Stephen Root guest stars on “Fringe” with real-life wife Romy Rosemont

By Stacey Harrison

In the furor over how and when Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) will return to the Fringe universe, the show continues the strange journey of its fourth season tonight in an episode called “And Those We’ve Left Behind,” which features a guest spot by consummate character actor Stephen Root.

The Office Space, NewsRadio and King of the Hill actor has played just about every role in just about every genre that’s out there, but one thing he hadn’t done was act alongside his wife, Romy Rosemont (Finn’s mom on Glee). Fringe, which is so good at bringing universes together, gave him that chance, as the pair play a husband-and-wife scientist team battling a disease.

Details were scarce (“they’ll kill me,” he joked), but Root did reveal to reporters this week that he and Rosemont’s main interaction with the Fringe cast was through Jackson.

Working with his wife was not only a joy personally, he said, it also helped the pair make their performances stronger.

“It’s easier to emotionally connect quickly to a big emotional place, since we’re actual husband and wife,” he said. “You don’t have a lot of time on television to do that usually. There is not a lot of rehearsal time. Us knowing each other so well — we’re probably knowing where the other person is going to go emotionally — was a help.”

In addition to Fringe, Root can currently be seen in Clint Eastwood’s biopic J. Edgar, and has just finished filming The Company You Keep for director Robert Redford. He said he also believes it is likely he will return to his recurring role on FX’s Justified next season.

Fringe airs tonight at 9 on FOX.

Photo: Credit: Liane Hentscher/FOX