'Fringe' talks Leonard Nimoy, 'American Idol' backlash, cross-dressing & more
Because "Fringe" is a show that teaches us to expect the unexpected, I wasn't all that thrown off last night when The Paley Festival panel honoring the series went a bit wild.
The topics brought up ranged from the
normal -- Leonard Nimoy's casting -- to the not-so-normal: "American Idol" backlash, scaring Germans and cross-dressing. Mhmm.
Last time I spoke with John Noble (Walter), he mentioned how well he and Joshua Jackson (Peter) get along, and yesterday, the audience got a taste of their real-life dynamic when a fan inquired if Walter might be a cross-dresser. John started to tell a story from his own life, and a horrified Josh exclaimed, "Stop right there! I beg you, do not finish that sentence." It was very Walter-and-Peter-esque. And sadly, John didn't finish the story, so we're all left wondering just exactly what he planned on saying.
John and Josh weren't the only ones with hilarious interactions during the panel -- the whole cast and crew had their fun with each other. Shortly after Anna Torv (Olivia) started talking, J.J. Abrams interrupted her and said, "She's Australian?? How cool is that?!" Anna laughed and pointed out that John is Australian as well. Executive producer Bryan Burk later interrupted Josh mid-sentence, to let everyone know that he's Canadian.
And the shout outs to various nations around the globe continued. Our moderator, EW's Ken Tucker, said that, according to his
daughter who lives in Germany, the title of the show there roughly
translates to "Fringe: Worst Cases of the FBI," which amused everyone. Apparently, the German
television stations aired commercials for the series that made the Fringe cases look like actual breaking news. Remember the baby that rapidly aged, dying within a couple hours? Yeah, I guess that really freaked the Germans out. "Scaring Germans?!," executive producer/show runner Jeff
Pinkner exclaimed. "We win!"
Something else the show has won? That coveted post-"American Idol" time slot... though, there is many a "Fringe" fan who doesn't appreciate the series' place on the schedule. Lately it's become a pain, given "AI" episodes often run over their allotted hour, pushing "Fringe" past its allotted hour, making it impossible for DVRs to record the show's last few scenes. But Burk encouraged viewers to look on the bright side, reminding fans how helpful "AI" is as far as ratings are concerned. "Everyone should
be blessed with 'American Idol' as a lead-in," he said. And yes, I guess we should all remember that when "Fringe" is one of the few freshman series renewed for a second season next month.
When that second season does roll around, "Star Trek" legend Leonard Nimoy -- as I mentioned before -- will be appearing on "Fringe" as the often talked about, but never before seen, William Bell, who also happens to be the former partner of Walter. John thanked the producers on the panel for the casting of Nimoy, because though they haven't yet shared scenes, "it's a real honor to get to work with him." FYI, Nimoy fans, send Burk your thank you notes -- he's the one who suggested him for the role.
Anna, who has already worked with Nimoy in scenes that will air later this season, admitted with a laugh that she had to
fight the urge to flash him the "live long and prosper" sign.
The casting is definitely a good move for the show in many ways, especially where publicity is concerned. But FOX will continue to promote "Fringe" with weird "Where's Waldo?"-type Observer sitings. So far, eagle-eyed fans have spotted the mysterious character at a NASCAR race, in the "American Idol" audience and at a Giants football game late last year.
Josh said he was pretty upset about
seeing the Observer at the Giants game, because it took him the longest time to get tickets, and when he finally did, they were nosebleeds. Still, he was super happy to be sitting in the stadium when the Observer popped up on the jumbotron, just chillin' on the sidelines.
Josh used some, uh, colorful language to describe his reaction.
But let me ask you this: What would your reaction have been if you'd seen the Observer hangin' out at Obama's inauguration? Seems FOX tried to make that happen too, but it didn't quite work out.
What? A creepy, suspicious-looking mystery man banned from the president's welcoming ceremony? But why?!
-Reporting by Marisa Roffman
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