that sort of thing and feel a bit of responsibility to try and get it as right as possible. Judging by the feedback we’re getting, it’s working, and it’s resonating with a whole lot of people.

J. Diliberto: Absolutely. Yes.

J. Noble: And we’ll continue to do that. It’s not going to turn into any sort of soft, “Oh, I understand, and now I know I love you” time, and walk away into the sunset. It won’t happen any more than it happens in families. But they’ll continue to grow. The depth of their relationship will continue to grow. There’s no question about that.

J. Diliberto: Cool. Thank you so much.

J. Noble: You’re very welcome.

Moderator: Our next question is from Rachel Bishop with

R. Bishop: Hello, John.

J. Noble: Hello, Rachel.

R. Bishop: “Walter” has arguably some of the best dialogue on TV today. You’ve touched on this a little bit, but have you found it difficult or perhaps challenging would be a better word to play a character who not only has very technical, scientific dialog, but also has an extremely non-linear thought process?

J. Noble: No [laughs]. I don’t know what it says about me, but I haven’t actually found it very hard at all [laughs]. I hesitate to give you that answer, but no, I haven’t. I don’t. I find it fun. I don’t know, I’ve always been attracted to that sort of humor anyway, and I guess around our home, I mean all of us use that sort of offbeat humor, so it wasn’t so difficult. And trailing off great lines of what sometimes sound like nonsense also appeals apparently, so I do that occasionally. No, it wasn’t too hard [laughs].

R. Bishop: Good.

J. Noble: Thank you.

R. Bishop: You make it look very easy, so I guess it was easy.

J. Noble: Well, what I’m saying is that I enjoy doing it. It’s not something that I find terribly difficult and have to worry about. I mean it comes certainly naturally, I think.

R. Bishop: Good. Now what have been some of your favorite scenes or moments thus far in the series that we’ve seen?

J. Noble: Yes. Well, anything to do with the cow. Anything to do with the cow, I mean, I adore working with the cow. It just makes – the cow makes me laugh. I don’t know why. Everyone gets all sort of gooey and funny when the cow comes in. And then, of course, I got to milk the cow and, you know, because they rang up and said, “Do you need some coaching to milk a cow?” And I said, “Certainly not. I could milk a cow. I’m a country boy,” so that was great fun milking the cow. I don’t know.

It just – the one where … in the pilot where we’re eating Chinese watching “Sponge Bob,” and that cow was on our necks, myself and Jasika. That was the funniest thing because it was nuzzling up against us trying to get the Chinese food. It wouldn’t stay until I gave it some, but it was just the funniest night doing that scene about 4:00 in the morning. Those sorts of things, there’s a whole lot of them.

One of my favorite games at present is to try and make – I’ve got this thing where I try and make “Broyles” laugh because Lance Reddick plays it to a tee. So I go out of my way whenever I have a scene to try and make him laugh. Of course, as actors, we have great fun with this because, in rehearsals, I succeed. But as soon as the cameras roll, there’s no way. It’s going to be absolute headlines across the nation. “Broyles Smiles” one day.

R. Bishop: That’s great. Well, I really enjoy “Walter,” and I feel like I want to buy him a root beer.

J. Noble: That’s very kind of you.

R. Bishop: Thank you for your time.

J. Noble: Thank you so much.

Moderator: We’ll go back to David Martindale with the Hearst Newspapers.

D. Martindale: I have one more for you. As big and broad as you get to play this character, has it ever happened yet that somebody’s stopped it and said, “John, don’t you think you’re going a little bit big in this scene?”

J. Noble: Sure. Absolutely, David.

D. Martindale: Do they let you bounce off the walls if you want?

J. Noble: No. The agreement that I have with every director that comes in, the term I use is: “I’ll push the edge of the envelope, and then you can pull me wherever you want to.” But I find it easier to go for, you know, “Let me take all the risks, and then tell me what is too much” rather than starting with nothing or starting from very little. I start with a lot, and sometimes they’ll say to me, just pull that one back. It’s no big deal. Or just, you know, change that or just pull the vocal level back there, which I’m more than happy to do, but it means that I have to trust the directors. But I’d rather try for the sort of big effect and then pull it back than start with nothing and try and build it up.

D. Martindale: That’s true. They give Oscars to actors who go big. They don’t often give them to actors that don’t do much.

