Interview with Jasika Nicole of "Fringe" on
I love "Fringe". It's one of the best shows on TV. I
hope it returns next season. Jasika Nicole plays a great character
Astrid. It's a small part, but she does a lot with it. She is a fan
favorite. I didn't realize how much until I did this call. I could not
get my question in because the call was so crowded with her fans. It was
great to listen to her, though. She seems so nice.
FBC PUBLICITY: The Fringe Call with Jasika Nicole
February 2, 2012/8:30 a.m. PST
Moderator Ladies and gentlemen, we'd like to thank you for standing by
and welcome to The Fringe Call with Jasika Nicole. At this time, all
participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we'll have a question and
answer session with instructions being given at that time. As a
reminder, today's call will be recorded.
I would now like to turn the call over to your host and facilitator, Mr.
Josh Governale. Please go ahead sir.
J. Governale Thank you Steve. Good morning and afternoon everyone. Thank
you for joining us on the Fringe conference call with Jasika Nicole. As
a reminder, tomorrow night is a very Astrid-centric Fringe episode
titled "Making Angels" that will air at 9/8 Central on Fox. So without
further delay, let's proceed and please welcome Jasika Nicole. First
Moderator Our first question will come from the line of Kyle Nolan of
TVIsMyPacifier.com. Please go ahead.
K. Nolan Hi Jasika. Thanks for taking time to talk to us. So it sounds
like this week's episode the two Astrids finally meet. What was it like
playing opposite yourself?
J. Nicole Hi. Thank you very much. Nice to be here and thanks for
calling in. It was actually pretty overwhelming to play against myself.
Not only because it was the first huge episode that I had just as an
actor. But I was kind of doing double-duty as both Astrids. She's got
these really emotional scenes.
So what would normally take us maybe four or five hours to complete took
us about eight or ten hours because we had to do it twice essentially.
And there was actually one scene where they're both Astrids and both
Olivias and then Walter and Peter. So, it just took us all day long.
Anna Torv actually pulled me aside and gave me all these tips on how to
do it because she's the one who, you know, plays her doppelganger in
most of the show. So it was technically very difficult and emotionally
difficult. But it was really, really exciting and totally worth it.
K. Nolan Which of the two Astrids do you find is more challenging or fun
J. Nicole Old Astrid is much more challenging to play just because she's
so physically different than I am. I didn't even realize but after the
first several months of playing her I would come home with a headache
every single day. And it's because she's so stiff in her movements, and
she's just got these mannerisms that I don't have and my body is not
used to them.
So it's really, really difficult to play her. Also, because she speaks
so quickly that I have to know my lines like, backwards and forwards
because she spits it out really, really, like spitfire quick. So she's
the most fun and the most challenging actually.
K. Nolan Great. Thanks. I can't wait to see your episode tomorrow night.
J. Nicole Thank you so much. I hope you like it.
Moderator Our next question will come from the line of Matt Mitovich of
TVLine. Please go ahead.
M. Mitovich Hey Jasika. Thank you for your time today.
J. Nicole Thank you.
M. Mitovich The way I understand it, old Astrid comes to see you. I'm
just curious is there a throw away line about why Astrid never sought
out to meet her other self? Like, I knew if I had a doppelganger I'd go
to meet him just to see if he found like a better haircut.
J. Nicole Yes. You know, I think in the world of Fringe because they're
solving these cases and they're trying to save lives and they're trying
to protect these universes from being destroyed. So I feel like any like
ounces of selfishness totally get taken out of the equation. Like, who
has time to go across to another universe and spy on their doppelganger
when, you know, hundreds of people who are nearing death because there
are some like crazy vigilante that's out on the loose killing them all.
So, I think, deep down inside this Astrid would have loved to go over
there to see her. But it's just never, you know, it hasn't come up and
there's been so much other work to do. But interestingly enough, the
reason that old Astrid does come to this universe is for selfish
reasons; not in a negative way necessarily. But it's something personal
happens to her and it's really traumatic.
She doesn't have anybody else to turn to. So her only option is to come
here, which I think is pretty incredible. I think it's very brave
because I think there's a possibility that this Astrid is too afraid to
maybe go over to the alternate universe and see if her alternate has a
better haircut than her.
M. Mitovich Interesting. And what does spending time with old Astrid do
for our Astrid? Does it give her pause to reflect on choices she's made
or her potential?
