USA Today have an article on John Noble and his “Fringe” counterpart, Walter Bishop:
“The Elegant Universe. This Is Your Brain on Music. The Stuff of Thought. The Essential Chomsky.
That could be the reading list for Dr. Walter Bishop, the mad scientist of Fox’s Fringe. But it’s actually the recent reading list for John Noble, the actor who has helped make Walter a breakout character on Fox’s paranormal drama, which returns tonight (9 ET/PT) for Season 1′s final six episodes.
It’s not surprising that Noble, known for playing Denethor in two Lord of the Rings films, feels a connection to Walter’s curiosity.
“I think at my better moments, there is a lot of me in Walter — I hope not including his mental illness — but in the strange sense of humor and the general interest in things,” says the Australian actor, who has modeled his accent after that of Boston’s cultured class.
Noble, 60, is enjoying Walter, an expert in science’s outer reaches. After 17 years in a mental hospital, Walter is sprung by his estranged son, Peter (Joshua Jackson), and FBI agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) to investigate odd occurrences.
Executive producer Jeff Pinkner marvels at Noble’s range and the emotional depth he brings to Walter.
“He has the ability to play the scientific intelligence and curiosity and also the real heartbreak of the mental illness this character has suffered,” he says. “The danger in a character as broadly drawn as this is, at worst, it could teeter toward caricature.”
As a scientist helping the FBI investigate seemingly supernatural happenings, Walter’s curiosity is insatiable.
“He gets very thrilled by things. This happens. The ‘eureka’ moments are astonishing,” says Noble, married for 36 years and the father of three.
Walter has a sadness, too, born of his incarceration, his relationship with Peter and returning memories, accompanied by regret about earlier experiments and their unfortunate effects. “As things come back, he’s going to have to go through some hell,” Noble says.”
Photo: Todd Plitt (USA Today)