J. Noble: You have to have a trust in your director. Basically your directors and your editors, you have to say to them, “Well, look, I’ll do this, but don’t hang me up to dry here.” That trust, I mean, I have that with the people I work with. It would be terrible if you thought suddenly that you were being hung out to dry doing this big performance, and it was out of character and out of context, and they kept it in there, making you look like a fool. Then that wouldn’t be so comfortable.

D. Martindale: I get you. Do you ever have “Walter” moments? I mean just where you space out?

J. Noble: Yes [laughs].

D. Martindale: People look at you like you have lobsters crawling out your ears when you do it.

J. Noble: Yes. My daughters do that quite a lot, actually [laughs]…. No, we do. We have a lot of fun of that in nature, but I do have “Walter” moments. My mind goes off onto quite strange places at times, and I’m told, I’m told that this happens.

D. Martindale: It makes sense to you, though.

J. Noble: Absolutely makes sense to me. I’m confused as to why other people just don’t understand.

D. Martindale: I get you. Cool. Thank you so much.

J. Noble: You’re welcome, David.

Moderator: Next is Sarah Jersild with the Tribune Interactive.

S. Jersild: Can you tell me a little bit about the relationship that “Walter” has with “Olivia” and with “Astrid” because the big relationship you have is with “Peter,” but you’re also seeming to get more in-depth relationship with the two women.

J. Noble: Yes. Look. It’s been one of the things that has had to come slowly. We’ve had a man who has obviously been – I don’t think he would have ever been particularly good with women anyway, you know. I think he would have been a pretty horrible husband, not because he’s a bad man, simply because he wouldn’t have thought to be nice. Then he comes out, and he’s confronted with these two girls, and he doesn’t know how to talk to girls, so it’s taken time to learn. He still can’t remember “Astrid’s” name.

S. Jersild: Right.

J. Noble: Which is, I have to say, one of the great joys is working with Jasika on that whole, you know, the name business. She is such a funny girl. I can’t wait to see what they come up with her eventually, but she’s a very, very funny woman. And the one with “Olivia” is fascinating because that’s far deeper. My sense is that “Walter” starts to feel almost paternal towards her. But obviously you can’t go into that path, and just on occasions I can see that “Olivia” wants to ask “Walter” something, but then she’ll back away. We’ve seen a couple times that that’s happened. Somewhere down the track, I think that there will be a coming together of those two, and I don’t know this for a fact, but I just feel it’s inevitable, and I think it’s something that “Walter” and “Olivia” will need to do.

S. Jersild: Right. One of the things you were talking about earlier was there will be a newsflash when “Broyles” smiles. I just found out that he’s actually a jazz musician.

J. Noble: He is [laughs]. He’s a wonderful musician and composer.

S. Jersild: Is there a lot of music on the set or is something like that, and did it surprise the heck out of you when you found out?

J. Noble: It did. When I first met the man, I mean, he’s a very quiet, dignified man. We started to talk, and I suddenly find out that his first degree was in music and he’s, in fact, a composer and a jazz musician, among other things. He’s a man of many parts. But he’s quiet and enigmatic and a very noble man to just spend time with, so I’m very impressed with him, I must say.

S. Jersild: Thanks again.

J. Noble: You’re very welcome.

Moderator: We’ll go to Amy Amatangelo with the Boston Herald.

A. Amatangelo: I joined the call a little late, so I apologize if someone asked this before.

J. Noble: That’s all right, Amy.

A. Amatangelo: I was wondering how much thought you give to the whole idea of “The Pattern” and what is “The Pattern,” and do you have to deal with a lot of people trying to get information out of you, fans of the show thinking you might know something more than they know at this point?

J. Noble: Do you know, we don’t know. I don’t know what The Pattern” is. “Walter” doesn’t, and that kind of works okay for me. We know, and having a global conspiracy of sorts, I mean, goodness me, James Bond opening this week, we’re used to the idea of global conspiracies. I don’t particularly want to know what’s going on in terms of the writers’ minds. As to people asking, well, yes. But it’s not offensively. It’s just, “Do you know anything? And I say, “I don’t know,” and I mean it, so I can’t be drawn really, Amy. But no, a little bit is revealed, and these writers have in mind a plan that could last one, two, three years, or however long it lasts, and they will bring that all to a conclusion at the right time. We can’t reveal everything now because where do you go, so there’s a long way to go.

A. Amatangelo: I actually laughed out loud this week when you called – you were on the phone with “Peter” and you say it’s your father. That whole delivery, I thought, was just so funny in just the way you did it. But I was just curious, is all of that on the page? Is it a lot of rehearsals and back and forth? Is any of it adlibbed on your part to kind of get that … to make a line that really is not that funny, very funny?