J. Nicole It definitely does and that's the main reason that she comes
here is to, I think, get a little bit of clarity. She knows that this
Astrid is different than she is. I'm not sure exactly how she knows, you
know, maybe she's heard other people talking or something, and that is a
really key element in figuring out what her next steps are. So she wants
to see this other Astrid who's different than her, who is emotionally
available and who probably has different relationships with the people
in her life, and that's why she comes here.
M. Mitovich Thank you.
J. Nicole Sure. Thank you.
Moderator Our next question will come from the line of Kathy Huddleston
of Blaster.com. Please go ahead.
K. Huddleston Hi.
J. Nicole Hi.
K. Huddleston Thanks for doing this.
J. Nicole Oh, it's my pleasure. Thank you.
K. Huddleston So as you are going forward, you know, the show has been
going for a long time and switched up a lot at different times. What
kind of challenges have you faced going through not only playing the old
Astrid but our Astrid?
J. Nicole I think that the biggest challenge that I went through was
this season, actually, when we started this new timeline. Then, I
realized that all of the relationships were different now that Peter had
never been a part of our lives and we didn't know who he was. But,
specifically, the relationship between Astrid and Walter was really
different because Olivia was more his confidant, his caretaker. He would
seek her out when he was in a bad place and needing help and he didn't
really go to Astrid so much.
She was more his babysitter than his friend. That was really difficult
for me at first because I wasn't sure why Astrid was a part of the team
if it wasn't to be Walter's guide and, you know, his shoulder to cry on
sort of thing. But then as the season went on I realized that because
she didn't have such a close relationship with Walter I think that she
was the only person in this world that was welcoming to Peter.
You know, Olivia didn't want to have anything to do with him. Walter
didn't want to have anything to do with him. Broyles was totally freaked
out by him and Astrid was the one who was always saying, "You know it's
okay. He's probably not a bad guy. We've got to help this person."
So that was kind of, you know, an interesting different choice to have
made. I just wasn't expecting it. But now that, you know, we've had this
huge Astrid episode I see that her relevance is way even beyond just
helping Walter because you can see that she helps everybody.
K. Huddleston Yes. Wow. And what kind of a journey would you say that
Astrid is on this season?
J. Nicole You know, I know what journey alternate Astrid is on. I don't
know what journey this Astrid is on. But alternate Astrid is looking for
solace. She's had a rough life actually. And this only comes, to let you
know, in this episode that airs tomorrow and Friday.
But this Astrid has had such a charmed life compared to the other
Astrid. I think that this Astrid has taken that for granted because, you
know, you never know what other direction your life could have gone
down. So seeing this alternate Astrid has probably given her a little
bit more insight into how fortunate she has been and lucky that she is
to have the people around her that she does.
K. Huddleston Thank you so much.
J. Nicole Thank you.
Moderator Our next question will come from the line of Reg Seeton of
TheDeadbolt.com. Please go ahead.
R. Seeton Hi Jasika. Thanks for taking the call.
J. Nicole Hi Reg. Thank you.
R. Seeton Can you talk about the ways in which both Astrids need each
other and how you see that connection?
J. Nicole Well, I think that alternate Astrid needs the Astrid over here
because she–alternate Astrid is not closed off. She's got Asperger’s. So
she has some fundamentally different things about her that make her
associate with other people and the rest of the world. I don't think
that she necessarily wants to be closed off or wants to be awkward in
conversations and social interactions. It's just how she is.
But I think that knowing that there is another version of her out there
that doesn't have these difficulties makes her excited, makes her want
to meet her and know what her life is like. And because of this
traumatic event that ends up happening to one of Astrid’s, alternate
Astrid’s, family members that's the impetus to bring her to this
universe to find out more about, you know, the could have, should have,
would have's. I think that this Astrid needs the alternate Astrid just
to give her perspective on her life.
You know, she's been closed up inside this lab for the last four years
with this, kind of, crazy doctor and these really bizarre, terrifying
things are happening in the world. Then she meets this woman that looks
just like her that could've had the exact same life as her and did not.
So that, I think, opens up her eyes a little bit to let her realize how
fortunate she is to have these people in her life. As crazy and
dysfunctional as her work family is, it is a family and that is of great
significance to her.
R. Seeton What have you learned about yourself as an actress after
playing two sides of the character?
J. Nicole Gosh, I've learned that it's really important to rely on the
other people that are around you, on your ensemble. I never really had a
chance to discover that, at least not with this show. But it would have
been impossible to do those scenes successfully without having support
from the other actors and the crew members on set. They just gave it
110%, which made it so much easier to do the work that I had to do. So
it was truly an ensemble piece with all the crew and the cast members.
