The Insider: A Cool Night in ‘Fringe’ City

Aug 31, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The Insider returned from the “Fringe” premiere party Monday night in Manhattan no wiser about how Fox’s big-bet series from J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman looks.


On the ‘Fringe’ ‘Fringe’ co-creator J.J. Abrams, left, and stars Blair Brown, Joshua Jackson and Anna Torv enjoy a moment during the show’s premiere party in New York City.

But this she can tell you: Everybody looks great where the glow of the Big Apple after dark meets manmade otherworldly lights, smoothing all lines off faces while a cool summer wind ruffles the hair ever so telegenically. Especially on a rooftop in the industrial area between the southern fringe of Hell’s Kitchen and the northern fringe of Chelsea.
By everybody, The Insider means a crowd that ranged from Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly (in business casual) and Fox Entertainment Group Chairman Peter Liguori (in resort casual) to the stars of the drama about what happens after the landing in Boston of an international flight on which the crew and the passengers are all dead, dead, dead.
Warner Bros. Television President Peter Roth was hyped about “Fringe.” It’s produced by his studio and Mr. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions, which also produces “Lost.” The Insider tends to trust Mr. Roth’s TV tastes as she’s come to know them over a number of years. His wife, Andrea, added her thumbs-up after several viewings, describing “Fringe” as “funny” and “creepy.”
After reading about how the Abrams-Orci-Kurtzman troika is determined that this series will break the intricately serialized and mythologized mold to allow viewers to drop in and connect with any episode, The Insider was curious whether cast members feel as though they, now in production on the fifth episode, know where it’s all going.
“Yes and no,” said Kirk Acevedo, cast as an FBI agent. The actor who so vividly imprinted on hardcore TV viewers’ minds as a tortured Latin con leader in HBO’s “Oz” said he’s enjoying playing a good guy.
As Mr. Acevedo and actress-wife Kiersten Warren ate dinner, their 3 1/2-year-old daughter Scarlett delighted herself and guests by dancing with her shadow and the new-agey images cast on the wall of the room one floor below the rooftop.
“No,” said Blair Brown, a petite package of spritely spirit and contentment. She plays a manipulative corporate executive and is glad the role doesn’t require her to do any stunts or to draw the line at wearing running shoes with her suits, as she did when starring in the hyper-real “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd.”
The Insider will not try to fool any of her dear readers. She didn’t even try to hold a conversation with Lance Reddick, who played ambitious good cop Lt. Daniels on “The Wire.” She just shook his hand and bowed deeply to the actor who was one tall drink of Cool with a capital C in his wire-frame glasses, knit shirt and vest and a textured scarf loosely wrapped several times around his neck.
She didn’t try to get her picture taken with the Abrams brain trust. That’s not because at her age and weight, there’s nothing more dispiriting than seeing yourself in a photo, much less next to someone who’s a lightweight Hollywood heavyweight. It was because that’s a no-no in non-blogger professions.
Instead, she dedicated herself to dishing about the upcoming season—or at least attempting to in between fending off attempts by a fellow reporter to take over the conversation and then losing Mr. Reilly to handlers who dragged him away for photos and conversations with the stars.
The next time that happens, The Insider won’t just leave stars out of her column, she’ll be a little more poison-penned, electronically speaking, about the behavior. That might come back some day to bite her in the big butt, but it isn’t beyond the fringe.


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