Stephen Root discusses his guest-starring role on this week's episode of Fringe
The hit Fox series Fringe returns with Episode 4.06: And Those We Left Behind on Friday, November 11 at 9 PM ET. This episode not only features guest star Stephen Root, but also his wife, Romy Rosemont. Stephen Root recently held a conference call to discuss his appearance on this new episode. Here's what he had to say below.
What's it like for you to appear on Fringe for the first time with your real-life wife?
Stephen Root: It was a great opportunity to be able to work with her. We have been able to do readings and things like that for films, but never in front of a camera. It was tremendous to be able to work together. I think the first day that we worked, was just the two of us and the director and the crew. It was a joy. It was tremendous.
What can you tell us about your characters, since they also play husband and wife in the show?
Stephen Root: Not much, or they'll kill me. But I can tell you that they're a husband and wife that are both scientists and have something going on in this universe, not the other one. It's something you need to go ahead and see. But, we're both scientists trying to accomplish something.
What are your views on some of the Fringe science we see in the show, like parallel universes and dark matter?
Stephen Root: I love that. I've been a sci-fi guy from way back, including comics in the 60s and sci-fi from the time I was 13 years old. It's always fascinated me, whether we're in a situation where, 'Are there multiple universes? Is the nature of time itself-is it possible to travel back through time?' That kind of stuff has always fascinated me. I'm happy to be addressing it a little bit in this show.
Can you tell us a little bit about it how it came about? Was this something that the two of you were actively looking for? Or did Fringe pitch it to you? How did this opportunity come about for you guys?
Stephen Root: Romy had went to Northwestern with one of the executive producers and we were actually at a party and talking to him. They were saying, 'Would Stephen be interested in doing a Fringe?" And Romy popped up, "Well, yes, if you invite me." And strangely enough, Mr. Jeff Pinkner a while later said, 'Yes. Please. Come on and do the show.' We were just more than thrilled to be able to work with each other and come on a quality program.
The relationship that you guys are playing there is obviously, there are a lot of emotions going on. It's very tricky because you are dealing with a disease. Since you guys are a realized couple, as an actor, does it make it easier to know, 'Okay, I'm working with my wife here?' Or would you both prefer to maybe work with somebody where issues don't come up later on that you've talked about?
Stephen Root: I appreciate that question. I think to play husband and wife and be real husband and wife, it's easier to emotionally connect quickly to a big emotional place, since we're actual husband and wife. You don't have a lot of time on television to do that usually. There is not a lot of rehearsal time. Us knowing each other so well-we're probably knowing where the other person is going to go emotionally, was a help.
It almost seems like you start out very even and then slowly get unhinged during the course of the episode. Would you say that's accurate?
Stephen Root: I'd say that's accurate because he thinks things are going to go along swimmingly, until they don't. It was a nice little arc to play. I really appreciated the chance to do it, especially with my wife.
I'm curious to know, with guest starring spots versus a series regular, was there anything particularly challenging about that for you? That you prefer?
Stephen Root: Yes. I think there always is. You're always the new kid on the block when you come in as a guest star. Their series has been going on for four years and they're a well-oiled machine. They know each other emotionally and intellectually and then you come in and go, 'Hi. Here's my episode. I want to play with you guys.' I always feel like it's the first day of school for me when I'm doing a guest star thing, but it's kind of good because you jump; you're pushed to an emotional high quickly. On TV, there is not a lot of time to rehearse, so it was nice to be able to work with your wife, somebody you knew so well.