J. Noble: What I get is the ink on the page. No, I mean the interpretation of the character is mine. As an actor, I talk an awful lot about rhythms when I’m talking about acting. I don’t want to bore you with this, but that’s what I do, just creating different rhythms within the scene and the act of the scene. See, I did bore you there, but so I mean I’m always looking for rhythms that will work because it makes life interesting rather than just playing through on a flat line the whole time. Lines like that, I don’t know. They just kind of sound right to do it like that.

A. Amatangelo: In the science on the show, we hear a lot when people on medical shows that they have trouble getting the medical jargon down and they have to kind of rehearse. Are there any particular things that you’ve had to – because I feel like your character also often has a lot of the exposition because you’re saying what the science is behind what’s happening? Has there been anything in particular that’s been challenging about that? Half the time, do you even understand what you’re saying…?

J. Noble: Yes. I do what research I can, and I do it off the Internet. So if there’s a chemical described, then I’ll go and see what they’re talking about basically just for my own satisfaction or procedure. The times that it’s more likely to affect me is after we’ve been filming for about 15 hours and we’re onto our tenth take. Then I could start to jumble … it’s really interesting. It doesn’t happen the other way around, you know, at the beginning. It’s after when we start to get tired that things will come out jumbled. But it does take a little bit of work, Amy. Yes.

A. Amatangelo: Great. Thank you so much.

J. Noble: You’re very welcome.

Moderator: Next we have Tara Bennett with SFX.

T. Bennett: Thanks so much for your time today.

J. Noble: You’re welcome.

T. Bennett: One of the things that’s been interesting about your character is that you have had to really kind of do some more of the gory work on the show.

J. Noble: Yes.

T. Bennett: I was wondering if at any time that’s been kind of jarring for you or if there’s ever been a moment when you’ve had to look in a body cavity or something that you’ve kind of gone … even yourself got a little shiver?

J. Noble: No. There hasn’t been. Now I spent quite a long time doing a semi-regular [role] in Australia as a neurosurgeon [on a TV show], so I got to look inside bodies, I’d say, a bit. I was thinking about this yesterday, Tara, in terms of, it looks odd, doesn’t it, to see a man looking inside….

T. Bennett: Sometimes. Yes.

J. Noble: And yet, I thought, “Well, could I do that?” And the answer is yes. But what I would find difficult was when “Walter” can seem to harm or to hurt people and not feel anything. I think that one, but you see we don’t hurt each other, and we don’t hurt the actors that are there and the prosthetics don’t get hurt. I think if there was genuine pain being inflicted, I would feel far less comfortable than I do.

T. Bennett: Thanks so much, and I love your performance.

J. Noble: Thanks.

Moderator: Next we have Julia Diddy with

J. Diddy: Thank you so much for your time today.

J. Noble: You’re welcome, Julia.

J. Diddy: First, I wanted to know what your own thoughts are about science and scientific advances pushing the envelope, and how does that inform your character?

J. Noble: In my lifetime, you know, lasers were considered to be some sort of futuristic foolish idea. This is in my lifetime, and we use them on a daily basis for everything now. I believe we are only tapping the edges of what is potential … as we learn more through quantum mechanics and string theory, we’re finding out that all sorts of things are possible that we didn’t think were. We’re becoming less ignorant as to the possibilities. We can imagine the impossibilities, as J.J. Abrams likes to say. So I don’t have any problem with any of it, and I just went off on a great big tangent and forgot the question.

J. Diddy: You actually handled it beautifully.

J. Noble: Thank you, Julia.

J. Diddy: In terms about your feelings of science and forming your character. And the only other question, very quickly, you touched upon this a bit already in terms of your character’s relationship with his son. But I’d like to hear just a bit more in terms of “Walter” seems to almost be torn in terms of his loyalty to “Peter” and his loyalty to science, as if his experiments are also his children in a sense.

J. Noble: I think that’s a beautiful observation.

J. Diddy: It seems like there’s a sibling rivalry with “Peter” against science, so I was curious about the process you go through to play that.

J. Noble: It’s an amazing observation. It’s true. It’s absolutely true what you say. Given a task, that “Walter” is incredibly focused, myopic when he has a task to do, and really other things become secondary. And we know this with a lot of people in our society are workaholics, and find it difficult to split their time between their work and their families. Now this is an issue that many of us deal with. This is an extreme case of that. And when he’s on his science, he really doesn’t have time for this squawking child next to him or for the wife, and I think there are plenty of examples of that in society, but “Walter’s” is just heightened a little bit.