R. Seeton Great. Good luck. Thank you very much.
J. Nicole Thanks a lot.
Moderator Our next question will come from the line of Tara Bennett of
SFX Magazine. Please go ahead.
T. Bennett Hi. Thanks much for doing this.
J. Nicole Hi Tara. Thank you.
T. Bennett So I wanted to ask, going back a little bit about what you
talk about which is this universe this year has created a very different
dynamic ... what we had always expected that closeness between you and
Walter and this universe we don't really have that. But yet, you are now
out in the field. You're also having more interaction with Olivia and
Lincoln. And so what has that kind of brought out in your character and
what has that brought out being able to, kind of, interact with them
more in a very different way?
J. Nicole Yes. I think the difference between the relationship with
Astrid and Walter was a little bit sad for me to part with. But what I
gained from that besides, you know, kind of creating this idea that
she's the only person that's welcoming to Peter is like you said, she's
got this really lovely kind of like BFF relationship with Olivia that we
never got to see before. And I absolutely love that. I think that the
fans have really been into that too because this whole time we've
had–these are the two women that work together the closest because, of
course, Nina is a part of the show. But she works at Massive Dynamics
and is a bit separate.
So when we would have all these themes and you would never see Olivia
and Astrid like hanging out and talking together. It was like, oh, why
wouldn't they be friends. You know, they're both really smart. They have
a very similar difficult job. They work with the same crazy people. So
that was a really, really cool part of this season is seeing Olivia and
Astrid hang out together. And now I have this idea that they probably
like, you know, go out for wine twice a month or go to see a movie or
something like that because they're with each other so much of the day
that they have to depend and rely on each other more so than what we see
in the actual episodes.
T. Bennett Which is great and I get that sense too when you're watching
the two of them that there is a link to them that we haven't gotten to
see in other universes which is so wonderful. Have you gotten to play
maybe a little bit more of that that we're going to continue to see?
J. Nicole Yes. We have. We are doing it. You've done–you know, each
little scene is so precious that we get. So I, like, at one point knew
exactly how many scenes Olivia and Astrid had together where you could
tell that they were friends. We do have a couple more coming up which is
really awesome, and maybe even more for the rest of the season. So we'll
T. Bennett Thank you so much.
J. Nicole Thank you.
Moderator Our next question will come from the line of Sheldon Wiebe of
EclipseMagazine.com. Please go ahead.
S. Wiebe Hi, good morning. Thanks so much for doing this so early in the
J. Nicole Hi Sheldon. Thank you.
S. Wiebe Now I saw the sneak peek video that was brief clips of
interviews with you and the cast. And you said that you cried five times
reading the treatment as the cast members talked about what it was like
on set. I was wondering if maybe you could talk about what it was about
the treatment that spoke to you so deeply, so quickly. I mean a
treatment is really a very short form. And maybe if you could go into
the actual on set shoot a little more deeply from your perspective?
J. Nicole Oh sure. Well, when I say treatment I actually mean like the
very, very first draft which is very different than our last draft. So I
probably misworded that. It was an actual script. But it was going to go
through like at least six different changes by the time we ended up
But I think it was a combination of a lot of things that had me so
emotional. Not only because it is a really heartbreaking story that is
being told with the two Astrids which is about, you know, family and
loss, and having regrets and feeling confident in who you are and not
being able to take that away. But also on top of that just the fact that
I've been waiting for four years to do an Astrid heavy episode. So, when
I finally got it, it was just–it was a little bit overwhelming. You
know, like is something that you've been wishing for so long and you get
to a point where you don't think it's ever going to happen.
I think that I had kind of become resigned in thinking that. You know,
oh, Astrid is not going to get a big episode and that's okay because
it's been such a lovely thing to be part of the show. So anyway, I
finally get the script and it is a heavy Astrid episode and not only
just one Astrid but two Astrids. And then there's like all of this
emotional turmoil that's going on within the story. So it was emotional
on a lot of different levels.
In terms of shooting it, it was just really, really rewarding and tough.
You know, as they say sometimes the most difficult things end up being
the things that best serve you. It was really, really long hours. I'll
tell you, during these two scenes in particular that are extremely
emotional where one or both of the Astrids are crying. And so, to try
and maintain that level of connection to what these characters are
feeling for hours and hours and hours was really exhausting.
