I’m yet to see tonight’s Fringe, which unfortunately means I can’t expand much on our plot teaser.
When a serial kidnapper “over there” strikes again, the emotional and familiar case hits home for Colonel Broyles, sending a determined Olivia to uncover additional details about the abductions. So as has been the case all season, we continue the B universe episode then A universe episode structure. We’ve got a case of the week, with Olivia on the job. Sounds interesting.
In the meantime, Olivia fights on and reunites with Henry (guest star Royo) to enlist his services on an intense and covert mission to return home in the all-new “The Abducted” episode of FRINGE airing Thursday, Nov. 18 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. And really that’s all we get that first sentence and now this one. At the end of last week’s episode, we saw imaginary Peter in Olivia’s head tell her that she was now expendable to the B-universe people and needed to get out. So we can assume Henry is marshaled for that cause. At any rate, Fox let a bunch of entertainment writers sit down with Andre Royo, formerly of The Wire, and the following is the result:
Moderator Our first question comes from the line of Joshua Maloney from Niagara Frontier Publications.
Joshua Obviously Henry and Olivia had somewhat of a precarious beginning to their relationship. What can you tell us about the circumstances surrounding their reunion? How does that sort of come about?
Andre It comes about just as it did in the first episode, caught off-guard, by surprise. You just see the energy that these two share about trying to help one another in their own way. It’s just great chemistry between Henry and Olivia.
Joshua Obviously we know that she plays a good guy. She’s a very heroic character, but obviously when she met Henry she more or less threatened him into doing what she needed.
Andre She scared the hell out of me, yes.
Joshua What do you think he sees in her though because he does seem that he’s willing to help her out? What do you think makes him motivated to do that?
Andre I think my work with Henry kind of came across and like I think we get a sense … the first episode at the end when I said … about, I don’t know. I think Henry goes from a nice idea, not really knowing what’s right or what’s wrong, what’s good or what’s bad, but the idea is this person is so committed to trying to get somewhere. I feel like Henry has been in those situations before, trying to just do the right thing. Not being judgmental, but if I can help out, I’ll help out and that kind of good karma maybe will help me when I’m feeling weak to get over what I have to get over.
Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Bruno Saraceno from TheVoiceOfTV.com.
Bruno I wanted to really get your thoughts on Fringe as a series and what your thoughts are and kind of how it is working with Anna.
Andre Fringe is amazing, coming from where I came from, The Wire, such a heavy-based, realistic show dealing with the … and politics. You go on Fringe and I was really blown away by the tone of the show, dealing with Sci-Fi and dealing with mystery and dealing with the things that they deal with. It can really come across crazy/campy and be corny. But this show, the way they deal with the story line, I just find it so very intense, very suspenseful. Even though it’s dealing with stuff that is crazy, Sci-Fi energy, there’s still a sense of a real aspect of humanity and what people are going through in just trying to make their world a better place that I find interesting.
Anna, first of all she’s a great looking woman. The chemistry that we— Being stuck in a cab with a, for a whole 18-hour day shoot is a great feeling. I really enjoy the chemistry. I really enjoy her work ethic. She really gets into her character. She really commits to what we’re trying to do with the scene. When you’re working with somebody like that, it’s just how you … excitement of acting. I like being around other actors who really want to put in the work and do their job. It’s not like when you’re working with somebody who’s just … with storytelling … fantastic.
Moderator Next question’s from the line of Charlie Jane Anders from io9.
Charlie Now that Henry has kind of glimpsed what’s really going on in his world, do you think he’s going to keep looking out for stuff? Do you think we’re going to see more of Henry in other episodes? Also, do you think we might ever see the Henry from our universe, the other Henry?
Andre This is what’s great about this show. You don’t know. Just like, I don’t know if other TV show’s are like this, but just like The Wire, these writers are writing as we shoot, so we don’t really know what’s going to happen. I feel like the way that me and Olivia—me and Anna—are playing and the way they so far they’ve structured our relationship, I believe that you’ll see Henry in both universes either trying to help her get there and making sure that she’s safe and in that universe when she goes back, who knows. They seem to be showing other peoples’ identities on the other side. I don’t know what they have in store for Henry, but I’m excited to see what they come up with.
