FRINGE Season 2: An Interview with Jasika Nicole

On the eve of Fringe‘s second season, I caught up with the delightful, talented, and very personable Jasika Nicole, who plays FBI agent Astrid Farnsworth. Warning: there are potentially minor spoilers contained in this interview.

Jo: Hello my friend! You are very kind to take time out of your busy filming schedule to answer a few questions for the fans. Since we spoke earlier this year, Fringe has become a huge hit and fan favorite series. How does it feel to be part of such a pop culture phenomenon?

Jasika: It is not something that I have a chance to really think about very often, the success of the show. Only when I get to go to events like Comic-Con and publicity functions, where I can personally see and hear a response from the fans. Then it’s like, “Oh wow, THIS is what we are doing, it is very big, and THIS is who we are doing it for and there sure are a lot of them.’At times it all just seems really surreal, you know? I thought being a part of my show choir in high school was pretty phenomenal, but Fringe is at a whole new level.

Jo: What has been the reaction in your everyday life when you’re out in public; do people recognize and approach you to ask questions or make comments?

Jasika: People would stop me often in New York, but here in Vancouver where we are filming now, either no one recognizes me or no one really cares! Lots of people have this misconception about New Yorkers, that they are all so discourteous and they’ve seen it all, so nothing shocks or impresses them. But New York is definitely the place where strangers seem the most friendly and comfortable with coming up to me and telling me what they like about the show and asking me what its like to work with “that crazy doctor guy.”

Jo: What has the transition been like from NYC to Vancouver? Have you discovered a favorite restaurant or activity there?

Jasika: West Coasters have such a different temperament than East Coasters, much more relaxed. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss the energy in New York, and I think that has been the hardest transition for us. But summers in Vancouver are about the most perfect of any place on earth, so we have done lots of exploring on bikes around the seawall and in


Gastown, one of the older downtown neighborhoods. Lots of eating at new restaurants and scoping out hidden boutiques. When the rainy season begins, I will be drawing and knitting a lot I’m sure.

Jo: Is it true that Astrid gets out of the lab on more than one occasion in Season 2?

Jasika: Yes, I’m happy to report that it’s quite true, Astrid gets out of the lab! Very exciting stuff for me, maybe not for her, though…

Jo: Have they given you details about Astrid’s backstory, or have you created one yourself to inform her actions and behavior? We know that Dunham and both Bishops have mysterious pasts that are relevant to the overall series…do you think that Astrid may represent an as-of-yet-unexplored link to the cases that she’s investigating with the team?

Jasika: I think there is certainly a possibility that she is connected to the Pattern or perhaps something that Walter has worked on in the past, and that’s why they brought her in to join this team. But I am not married to that idea. I don’t come up with too much background on where Astrid comes from because I don’t want to get married to something in my head that will later be negated by what the writers have in store for the character. But I try to connect her emotions to things she might have experienced in her past.

Jo: Were you surprised by the alternate reality element introduced in the Season 1 finale? As you’re filming new episodes for Season 2, do you find yourself wondering which reality/dimension/era you might be in?

Jasika: The unveiling of the alternate reality in the finale didn’t surprise me because we all knew that there was going to be a premise of that somewhere in the story line, and I had pieced together through hearing conversations with the other actors that Peter had been taken from that other reality and put into the reality all the characters are currently living in. I *was* surprised by that beautiful and haunting image of Massive Dynamic existing in one of the Twin Towers. In the script they didn’t specify that that’s how they wanted the cityscape to look in the actual show, so when I saw it, it blew me away. In my head, the alternate reality where the other Astrid lives has her on Broadway, starring in the musical Passing Strange, which never closed there like it did here. : )


Jo: Have you had the opportunity to act in a scene with or meet Leonard Nimoy?

Jasika: I haven’t met Leonard Nimoy – I saw him at San Diego Comic-Con, and I wanted to introduce myself to him, but I was pretty sure he would have no idea who I was. I’m waiting for him to come back in Season 2 so I can have a second chance!

Jo: In addition to acting, you’re also a comic book artist. What was your experience at San Diego Comic-Con?

Jasika: Comic-Cons are always a lot of fun to go to. San Diego had a lot more people than any I had been to before, which was a little daunting, but of course I met some really terrific people, and I would love to go back. In San Diego I got a chance to speak with the people at ONI-PRESS about my own work, and they were kind and complimentary and they offered lots of constructive criticism, so I am hoping that when I have something substantial to show them we might be able to work together in some way.

Jo: Do you have any plans to join Twitter? The fans would love to interact with you!

Jasika: No : ). I am so flattered that there are people out there who are interested in interacting with me at all, but I am pretty ANTI-twitter, so I have no plans to join in the near future!

Season 2 of Fringe premieres tomorrow evening on FOX at 9/8c.

If you would like to leave any comments for Jasika, I will make sure to pass them along to her!

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