I think that's one of the reasons that the crew and the other cast
members were so lovely on those days and just so supportive and really,
really quiet because it's kind of difficult to be doing something where
you're super emotionally invested and then go have lunch and be hanging
out and gabbing and talking with everybody. I know there are actors who
are really good at that and I'm just not one of them. I have to kind of
stay in this, you know, sad frame of mind to maintain that emotional
integrity, I guess. Everybody was just so enthusiastic and encouraging
the whole time. So, yes, that's what it was like on set.
S. Wiebe I was just wondering, even though Astrid doesn't get a lot of
screen time in either incarnation up until this episode, she's become a
lot of peoples’ favorite character on the show. I was wondering if you
had any thoughts about why that might be?
J. Nicole You know, I thought about it a lot actually and I think,
ironically, that one of the reasons people like her so much is because
they don't know that much about her. I think that apart from the
observer she's kind of the most mysterious person that's involved in the
show. And to have this really young invested FBI agent who shows up to
work every day with a smile on her face that tries to keep the energy up
and is generally always in a good mood.
I'm really fascinated by who that person is because you know you see
Olivia, who is also a young, really talented, intelligent woman in the
FBI, and you know that she's going through a lot of stuff. She's dealing
with all kinds of personal stuff and work stuff and figuring out where
her boundaries are and where personal life doesn't cross over into work
life. You don't get to see Astrid going through those things. So you
wonder how is she handling this when she goes home. So I think maybe
that's one of the reasons that people love her so much because they've,
kind of, had to create a whole story for her since there hasn't been
given to her.
S. Wiebe Cool. Thanks very much
J. Nicole You're welcome. Thank you Sheldon.
Moderator Our next question will come from the line of Marisa Roffman of
GiveMeMyRemote.com. Please go ahead.
M. Roffman Hey. How are you doing this morning?
J. Nicole Hi. I'm good Marissa. Thank you.
M. Roffman Well, obviously, these two universes are somewhat, they are
some very drastic differences. So how is old Astrid dealing with the
changes to her environment?
J. Nicole I think that old Astrid is, like everybody in the alternate
universe, these have been changes that have been going on for years. And
they've got the–oh gosh, I've totally forgotten the name of the stuff,
the like. What is it called? The stuff that like freezes everything?
M. Roffman Amber?
J. Nicole Yes the Amber. I'm a terrible cast member. I can't even
remember the name of the stuff. You know, you've got these whole places
all over the world that have been ambered. And I feel like that's just
their world that they live in. For any person that lives in a country
that's war-torn it's such a part of their life that they don't even
really think about how different it is anymore because she's grown up in
an environment that's been terrible like that.
I think for this Astrid to go visit the alternate universe would be a
huge deal for her because she's so not used to having a world that's
been completely devastated by, you know, all these things happening
because of the universes colliding. Also because Astrid is such a
dedicated and focused member of the Fringe Team, I don't know how much
she spends thinking about life outside of work. I think she probably
wakes up thinking about work and goes to sleep at night thinking about
work. And there's not a whole lot of other stuff in between. So the fact
that she does cross over from the other universe and comes here is a
really big thing that she did.
M. Roffman So is there anything that you can tease about what you're
currently filming on the show?
J. Nicole Yes. We are currently filming an episode that is going to take
place mostly in the alternate universe and there's a lot of Lincoln on
Lincoln happening on this episode, like a lot, a lot, lot. So I know the
fans will be really excited about that because I personally love the
Lincoln so much.
M. Roffman Well thank you.
J. Nicole Absolutely. Thank you
Moderator Our next question in queue will come from the line of Carissa
Pavlica of TVFanatic.com. Please go ahead.
C. Pavlica Hi Jasika. Thank you so much for doing this today. It's great
talking to you.
J. Nicole Hi. My pleasure. Thank you.
C. Pavlica I was just actually chatting with one of my friends who is
also on the call, and I just want to let you know that I don't know if
you realize that part of the charm of your character is you. Even
talking to you, you're so charming in person and just listening to you
talk it's just an absolute pleasure.
