Anna Torv: Why Haven’t They Given Her An Emmy Already?

Posted Thursday, January 19th, 2012 07:00 pm GMT -4 by

Anna TorvI have come to terms that major Hollywood awards are not going away anytime in the foreseeable future. While I do not mean to take away anything from previous winners and nominees, I have noticed that the Emmys have a tendency to nominate many of the same individuals and shows year after year. Some shows and performances are worthy of such repetition, demonstrating the consistency of a program’s quality. However, some of the repeat nominations are habit, which frustrates me because a lot of talent ends up getting ignored. One example of ignored talent is Anna Torv, star of ‘Fringe.’ While the entire cast of ‘Fringe’ is exceptional and one of the best currently on air, Torv deserves individual recognition for her work as Olivia Dunham — all six versions of Olivia Dunham. Over the course of the show’s four seasons, Torv has portrayed six incarnations of Olivia, giving each distinct characteristics.

Broyels and Olivia

Broyles wants Olivia to lead the Fringe division

The unique nature of ‘Fringe’ has provided the opportunities for Torv to explore different facets of her character. ‘Fringe’ deals with parallel universes; there is a version of each of us in this world and an alternate universe. Because Dr. Walter Bishop wanted to cure his son, he created a way to travel to the other universe and bring that universe’s Peter here. Over time, the rip Walter created damaged the alternate universe and weakened the barrier between the two worlds. As the universes became aware of each other, the writers created more Olivias to develop the story. The six Olivias are: our universe Olivia Dunham, Alt-Olivia, Fauxlivia, Olivia who thinks she’s Alt-Olivia, Future Olivia, and Peter-less timeline Olivia.

In the pilot, Torv establishes who Olivia is immediately. She is in a relationship, but she is not sappy about it. Olivia can work without obsessing over her boyfriend every three minutes. When her boyfriend John is injured, she does not plead with someone to save him and sit by his side. Instead, Olivia researches John’s condition and finds Dr. Bishop’s work. When Broyles insists Olivia get Peter Bishop to release Walter from the mental institution, she goes to Iraq. Olivia tries a personal appeal, but Peter denies her request, so Olivia basically blackmails him, and Peter believes her bluff. Although she barely understands Walter’s explanation of the procedure, Olivia has the courage to allow Walter to put her in the sensory deprivation tank so she can communicate with John. The pilot shows Olivia is capable, intelligent, strong, determined, and proactive. These traits are why Broyles is impressed with her work and wants her to lead the Fringe division, giving her “anything, anybody” she needs. Broyles thinks Olivia’s skills are the best for the division, and he is proven correct as Olivia regularly demonstrates her abilities as a leader for the rest of the season and duration of the show.

Alt-Olivia, Fauxlivia

Top: Alt-Olivia laughs with Lincoln. Bottom: Fauxlivia has Newton kill himself.

We meet Alt-Olivia briefly in “Over There (Parts 1 & 2).” Alt-Olivia is not the leader of the Fringe division in the alternate universe, but she is a valuable member of the task force. She is smart and tough, but she is relaxed and laughs easily; she cracks jokes with Lincoln and Charlie on their way to investigate an anomaly. Alt-Olivia is in a fun and loving relationship with Frank Stanton, a doctor. She doesn’t have our Olivia’s recall ability, but she is athletic; she competed in the Olympics and won a medal for marksmanship.

Alt-Olivia becomes Fauxlivia at the end of “Over There (Part 2),” after she accepts the mission assigned to her by Walternate: pretend to be our universe’s Olivia. Fauxlivia is a willing soldier in Walternate’s crusade against our universe. Accepting Walternate’s assignment changes Alt-Olivia; Fauxlivia is harsh and has a cruel edge, but can still smile readily, which is one of the reasons Peter falls for her. We see all sides of Fauxlivia best in “Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep?” The episode starts with Peter and Fauxlivia laughing and enjoying each other’s company during dinner. However, Fauxlivia has to take extreme measures to hide her identity. Of course she lies and hides evidence to subvert investigations, but at the end of the episode she coldly has Newton kill himself to protect the mission and, more importantly, herself. Afterwards, she seduces Peter. Does she have sex with Peter because she cares about him or in order to distract him from the truth? It’s a credit to Torv’s performance that, to this day, I cannot give a definitive answer even though I have watched season three multiple times.Brainwashed Olivia

While Fauxlivia is in our universe, our Olivia is brainwashed by Walternate to believe she is Alt-Olivia. Brainwashed Olivia might act like Alt-Olivia, but she is not an exact copy of her. Aspects of her original personality surface, as seen in “The Plateau.” Brainwashed Olivia laughs and teases Charlie, but she can’t tell Frank she loves him, and she forgets to follow environmental protocols. Brainwashed Olivia almost fools everyone, including herself, but Charlie’s misgivings show that Torv was able to make Brainwashed Olivia a separate character from the other versions of Olivia. By creating a new Olivia, Torv made Brainwashed Olivia’s journey to realizing the truth plausible and engaging. If Torv made the same choices in portraying Brainwashed Olivia as she did for Alt-Olivia, then the pill-popping would not have been credible.

