Friday, October 19, 2012

Cutting Room Floor Commentary: Joshua Jackson & Anna Torv Talk Olivia's Ultimate 'Fringe' Journey...

On paper, Fringe was never a show that sounded like it was "for me." In season one, it started out as a weird, sci-fi case of the week procedural, with only tiny hints at a great mythology. And the greater mythology, as fascinating as it was once it was explained, was still something that was other-worldly. Growing up, I was always much more into shows grounded in a reality and a world that resembled the one I saw when I looked outside my own window, and when Fringe premiered, I was still stuck in that mentality. 

Season three rolled around, though, and someone told me I needed to give Fringe a try. At that point I had only seen the pilot and a handful of non-chronologically ordered season one episodes, and I hadn't attached to the characters the way I soon would. I know now this is because of my sporadic viewing and the plot-heavy nature of the first few episodes, but it took me a little longer at the time to see it.

As much as I love Fringe now and count it among some of the smartest television being produced (perhaps the smartest when it comes to network television), I never really stopped and analyzed the characters in reference to myself the way I have with countless other programs. I can't really offer an explanation for this-- only that our worlds were so different, it barely seemed important if I personally identified with Olivia (Anna Torv) or not. And at times it was kind of like 'How can I possibly identify her when she has gone through so many worse things (cough, Cortexiphan) to inform the distrustful person she can be?'

But listening to Torv talk about Olivia during my recent WB-sponsored Vancouver trip to the set of Fringe, I couldn't help but be struck by on-paper similarities that have certainly manifested themselves in much different ways for her on-screen than me in my life. 

"I think some people are just naturally-- they carry a little bit more on their shoulders and they are just naturally a little bit more isolated, essentially, and kind of loners," she noted.

"I feel that Olivia really is, despite how much she may not want to be."


And then Joshua Jackson brought it on home:

"Olivia-- she’s got some issues," Jackson laughed. "She’s, you know, she’s not a happy woman. And I think if Peter’s journey has been learning how to play well with others and be a part of a family, I think Olivia’s journey has been to come to a place of acceptance of herself and happiness...

"For her as a single-minded, extremely focused woman, to come to a place where she could accept this bizarro-world family and trust them-- which is not her strong suit-- and then allow that trust to grow into love, even through all the trials and tribulations that she and Peter went through. And the outcropping of that to be a child...I think she deserves it."

And now, at the end of the day, I realize I have never been happier that Olivia "having to die for the cause" had a loophole. After all, I need her to have a happy ending to still be able to see one for myself. I think it may be time for a Fringe re-watch, to more fully recognize and appreciate the similarities. 

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