Eye on Emmy: How Fringe's Anna Torv Finds the Reality Amid the Unreal
by Matt Webb Mitovich
As FBI agent Olivia Dunham, Fringe’s Anna Torv this past season loved and lost a man, endured a difficult pregnancy, and cheated death all but one time. Complementing the spectacular conceits of dual universes, duplicate selves, accelerated gestation periods and time-jumps, the drama quotient remained high as well, with this formidable female often feeling – literally — the weight of our world on her shoulders. Perhaps it’s time for Emmy voters to see past the Fox series’ fantasy elements and give props to the Aussie actress who delivers the fantastic week after week.
TVLINE This season, you played Olivia, “Bolivia,” Bolivia-as-Olivia, and Olivia as… Leonard Nimoy. How did that work out for you?
This season was my favorite so far. You do a show, and there are things you do every episode – like, we always have a crime scene – so to all of a sudden throw it in the air and be given the chance to play a whole lot of different stuff is fun.
TVLINE Could you have imagined three years ago you’d be juggling all this?
I didn’t know what to imagine even after we finished the pilot. But this [third] season exceeded my expectations, and I think everybody had a ball, actually. Season 1, [which was filmed] in New York, was awesome, and Season 2 we were feeling things out in a new town [Vancouver] with a completely different crew. So this past year essentially [felt like only] the second season – and everybody says that’s the best one, because you’re relaxed.
TVLINE Are you worried about what the writers might throw at you next?
I don’t know what they’re thinking, especially with the way we ended this season.
TVLINE I have to imagine you’ll now be playing Olivia and Bolivia concurrently in the same space…
I’m thinking so, which will be tough on the hair department but fun for me. [Laughs] The only scene they had together was at the end of Season 2, when they had to fight in the apartment. I don’t know how much of that they’re going to do because that took a damn long time to shoot.
TVLINE How do you go about making Bolivia not simply “the evil twin”?
I didn’t know where [the writers] were going to go with her, so I tended to just play it scene-for-scene or episode-for-episode. There were a couple where I thought, “Oh, she kind of is going bad,” but then you get to see her in other situations and she becomes a person. Going back to the other side and getting to play a bunch of stuff where she’s in her own world I think did great things for the character, because then you went, “She’s just fighting for her cause.”
TVLINE Talk about how you worked with John Noble to nail down what was basically an impersonation of an in absentia Leonard Nimoy.
I was not excited when that script came out. I was fearful. So what do you do? You call the people that are much better than you and say, “Help!” [Laughs] John had worked with Leonard, plus I was so, so nervous, I wanted to make sure that when I went to set to do it for the first time there was at least one person that I could look at who I had done it with before and trusted. It offered an element of comfort.
TVLINE Did you ever get a note from Mr. Nimoy?
I did! I got an email saying, “I’ve been hearing good things about your impersonation of me.” I wrote back, “Oh gosh, I’m so sorry. Why they didn’t give it to Josh [Jackson] or John, I don’t know.” He was so darling, he wrote back, “It wouldn’t have been as charming.”
Read the rest of Anna's interview HERE!