FRINGE: Leonard Nimoy on Returning to the Series, What Bell is Up To, and If He’ll Be Involved in Season 5
May 10, 2012 by Marisa Roffman
While Leonard Nimoy has long insisted he was retired from acting, FRINGE fans were delighted when William Bell showed up (very much alive) in last Friday’s “Brave New World, Part 1.” So what drew him back to the Fox series?
“I think FRINGE is a wildly imaginative show,” Leonard Nimoy (William Bell) told reporters on a conference call earlier today. “I think the writers and creators of the show…are very bright and very theatrical. All of the characters are fleshed out wonderfully and the chemistry amongst the cast is terrific. I wanted to be a part of the project — I enjoy the project. The character of William Bell started off to be rather ambivalent; we weren’t sure if we were supposed to enjoy him or be afraid of him. We couldn’t quite figure out what his motivation was. At the end of last season, he seemed to come around to be less dangerous. This season, I think things have taken a different turn. He’s in a different universe and has taken on other characteristics. There are challenges in the character itself that were attractive to me — that I could play aspects of the character that I hadn’t played in a long time, so it was very welcoming to me.”
And while FRINGE executive producer J.H. Wyman admitted, “It took every restraint to keep this incredible secret,” Nimoy shared they only had to keep the secret a few months.
“I’m not sure exactly the amount of time, but I’d say [there was] about two or three months from the time that I knew I was going to do it until now,” Nimoy said. “Look, I’m a sucker for a good role. And J.J. Abrams, the executive producer of the show, is a friend of mine. He calls, I take his call. The writers and producers, Joel Wyman and Jeff Pinkner, and the cast, they’re a wonderful bunch of people, so when they called and asked me if I’d do it, it was pretty easy to convince me there was an interesting challenge in the character and wonderful company to work with.”
But now that he’s here, what the heck is William Bell up to? Given Bell’s sacrifice of David Robert Jones in the last episode, I asked Nimoy if there was anything Bell wouldn’t be willing to do in Friday’s season finale.
“Oh, oh, oh, oh!” he laughed. “You’re going to see some interesting activities on the part of William Bell tomorrow night. This character has gotten himself out on a limb and is doing some very wonderfully theatrical and bizarre activity.”
And now for the very big question — given his amberized appearance in the 2036 hour, “Letters of Transit,” will Nimoy be coming back for FRINGE’s fifth season?
“I’m sure that we will be having conversations about that before too long,” Nimoy said. “I haven’t heard anything new about William Bell or the show, except that it has been picked for 13 episodes, which I think is wonderful. I know the company was hoping for that, that they could have a final season to close out successfully. I haven’t heard anything about Bell coming back, but I’m sure I’ll be getting a call. And we’ll talk about it. It’ll depend on my schedule, it’ll depend on what they have in mind for the character. There are a lot of issues that have to be dealt with. But we’ll be talking.”
Are you excited to see what the heck Bell has planned in “Brave New World, Part 2″?
FRINGE airs Fridays at 9 PM on Fox.
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