Anna Torv Talks “Fringe” Return

After a nearly two-month hiatus (get caught up here), the sci-fi smash Fringe is back tonight with a pivotal episode called “Inner Child,” in which a mysterious mute child forms a connection with Agent Olivia Dunham. Meanwhile, an especially gruesome serial killer known as The Artist resurfaces, showcasing his murderous work publicly.

Anna Torv, who plays Agent Dunham, recently spoke with reporters about the show’s frequent stops and starts, and what viewers can expect out of the season’s final six episodes, which will include the return of recurring characters like Dr. Jones (Jared Harris) and Agent Harris (Michael Gaston). To the delight of Fringe fans everywhere, the episodes will air uninterrupted.

Fringe airs Tuesday nights at 9pm ET on FOX.

On what we’ll find out from Olivia’s past: “We slowly start to discover some — I never know what I can and what I can’t say — but we start to discover some things that sort of happened to her when she was really little that she doesn’t really remember, but they start to kind of — you start to see the stories or the lives of Peter (Joshua Jackson) and Walter (John Noble) and Olivia kind of begin to interlace a little bit, and you sort of see how their paths have crossed before.”

On her reaction to the season’s final 6 episodes: “I’m really excited, and … I think because we’re gearing up for the end of the season, things sort of started to get a little bit more cemented. We shot an episode a little while ago, one of the last ones directed by Akiva Goldsman [Oscar-winning screenwriter of A Beautiful Mind who wrote and directed the episode “Bad Dreams,” airing April 21], and I think that kind of pushes it into a different direction but not into a different world. It sort of pushes us a little bit deeper into some of the things that we’ve been touching on, and we’re shooting the season finale at the moment, and I’m really excited. I’m excited at the prospect of where the show could go. If we’re lucky enough to shoot a second season, I think it’s going to be really great.”

On the purported slow-building romance between Olivia and Peter: A couple of episodes ago, he was chatting up my sister, so I don’t know how they’re going to resolve that, but I certainly hope they wait until that’s sort of sorted out. [Laughs.] … I hope that they sort of stretch it out for as long as possible. I think that’s what makes it kind of fun when it’s like, ‘Oh, are they or aren’t they? What’s going on?’ I think there needs to be a few more close calls before they, you know, start heading down that track, because then you’ve got to break up and get back together again and the whole bit, right?”

On acting opposite some gruesome special effects: “Yes, some of it is awful. We have an episode coming up … where there’s a crash, and we end up with these bodies in the Lab. And we find these things in these bodies, and when you see that episode, they were really, I mean those bodies were revolting. … Actually one of the funniest things, this isn’t gross, but … I walk into the Lab to do a scene, and we’ve got these three bodies lying in these body bags that we eventually open, so there are actors in there. I walk in, and there’s these three young kids lying in these body bags. One is lying with just a head and hands out reading a book, totally out of place. [Laughs.] The other has got an iPod in and blood splattered all over his apron. You’re like, ‘What is this show?'”

On her favorite part of being on Fringe: I love it when I’m in motion. I love doing sort of the rough and tumble, running and gunning. I know that when we’re in the lab, I just get to be the question machine. I get to watch the boys sort of have fun at ‘The Walter and Peter Show.'”

On acting opposite a cow: “I don’t get to do that many scenes with Gene, unfortunately. Usually it’s Walter milking her or Peter getting him in trouble for having her in the Lab. … Usually when we have the cow on the set, we also have a whole lot of other animals because we’re in some laboratory, so there’s always the wranglers that bring her on, you know, sometimes … we’ll have monkeys or little hairless rats, so it just becomes a menagerie.”

On whether having so many programming hiatuses might hurt viewership: “I don’t know. I think we’re kind of lucky in that if you are following it, there are things to follow, but if you are just dropping in, I still think that you’re going to be able to get your head around it. You’ll be able to grasp where we’re at. I don’t know. That’s the sort of decisions that are, you know, way above me. And I’ve been on a couple of different shows that have had really big breaks and then come back, and it hasn’t affected it at all, and some that it has. So I’m really hopeful that people, you know, tune back in and go on the journey with us.”

On a potential second season: “I’m really excited to come back with a little bit of perspective. You know, you’re working, and so you’re so in it, and your brain — you know, we’re doing ADR for one episode, we’re doing B Unit work for another, and starting up A Unit on another, so you constantly have your head over these four things. And it sometimes doesn’t feel like anything ever gets finished or all completed. I’m excited to sort of take a step back actually and look at what we’ve done and sort of plot out where everybody is now at the end of it.”