FRINGE: Jill Scott Interview (2012)


With FRINGE counting down its final episodes to its series finale, this is the last chance for actors to make a special appearance on the show. Clamoring to be one of those privileged few is guest-star Jill Scott, who was delighted to get a role on FRINGE before it ended. In a recent press conference call, Jill previewed her new character Simone and shared what she loves about FRINGE.

Can you about your new character and the part she’s going to play in FRINGE?

JILL: Her name is Simone and she’s a quiet warrior. She’s sort of an oracle of someone who can foresee the future. There is an integral part of Olivia’s quest, and Simone has an intuition about how to help her on her quest.

How did you get the part of Simone?

JILL: Well, at first I asked for it. FRINGE is one of my favorite television shows from its inception. I absolutely love all of the science fiction of it, the mystery of it, the science in it. The characters are wonderful and so rich. Walter, of course, is my absolute favorite, and I had met with pretty much every company, television broadcast company in America. I kept saying these are the kinds of shows that I want to be involved in. I just put the word out there and, of course, I asked for it. I believe in saying things out loud, and I had FRINGE, so I asked

Because you are such a huge fan of the show, what does it mean to you to be a part of the final season?

JILL: I wish it wasn’t the final season. I’m really upset about that. It means a lot to me, just simply because putting those kinds of requests into the universe and having it come back to you is again is another confirmation personally. The show and the quality of the show, the writing is splendid. The vocabulary is just delicious. I mean any one that enjoys X-FILES or shows like that where you’re on the edge of your seat and you’re so invested in these characters for any one like me who’s grown up watching STAR TREK and X-FILES and reading Edgar Allen Poe and enjoying the darker side of things as well as the light, this was a dream come true. I wish I wanted more powers. I mean to be able to see into the future is pretty incredible or to have an intuition about things like that is pretty awesome, but I definitely wish I had something growing out of me.

Can you tell us a little bit about your experience working with this cast and with these writers?

JILL: I was waiting for that moment to work with [Leonard Nimoy]. Ever since I heard his line, he said something about he skeeted a little when he was in the backseat of a car and he peed on himself just a little out of excitement, I knew that this was a show that I wanted to be involved in. I did not get a chance to see him and I’m hoping to. I need the show to go a little longer just so that I can meet him.

What was the challenge for you in getting ready for this role?

JILL: I had a lot of wild expectations and hopes for my character. When I found out who she really was based on my conversations with Dennis, the director, based on those conversations, I had to adjust her quickly. She is a hard worker and a leader and lives pretty much in a state of exhaustion. The cold — just as a human being — the cold was sincere. It’s on location. I understand where I was going. The challenge was having to readdress her, because I had so many ideas, because this is FRINGE, and I had so many ideas of who this person was. The redirection on her was my challenge; having to do an about face was my challenge.

We saw from a clip that your character meets with Olivia first. Did you have any scenes with any of the other characters?

JILL: No, I did not. . . [Olivia’s] exactly what I thought she was. The character is smart and lovely and strong, and it honestly bugged me out because this is a show that I genuinely enjoy and there’s Olivia being all of those things right in front of my face. I let those things go because it’s time to work, but I was thoroughly geeked. My inner child is jumping up and down like “Yes!” It was a pretty incredible moment.

When you first got there and started to work, was there maybe something like on set or something you saw that because you’re such a fan made you geek out?

JILL: Well, I never have had to use any kind of futuristic products or any kind of future apparati. I’ve never had to do anything like that before, so all of a sudden there’s this screen that I have to use — what else can I call it — it’s a 3D scanner thingy that I have to know how to use. That was really, really cool.

You’re also a very accomplished musician. Were you able to use any of those musical skills during your guest spot on FRINGE?

JILL: No, Simone is not a singer. Simone is an emoter. She’s a quiet, strong- willed, focused in a sense maybe even a freedom fighter. She’s a big part of the resistance and she doesn’t sing. She works and she’s a hustler, too. She makes ways to finance her community.

What do you think about the direction for this last season of what’s happening with them in the future? Then, do you have a favorite episode or a favorite moment from the show aside from the episode that you’ve done?

JILL: Oh man, let’s see. Favorite episode, I always go back to the episode when Walter gets out of the mental institution and where he’s sitting in the back seat of the car and he says he skeeted a little. I never forgot it. I thought that that was just so free, such free writing and his acting was just impeccable. I liked the episodes when the guy was living … was living inside of Olivia. I enjoyed the episode where—oh boy, there are so many. I should know this off the top of my head. Let me think. Let me think, the episode where, oh, I love when Walter had a cow in his office in the lab. I couldn’t understand that. I thought that was great. The reason that I love the show is that I never know what to expect. I never know what Walter is going to say. I love that he’s obsessed with food. I love that he’s mad and a genius. I prefer him a mad genius.

What do you think it is about FRINGE that really continues to make it such a fan favorite show?

JILL: I think it’s the writing. I do. I think it’s how intelligent and how realistic everything is without looking overly manufactured. I think human beings will always still really enjoy using our imaginations and FRINGE allows you to do that. It’s slightly scary and believable. There just might be an alternate universe. There just might be people on the other side that are like us living a different life. The thought of that is pretty intriguing; that there are that people who can stop time and change their bodies, morph into someone else. And the conspiracy theories in it all, I think it just taps into our curiosity and makes us wonder and ponder. I think that’s the gist of the show, and like I said it is slightly scary. There are moments where I definitely grab the pillow or the blanket and gasp for breath.

To meet Jill’s new character Simone and to see what key piece to the final puzzle Simone provides, be sure to tune in tonight for an all new episode of FRINGE at 9:00 p.m. on Fox. The end is coming; don’t miss one second of it!

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