FRINGE: Blair Brown on Nina and Olivia's New Relationship and the 'Huge,' 'Complicated' Episode 19 - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

FRINGE: Blair Brown on Nina and Olivia’s New Relationship and the ‘Huge,’ ‘Complicated’ Episode 19

March 18, 2012 by  

FRINGE’s Blair Brown (Nina) is a very good tease.

Her teases of the Nina (and alt-Nina)-heavy “The End of All Things”? Fantastic.

And now, she has some teases for FRINGE viewers about the always mind-bending episode 19 which may or may not have you searching for the nearest calendar to count down the days.

Keep reading for those, her take on the new Olivia and Nina relationship, playing those torture scenes and more…

One of the Ninas was put through some pretty physical torture in the last episode. What was that like for you to film?
Blair Brown: Torture!  [Laughs] It was, in fact, torture. because you play it up that you’re being electrocuted and strapped to a bed, and that night, I had a giant lump at the back of my head. And was really tired of screaming.

Of course, I had to do the ADR afterwards, so I got to scream by myself in a studio in New York, which was fairly hilarious. I was like, “Didn’t I scream enough that day? I screamed all day long.” But no, no. It was great to do this scene, because that’s the joy of this show for actors. [Laughs] You have no idea what they’re going to do to you next. It could be anything.

In the past, you’ve said that you’d like to see alt-Nina out of control. Have you found that now that she exists, she’s what you thought?
BB: Well, as you’ll see in the next few episodes, something happens to her. She’s not the same person, but she’s in a more confined circumstance. That’s all I can say so they don’t kill me.

We don’t want that! One of the things it seems a lot of people have been drawn to in this new timeline has been the new relationship between Olivia and Nina. How has that been for you guys to play?
BB: It’s interesting because I knew somewhere I was going to have some mothering quality to Olivia at some point, but when we started, we thought we were just in one world. So I was always disappointed. Now I love the fact that I took her and her sister and I raised them. There is this closeness that is there, which of course can be betrayed if someone wanted to do that. That’s what’s nice to play.

If the timelines were to revert back to the one we knew seasons 1-3, is there any way they can maintain that new relationship?
BB: Things go through so many permutations. If they had these experiences, even in other timelines, it starts to add value to the relationships, much like you have the whole Peter-Olivia thing. “Which Olivia am I in love with?” Or he’s in love with both Olivias, but he wants to find the real Olivia? And for her, that same confusion.

If we are to go back, all of that would be there between Olivia and Nina. As there will between Walter and Nina, because they have such different history in the alt-world than they do in the first world. There was no William Bell, there was no Massive Dynamic in the alt-world, so her relationship with Walter is quite other. It’s so complicated in this reality. Complicated in ways we haven’t really explored yet — John [Noble (Walter)] and I talk all the time about what our history might be because it has so many possibilities.

Will we be seeing a lot of Walter and Nina scenes in the next batch of episodes?
BB: Not so far. I mean, you see scenes where Walter is talking about Nina in both worlds.

And you never know where FRINGE will end up.
BB: And the episode [we just shot], 4×19, for any other show, that would be a finale! [Laughs] Because it’s so huge, it’s so complicated. You just think, wow, we have three more after that.

And 4×19 is always a big one for the show. What can you tease about the episode?
BB: I was hoping for claymation, but it’s not. [Laughs] It’s not claymation. Maybe season 5 we’ll do the claymation episode.  This one is a total mind-bender, it really is. It’s pretty stunning. You go along reading going, “Okay. All right then.” People appear that we’ve never heard of before but have a connection to some of us, many of us. It’s a good one. It’s a really good one.

I’m really intrigued by Nina’s role in that hour, because in the 19s, she’s often even more questionable than normal. Heck in 3×19, they dropped her down an elevator shaft!
BB: [Laughs] Yes they did! That was Olivia’s idea! I never liked that thought. What did I ever do to her?

She was apparently harboring a bit of resentment!
BB: [Laughs] This one is good. Different things have happened to different [people] on our team. We’ve all had different experiences in this one. It’s…interesting. I’m dying to tell you, but I can’t. It will spoil the fun. But it’s good.

What I love about where the show is up to now is that the relationships of the characters are so deep and complex over universes and eons of time, almost. And you have the whole Observer story so you have a really strong mix of great sci-fi, “What’s happening? What is reality?” And then you have these really deep human relationships that are trying to find their way. I think over time, both of those elements have gotten really strong. It’s no longer just our team trying to figure out the fringe [event] of the week; it’s much bigger than that. And it’s cost everybody. I think watching it, you have a feeling for these characters and their situations they’re in which are quite human — but in a huge, metaphysical, sci-fi term, which is kind of great.

Looking forward, Meana went through a lot to do this testing on Olivia. Did she make any attempts to do something similar to the Olivia on her own side, or did she know there was something special about this version?
BB: Because of the [lack of] William Bell, she was shut out, but she has the same intelligence, the same drive, the same ambition that she had on this side. But they were all thwarted. So when Jones comes along and at some point says, “We want to cut off your arm and you can be a part of what’s really happening,” she says yes. We haven’t seen that scene yet, but we know now that’s not her arm and she didn’t lose it the way real Nina lost it. So you have a pretty desperate woman there.

Which is not what the other Nina is. She may have wells of confusion and sadness and certainly a very protected person. I think this [alternate] Nina is not protected. The alternate world is much rougher.

How will this reveal of the second Nina change things going forward?
BB: Alt-Nina obviously knew about the real Nina, but Nina-Nina didn’t know about her. So yeah, it puts in our universe a real danger, because how do people believe her? And she knows now how much danger they’re in on this world because Jones is loose on the other side.

I was hoping that Meana and Jones would be seen on a yacht, living that kind of life. But that hasn’t happened yet.

Clearly, this is what the finale is heading towards.
BB: [Laughs] I think so! I’d like Meana to be Euro-trash. I think that would be right. You never know!

It’s FRINGE, you really, truly never know.
BB: I could be a plate of scrambled eggs by the next episode! [Laughs]

FRINGE airs Fridays on Fox at 9 PM.


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6 Responses to “FRINGE: Blair Brown on Nina and Olivia’s New Relationship and the ‘Huge,’ ‘Complicated’ Episode 19”

  1. Donna on March 18th, 2012 1:01 pm

    I just love her. She is so lovely and classy and so into the show. And she has the sci-fi street cred (Altered States), too.

  2. FP on March 22nd, 2012 1:48 pm

    Thank you for Blair’s interview. It’s so nice to hear her thoughts on the show and on Nina.

    It’s fantastic that we’ll have more Nina in future episodes; she adds so much to the story and I love this new Nina/Olivia connection.

  3. OldDarth on March 22nd, 2012 2:33 pm

    As always Marisa, another fantastic Fringe article from you. Love reading your work.

  4. Kacsa on March 22nd, 2012 2:49 pm

    I love Blair.
    She is so much clear and understandable.

    I appreciate her appearance in future episodes very much 😉
    I fact there was always a strange feeling to Nina in my heart. She was always so mysterious, so “fringy”. I adore her.

    GO GET ‘EM, BLAIR! 😀

    PS.: I LOVE the expression “Meana” xD

  5. Marisa Roffman on March 22nd, 2012 9:08 pm

    Love that you guys love her, too!

    @OldDarth: Thank you, that is SO kind!

  6. Aiswarya Girisj on March 22nd, 2012 10:22 pm

    Ah, claymation! 😛 I love Blair.