Future OliviaAt the end of season three, we get a glimpse of a possible future. The world is bleak, and multiple anomalies threaten to destroy our world. In this future, Olivia and Peter are married, and Olivia leads the Fringe division. Future Olivia is not just our Olivia with a new hairstyle. She has control of her Cortexiphan abilities, and the way she carries her body, stiffer and heavier than her younger self, indicates Olivia has been through many battles and trials. Her smile is not as bright because she is pessimistic about the future, which is why she is hesitant about having a child. Future Olivia only appears in “The Day We Died,” and she is not in the entire episode, yet Torv took the time to construct a fully realized Future Olivia, demonstrating again her dedication to her character and to the show.Olivia

Season four introduced a new timeline, one without Peter Bishop. With a new timeline, we have a new Olivia. Peter-less timeline Olivia resembles the original Olivia the most. She is in charge of the Fringe division and went through the Cortexiphan trials (Alt-Olivia did not) as a child. Although she is smart and capable, this Olivia is tense, anxious, and distant. At first I thought her rigidness was a result of not having Peter in her life. This Olivia also lost John, but without Peter, she hasn’t fallen in love again. However, as the season has progressed, we learn Olivia and her sister were raised by Nina Sharp, who is still in charge of Massive Dynamic.  They seem to have a good relationship, and it appears Olivia had a decent childhood after the Cortexiphan trials; however, the episode “Wallflower” ends with Olivia being injected with a substance. And Nina is responsible. Is Nina continuing the Cortexiphan trials or performing a different experiment on this Olivia? Either way, the injections are giving Olivia headaches and interfering with her sleep patterns, which explain why she lacks the energy and spark of the original Olivia. Since season four is only halfway completed, it is not known if this Olivia will remain, the original Olivia will return, or if we will be presented with another Olivia. No matter what happens during the rest of season four, I know Torv will dive in and give the audience an incredible performance.

All of the Olivias have traits in common; they are smart, talented, determined, and members of the Fringe division. Although they have similarities, Anna Torv has made sure to give each new version of Olivia distinctive characteristics, making each Olivia distinguishable from the other. No other actor on television has had the chance to deconstruct and recreate her character six times. Torv’s ability to make subtle tweaks and deliver interesting versions of Olivia astounds me. I was shocked Torv was not nominated for an Emmy in 2011 for her work in season three when she played four different Olivias: original, Brainwashed, Fauxlivia, and Future. Torv has received recognition from the Saturn and Teen Choice awards, but she has not been nominated for an Emmy, a Golden Globe, or a SAG award. Torv deserves acknowledgment for her work not just because she has played multiple versions of the same character, but how well she has performed those multiple versions. Also, the aftermath of Olivia’s return from the alternate universe was some of her finest work. Olivia expressing her anger and rage towards Peter because he took Fauxlivia for her was heart wrenching, uncomfortable, raw, and mesmerizing. Torv tore down Olivia’s wall and displayed her vulnerability, her genuine hurt. The range, the depth, and the quality of her work can been seen episode after episode, season after season. Torv is one of the best actors currently on television. The lack of praise and awards baffles me and is a situation that needs to be remedied soon.

  • Suzy

    You forgot to mention her other persona – the William Bell in Olivia’s body. All in all, yeah…why the heck didn’t they give Anna’s her Emmy? Practically, the Emmy’s are bullshits and full of craps. They don’t acknowledge Anna by giving lots of shitty excuses. It’s a shame. Anna Torv deserves the best and she’ll get the award from Fringe fans all around the world. ;)

    • Yes, I remember her brilliance as Bell possessed Olivia, but to keep my sanity, I focused on the Olivias; Torv was Nimoy, and to put that in this would have made it longer and such. 

      I hope you understand.  

  • i completely agree with this! Anna really really deserves an emmy! She’s such a talented amazing actress, She should get that recognition!

