In the sci-fi series “Fringe,” John Noble plays the slightly befuddled, yet brilliant Dr. Walter Bishop. As this season has revealed, there is — not only a nearly identical alternate universe paralleling ours — there is also a battle looming on the horizon as to which universe will be allowed to survive as they appear to be colliding– and only Walter and his son Peter seem to be able to stop it.
In the upcoming episode entitled “Firefly,” Christopher Lloyd plays Roscoe Joyce, a man whose world shifts forever when he finds out about the alternate universe. As Chris happily shared, “I was very excited about this role as my character goes through what he never realistically anticipated would happen.” He described Roscoe as “a man who sort of retired from life . . . his life as a rock star has faded,” and then because of the events in the episode, he sort of wakes up as “this parallel universe suddenly comes in very strongly.”
Talking about what it was like working with John Noble, Chris noted, “The two characters we play are from vastly different worlds, but are two aging souls with a common ground developing.” While it was a challenge to portraying Roscoe, who was having a lot of trouble grasping what’s going on, Chris still found the role a lot of fun to play.
As far as working with his “Fringe” cast-mates, Chris enthusiastically added, “I love working with John Noble!” In fact, Chris’ entire experience working with John and the rest of the cast on the show was a pleasure for him as he felt included and welcomed into their unique “Fringe” worlds. Thus, when Chris was asked if he would be reappearing on “Fringe” in future, John chimed-in exclaiming, “Wouldn’t it be great?!” John then explained, “[Chris is] one of my heroes . . .when they said Christopher Lloyd was coming on, it was like a dream come true. . . He had some huge scenes and just nailed it every time. We were thrilled to have him.”
On “Fringe,” John shared that Walter’s alternate, a.k.a. Walternate, will continue to be explored and developed throughout the remainder of the season. More of Walternate’s personal background will be shown and, for fans fearing that the alternate-world would be sidelined, John said to be on the lookout as there will be some truly wonderful episodes coming up in the alternate world. John revealed, “We just shot a scene last night showing just what kind of a CEO Walter is.” Though he noted, “You won’t see him falling apart, but you’ll see the humanization of [Walternate].” Speaking about the inherent conflict between the two different Walters, John hopes that there will be a resolution between them.
On a personal level, John also noted that having another world to play in has allowed the cast to portray their characters’ doppelgangers, which has been a huge opportunity for all of them as actors. It has provided not only expanded storylines by mixing it up for the characters, but also the actors have embraced the new challenges for their performances as well.
When noted that it was an amazing opportunity for two actors who have played mad scientists to compare notes, John ruefully said that he and Chris did not actually talk about it. Instead it was more that, “[they] just blended . . . we just understood each other”; and there was an intuitive bond between them, thus they did not need to discuss their respective forays into portraying unhinged scientists.
Throwing out one last shout-out to Chris, John generously said, “The best fun I had was with Chris Lloyd [portraying] these two old guys trying to find a way to communicate with each other.”
Lastly, as a bit of a tease about the episode itself, John said, “At the end of the episode, The Observer says something very telling that tells how much drama is ahead.” He also noted, “Our creative people — it must be a most amazing place to be — in their minds . . . ideas we wouldn’t even dream of!”
On that note, be sure to catch the all new episode “Fringe” on Friday, January 21, 2011 at 9:00 p.m. on FOX and see what other clues will be revealed.
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