J. Nicole Oh, you are so kind. Thank you very much.
C. Pavlica You're very welcome. But that's not my question. My question
is in this new alternate universe, old Astrid is a lot more outgoing and
excited and excitable than she was in the previous alt-universe where
Peter inhabited it. Is that different for you to play because she's a
little more emotional? She's not as dry, at least in the few episodes
that we've seen her in so far. Have you noticed that and is that
something that you've done yourself or–
J. Nicole No. You know, I actually have not noticed that. Not to say
that that isn't true; it's very possible. But a part of me wonders if
it's just because we've been able to see a little bit more of old Astrid
in this season than we have before. And one of my big wishes, I guess,
for old Astrid was to be able to see her outside of work because I felt
that she was really one note when all you've got to see was her
interacting with her coworkers and at her computer screen relaying
But you didn't get to see, you know, what she was like outside of her
work area, which is really cool about this Friday's episode. You
definitely get to see that. But I never intended for her to not be
emotional. It's just that she never had an opportunity to be emotional
when she was at work.
But a really important episode for her even though these were tiny, tiny
scenes; it was the episode when Peter is in the alternate universe and
they're trying to figure out, you know, what David Robert Jones is up
to. There's this moment that was really special, it's because Peter
knows who Astrid is in both universes. She didn't know who he was at
all. But he had this familiarity with her. I feel like he saw her and,
you know, felt like he knew her and interacted with her as such.
There's probably never been a stranger to come up to her and be so
friendly and kind and put their hand on her shoulder and let her know
that it's okay. So he had a reaction to that and I don't think that that
had ever happened before in any episode that we've done. So that was
like tiny little glimpse into the Astrid outside of her work zone.
C. Pavlica Oh, that's a really interesting perspective, and especially
because in your answer quoted what she said, which was what I thought
was so interesting whenever her reaction to him coming from another
time. Was that so cool?
J. Nicole Yes.
C. Pavlica That was like one of the best old Astrid moments from any of
the episodes so far. And it was like, oh, look she's coming alive.
J. Nicole It was totally–and you know what? I think that because other
Fringe team members they're so use to her that they haven't–you know,
they don't necessarily extend themselves to try and get to know her
better, like that's Astrid. She's weird. She's really, really smart.
She's different than us and that's fine. I think that Peter came into
the situation with a totally different perspective because he knows her
on the other side and on this side. So he treats her with a different
kind of energy and I think that she totally picked up on that. It was
just such a lovely moment to have.
C. Pavlica Well great. I can't wait to see the episode. Thank you.
J. Nicole Thank you so much Carissa. Have a good one.
J. Governale Alright everybody. Thank you so much for your time this
morning. Jasika, thank you.
J. Nicole Thank you.
J. Governale Steven, if you just want to provide some playback
information and transcript that would be great. And Jasika, if you could
just stay on the line we will have one last conversation.
J. Nicole Okay. Great.
Moderator Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude our conference call
for today. On behalf of today's panel, I'd like to thank you for your
participation. Have a wonderful day.
EPISODE INFORMATION: UNIVERSES COME TOGETHER ON AN
ALL-NEW "FRINGE" FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3, ON FOX
Our Astrid gets an unexpected visit from her Alternate. Meanwhile, Peter
and Olivia track a killer using a toxin that has yet to be invented.
Both universes collide in a case that pushes the boundaries of what is
possible in the all-new "Making Angels" episode of FRINGE airing Friday,
Feb. 3 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
BIO INFORMATION: JASIKA NICOLE (Astrid Farnsworth on FRINGE)
Jasika Nicole made her feature film debut in the
ballroom-dancing movie "Take The Lead" opposite Antonio Banderas. She
went on to appear alongside Natasha Richardson and Molly Shannon in the
James Burrows-directed "Masters of Manhattan," "Law & Order: Criminal
Intent" and "The Return of Jezebel James" with Parker Posey and Lauren
Ambrose, and made a hilarious cameo in the feature film "She's Out of My
Originally from Birmingham, AL, Nicole attended Catawba
College, a small private school in North Carolina, where she studied
theater, voice and dance before moving to New York City to pursue a
career in the arts. She starred opposite Bronson Pinchot in the title
role of the musical "Chasing Nicolette," and has appeared in several
stage productions, most notably in the Off-Broadway 1960s musical "Café
a Go Go" and the world premiere of "Believe in Me: a Bigfoot Musical" at
the 2004 NYC Fringe Festival.
While working on film sets and in various stage
productions, Nicole began drawing and displaying her art work online.
Her website, jasikanicole.com, has an enthusiastic fan base, and her
illustrations have been commissioned and sold worldwide. She has a line
of eco-friendly tote bags adorned with her drawings for sale online. In
addition to freelance illustration, Nicole writes and draws an
autobiographical comic entitled "High Yella Magic", which she is
developing into a graphic novel.
Nicole currently divides her time between Vancouver and
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