J. Diddy: That makes perfect sense. Okay. Thank you so much.

J. Noble: Thank you so much.

Moderator: We’ll go back to Troy Rogers with

T. Rogers: Actually, following up on that science question, I was wondering what are your personal views on fringe science? Are you into big foot and UFOs and stuff like that?

J. Noble: No, not UFOs. No. I’ve got nothing against them, but it’s just not something that tantalizes my imagination. I think I’m much more fascinated by what we’ve discovered, as I said a while ago, through quantum mechanics and so forth. What was started off by Albert Einstein essentially, who just opened the floodgates into a new world, and then we suddenly find out that we can bend time or the string theory … and it just means that anything is conceivable, and I find that fascinating. We don’t know anything. We don’t know what black holes are even. Do you know what I mean? To me, I get excited by it.

T. Rogers: Yes. So do I because isn’t the theory that we only use 10% of our brains.

J. Noble: Yes. But, you know, we’re moving exponentially. We’re moving so fast that today’s technology is out of place by next week. It’s an exciting time to live in keeping up with these guys. I don’t know. I’m glad to be alive to observe it. I think I’ve lived in an amazing time. I think I’ve lived in amazing times.

T. Rogers: Excellent. Thanks again, John.

J. Noble: You’re very welcome.

Moderator: We’ll go back to Joe Diliberto with the Soap Opera Weekly.

J. Diliberto: Thanks. Hello, again. You were talking about acting before and some of the processes you go through. My question is actually about another actor on the show who is not in it a hell of a lot, but I love her, Blair Brown.

J. Noble: Of course, I know you were going to talk about her.

J. Diliberto: And I was wondering because her character is so kind of diametrically opposite. She’s so focused and everything like that as opposed to yours. Do you think there would ever be any scenes between the two of you?

J. Noble: Absolutely has to be. Absolutely has to be, I mean, apart from the fact that Blair and I want to work together. That’s just a personal thing. But she’s already been interviewed and said, “Yes, Walter and” – what did she say? “Walter and Nina used to be together.” She’s invented this whole scenario. The first time I ever met the woman, when we did a read through the first time, she said, “Well, down the track, I can see that we’ll finish up having a big of go.” She’s a very funny woman. That’s the theory that somewhere down the line, maybe they were even together, which is absolutely feasible, and it’ll be, I’m sure, a very interesting challenge working with Blair Brown. She’s a smashing actress.

J. Diliberto: Yes. Absolutely. That would be so excellent. I hope it happens.

J. Noble: So do I.

J. Diliberto: Thank you.

J. Noble: You’re welcome.

Moderator: Our final question will come from Sarah Jersild.

S. Jersild: Can you tell me a little bit about the experience of actually building the relationship with “Peter” on the show, how you and Joshua Jackson sort of worked between the two of you to make it such an authentic father/son estranged relationship?

J. Noble: We talked. We talked. Joshua and I talked very openly and, frankly, right from the beginning, about this amazing thing. You know, he – we’re both men. I mean, I am a father of a son, and fortunately I have a very good relationship with him. But we understood how complex these things are between men, as indeed they are between women as well. It was something that touched us both and interested us both, and so we became very animated right from the beginning, Josh Jackson and I, about the responsibility of playing this correctly, getting this right. And we still talk about it. We still get excited about it. We’ll go into each other’s caravan and talk about that issue, nothing else but that issue, trying to find the truth in there. And sometimes it’s not clich├ęd sometimes. Sometimes it’s ugly. It’s not what you’d expect, and we’re trying to get all of those elements into it. We take it pretty seriously.

S. Jersild: Great. Thank you so much.

J. Noble: You’re very welcome.

Moderator: We have no further questions in queue. Do you have any closing remarks, Mr. Noble?

J. Noble: Simply this. I mean the people that have been asking questions, thank you for the continued support and the lovely comments you’ve made today. You know, I think the journey of Fringe has only just started. Every energy that I sense around the place is to take this good, very good show, and turn it into a great show. That’s the discussion. That’s the energy that’s going into it, and your support and the way you’ve spoken today obviously you have support of the show, and I thank you for that. It’s going to be a great ride. I think it’s going to be an amazing ride, so thank you so much.


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