Moderator Your next question comes from the line of Steven James from Fox.com.
Steven A question that I had being a big fan of The Wire, can you talk a little bit about if there are any differences between filming that show and filming something like Fringe? The Wire felt like a very intimate, kind of documentary feel to filming where it almost didn’t feel like it was a TV production, that someone was on the street with a camera shooting all of it. Where Fringe feels like a much bigger budget kind of Sci-Fi feel TV show. What were the differences between filming …?
Andre The two main differences were my outlook because The Wire was such a huge cast and because we were sole based in Baltimore, the city itself was a major part of the show. My character was in a different mind space, but I think what David Simon did for the cast of The Wire, which helped us out, was within our scene he made sure that there were people that were real-life into it in the scene with you. Like for the drug dealers, we had ex drug dealers in the scene playing little parts. You kind of felt their heat of these people looking at you like you better get it right. When I did a scene, there were real junkies or people dealing with what Bubbles was dealing with within the scene with me. I felt their energy like I’m looking at you and if you have any sense of false or fakeness, I’m going to call you out.
In Fringe, they can’t really do that; they can’t have somebody who’s been traveling in different universes really sitting there going, “That’s not it. That’s not how it goes.” It’s much more of a fantasy-based storytelling where you’re not going to have that heavy sense of realism surrounding you. That’s like the only major difference in shooting Fringe as opposed to shooting The Wire.
As far as … cast and crew, they’re the same. They’re dealing with the same type of tones and motions as far as humanity and justice. The actors are all professional and they all come to play; they all come to work. It’s just that little thing of realism and fantasy that comes across when you’re looking at— Like you said, a documentary is not going to look like a movie that’s based on a documentary and you definitely get a different feel, but they’re both saying the same thing. When done right, they both entertain in the same way as well.
Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Andrew Braverman from popmatters.com.
Andrew What was it like to work with the rest of the cast? How is it coming in and then coming back to do another episode?
Andre It was my first time shooting out in Vancouver and the cast and crew were fantastic. It was just … coming from The Wire, the cast and crew were fantastic, but just being in Baltimore, in that city, which is a major part of the show, there was always a little element of danger or a little element of grit that kind of I guess helped make the show what it was, but kept …. In Vancouver, there’s a lot more …. It’s a nicer feel and the crew was wonderful. I guess because I’m coming from another show that was kind of successful, it was always great. When you walk in somebody else’s kitchen you could get attitude like, “Hey, this is our world. Don’t try to butt in. Just do your job and get out.” Since most of them were fans of the show, they kind of embraced me in a warm way. I was really thankful for that.
You always feel a little weird when you come to somebody else’s show especially when you’re just a guest star at first. You walk in, you don’t …. You try to do your job and get out. You kind of feel like I can’t really connect with everybody because I’m an outsider. But, the minute I got there they really embraced me and said, “You’re not an outsider. Welcome to the ….” My man, Lance, from The Wire is there so he looked out for me and we made sure that our presence was known.
Steve Most of The Wire and Fringe, they’re very heavy, serious dramas. I know that you’ve done a little bit of comedy, but do you have an interest in doing more comedy or do you consider yourself more of a dramatic actor?
Andre I love comedy. There’s a certain intensity in comedy that you don’t usually see in drama. That’s my foundation. That’s where I started, but in drama, people really sit back and they kind of wait for you to take them where you want to take them. If something funny happens, it’s a surprise and it’s enjoyed and when it gets serious people are ready for whatever journey.
In comedy, they … like, “Make me laugh right now. You better just make you laugh. If you don’t, you’re whacked.” That challenge I always found fantastic. You always want to challenge yourself. I want to do more comedy and I think with the drama I think that the humor inside me always seems to seep out. I was shocked when a lot of people came up to me and said that certain things that Bubbles did were funny. You don’t go out there trying to be funny, you’ve just got to react to a situation the way you feel a character would. I would love to do more comedy. I would love to do a lot of drama. You know what I think? I think I love to work. I just want to keep working.