J.J. Abrams Interview: iF Magazine ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

J.J. Abrams Interview: iF Magazine

      Email Post       1/27/2009 11:13:00 AM      

iFMagazine.com has an exclusive interview with Fringe co-creator J.J. Abrams, discussing the role mythology plays in the show, the dynamics between it’s characters, how to keep viewers week after week, and how Anna Torv is like Fringe's Clint Eastwood.

Click here to read the interveiw:


The creator gives iF the scoop on his new series and tells us why Anna Torv is his Clint Eastwood in the new series

By CARLOS DELGADO, Contributing Writer
Published 1/27/2009

With Fox's new hit series FRINGE currently hitting mid-season, it was about time we caught up with co-creator J.J. Abrams to talk about the role mythology plays in the show, the dynamics between it’s characters, how to keep viewers week after week. And if you're expecting some big scoop about STAR TREK, well, that's a whole other article down the road.

iFMAGAZINE: When people talk about FRINGE, a lot of times they talk about the mythology, but also, they talk about the father/son relationship between Walter Bishop and Peter Bishop [Joshua Jackson]. Did you realize how important that was going to be or did that just sort of develop?

J.J. ABRAMS: I’ve always been obsessed with the father/son dynamic, or parent/child. In FELICITY, ALIAS, or LOST. Mostly that’s been [co-creators] Damon [Lindelof] and Carlton [Cuse]. That relationship is always a primary one, and in a weird way, Olivia’s character [Anna Torv] is just now finding her real connection to this world. Not just what her job is but [emotionally] why this world of FRINGE science is intrinsically connected to who she is.

iF: What about Anna Torv’s character, Olivia Dunham?

ABRAMS: Here’s what’s cool -- not only do the next episodes start to connect things that are out there, but it also reveals that this experience is not the first time she’s crossed paths with "fringe" stuff. And again, you have to be careful, because you can get too mythological. But like I was saying, a lot of mythology storytelling, it’s just about doing the job to make it palatable for people who don’t study your show. You can’t expect someone, given a week of busy life, to come back next week and be like, “I’m back.” Some people will, but most won’t. But you just have to say, “Okay, if I’m new to this, I don’t want to get into it.” Which is why [last week's] episode… it [began] with a woman who’s been kidnapped. To me it’s like, I’m compelled to watch that episode. Like "who is she? Why was she grabbed? What does that mean?" It’s cool.

Also by the way, another little stupid secret. I think Anna, Olivia, who are a little adrift -- who is she? When I start to think of her as Clint Eastwood, when I start to think of her as the typical, as the relentless woman of few words but driven to… it’s like a weird thing where I started to like get a sense of who she is. Because she’s pretty great at being tough and dark. And then when she has moments of levity, you love her. In this one episode, her sister visits, and at like the worst f*cking time. And she’s got a little daughter, so it’s this great counter point and it makes me feel like, “Oh my God, she’s like me!” Like a crazy day, but when it comes to the important stuff, family, you have to turn all that off. I think Anna’s terrific playing that driven thing with moments of sweetness. But she’s a very different person to write for than Jennifer Garner, Evangeline Lilly or Keri Russell. It’s been interesting.

iF: But she didn’t seem that tied to John Noble’s character, Dr. Walter Bishop.

ABRAMS: Well, she wasn’t . And now she just comes to depend on him for the… you’ll see that there’s a connection that goes far deeper than her job.

iF: Since FRINGE is a new show, how hard has it been to find the show’s voice?

ABRAMS: It’s been hard because I was finishing STAR TREK. It’s Alex [Kurtzman], it’s Bob [Orci], it’s Jeff [Pinker], it’s me. It’s a little bit broken up in that way. But I feel like we’ve started to find the voice of the show a few episodes ago. And the ones that start to air now makes me, for me, feel like… like I can tell you what episode of FRINGE isn’t, where before I was like, “Well that could be our show!”

iF: What isn’t it?

ABRAMS: Well, it’s not one that is so mythology based that you have to go, “I don’t understand what the plot is.” It’s that weird balance of what’s the story you’re telling. It’s so obvious. Once you figure it out and you go, “Oh my God!” you’re like, “no sh*t.” But it’s what that personal story, that little baby step of the character, and how does this connect to the weirdness of the week. How does that reveal that thing? How does that become and it’s all about externalizing that internal step. But it’s that thing where every time you talk about it, people talk to me, it seems cheap but when it works, it’s exciting.


Post a Comment

Formatting Key:
- <b>bold</b> = bold
- <i >italic</i> = italic
- <a href="http://fringetelevision.com/">link</a> = link

Anonymous posting has been turned off.


Viral & Official FOX Websites

FTV Members


Powered by Blogger
Designed by Spot