By Jarett Wieselman
May 10, 2012
With his piercing eyes and insanely powerful presence, it's hard to imagine Michael Cerveris blending into the background -- but that's exactly what his biggest TV gig to date required him to do after Michael was cast as Fringe's mysterious Observer in the pilot episode.
Spotting him became an exciting small screen game of Where's Waldo, but that paled in comparison to the enervating effect Michael had on the show when his Observer, named September, stepped out of the shadows. Since The Arrival, a season one episode that delved deeper into Observer mythology, Michael has become a fan favorite -- and clearly a favorite with the writers as well since September has proven himself to be invincible! I caught up with Cerveris to find out how September plays into the Fringe season finale, why this has been such an exciting ride and what a fifth Tony nomination (for Best Actor in a Musical for Evita) means to him!
Insider.com: When you first signed on to Fringe, did you have any idea The Observers would become such important players?
Michael Cerveris: No. Not at all. When I first auditioned I was under the impression that this was a one episode guest star thing – and that's what they told me. Pretty quickly afterwards I got a call saying they had this idea to put me into every episode of the first season – I would just be in the background and they would reveal me around episode 13. I thought that was so cool. Then somebody at the network decided they liked the character so much they moved the reveal up to the fourth episode.
Insider: At that point, how much did they tell you?
Michael: I had a conversation with Jeff Pinker who said that this character is going to have crucial parts to play in the meta-story of the whole show. So as long as Fringe is on, I was told I'd be part of it – at the time, who knew what that meant! [laughs] It's worked out better than any of us could have dreamed. It's so fantastic to be part of a show that is so over-achieving in all the best ways.
Insider: It's true. And unlike so many other shows that promise big things, Fringe is actually able to accomplish the daring things it sets out to.
Michael: Yeah. That's true. And so few do it with as much heart. As complex as the storylines are and the science behind it all, Fringe is also a story about really beautiful human relationships. A lot of that has to do with the cast too because they're all such incredible actors.
Insider: I was thrilled when last week's promo revealed September would be back in the finale. What can you tease about the episode?
Michael: Yes! I was relieved to hear they'd let that much slip so I can confess to having been there. He does show up in Friday's episode with some key bits of the puzzle to explain. But even he is caught off guard by some things that happen in the episode, which is nice because he's normally a few universes ahead of everyone else. Some things happen that surprise even September – and will surprise the viewers for sure!
Read the entire theinsider.com article here.