  • Response

    Thank you for posting this.I loved Olivia Dunham from the start, and Anna Torvs beautiful subtle acting.
    This is the first time I think that someone has understood that Olivia in the pilot was a different one form the one afterwards. Anna said last year how difficult she found it to be in that closed off Olivia skin, and how she managed to show the inner struggle of Olivia, learning how to cope,and the pain with so little backstory and not 1 scene to talk about that, amazing.
    And then the other versions of course, season 2 and season 3, the 2026 version, the dream versions the current season 4 versions.
    All brilliant and most impressive on virtual no backstory, we have almost no information about Olivia, she never had and has a chance to talk about her inner feelings about abuse, father, mother, stepfather,(like the Bishops have in overload) but we all can sense how her life must have been, the pain she has, and why she is who she is.
    It really is a shame that Anna is so underrated. If you see what is nominated the pilot, and Bad dreams S1 and Jacksonville and Olivia in the Lab and both Over There S2 were already reasons to nominate her , season 3 was mindblowing, and the same for what she is doing now in this season 4.
    Truly awesome acting from Anna Torv, and she truly deserves the Emmy.

    • And they way she uses her face and small gestures. Her reactions are just amazing. Great actors know how to react, and she does.

  • Anonymous

    Walter to Olivia in 3.21 The Last Sam Weiss: “You have no idea how extraordinary you are. If you embrace that, there is no end to what you can do.”
    That sums up Anna in a nut shell. I’ve never seen anyone who can act the way she does, without saying a word. Her facial expressions alone should earn her many awards. When I watch her play Olivia and Fauxlivia at the same time (One Night In October for excample), I forget that it’s the same person playing those two characters. 
    I’ve seen some of her other projects as well: The Secret Life of Us, Young Lions, Mistresses, and she is different in each one of them. 
    Olivia Dunham (whatever rendition) is my all time favorite character and the credit for that goes to Anna.
    Don’t forget to watch Fringe tonight, live if you can!
    Fringe Rocks!

  • because they are NOT STUPID

    Last season i thought ANNA TORV deserved every award, this season im looking at a different actor. Her performance is inconsistent and over the top. She’s turned Altlivia into a cartoon character with that Jan Brady walk and excessive gesticulation. The new timeline Olivia is beyond annoying and reacts in the most ridiculous way (expressively) to anything that Peter says. Come on Anna, we expect better from you.I thought she was good at the beginning of last season, but something happened after Entrada and her performances got progressively worse. This season she’s a complete miss both as Olivia and as Altlivia. That ridiculous duck walk Altlivia has, my God!

    • phew…is same one!

      Oh please, you again?…Do you spam your way into everything?…This is a copy paste from several other articles from other sites, and we all know your M.O. Patty, or LadyGagaClapClap, or 45 or tweener, or Failure, or teenymarie or Forever or Qtip or really anything related to hatred and personal attacks for other actors from Fringe who are not JJ  (yes!, John Noble included) .I hope you hold my #1 example of “the lamest troll sockpuppet I never imagined I would have to deal with” for a long long time, since at least I can spot you in a blink of an eye.You’ve tried it all!, even posting as a fan from the very actress you hate, praising other actors that you bash all the time in other sites, and well, I just can’t help but feel sorry for J.Jackson for having such an embarrassing fan.

  • Kayla

    If John Noble isn’t getting any nominations, I don’t know why people think Anna Torv would.  No slam on her, but John is first in line for awards love.

    • Guest

      They both deserve Emmys IMO.

  • biggest joke of the year

    the guy who wrote this blog is, without any doubt in love with anna.

    he loves everything she does, even her BAD ACTING!!!!!

    the only person who deserves an emmy is JOHN NOBLE.

    anna only can dream of an emmy nomination.

    • Fans

      My son and I have been watching since episode 1. We feel Anna needs to invest in some lessons and John Noble is a kick.

      • Zombie

         I disagree with you,i believe that Anna Torv is truly phenomenal and in a league of her own.

        • Zombie

           The same goes for Mr. Noble of course.

  • Lady


    so you think because you are horny over anna torv, the rest of us will fallow??

    i’m sorry to burst you bubble, but anna herself admitted she is very cold person.

    she has the most annoying laugh EVER.  Please ana , try to laugh like a lady.

    • paladin24

      As a straight guy I definitely wouldn’t kick her out of bed for eating crackers, but this is about her acting ability on Fringe, not her RL personality or other irrelevant nonsense.  FWIW she comes off as a pleasant person in her interviews, not at all full of herself like so many Hollywood types are. 

      And what the hell does how she laughs have to do with anything? 

    • Guest

      Oh Patty you are a joke. Everyone who watched that Fringe-Fans Ask video know what she said and she’s the sweetest more adorable lady. She is a true lady unlike you.

      • dumBham

        i never ever hated a person like i HATE ANNA TORV.

        she is so fake.

        and why did her marriage end so quickly , if she is the “sweetest, most adorable women”.

        i bet she hated it to be intimate with a guy. you know, being so cold and all (her words, not mine).

        i hope that i never see her annoying face after fringe.

        • 4web

          If you hate her so stop posting comments here. It’s just ridiculous. We all understand your point of view.

  • Smashbeat86

    Lady/biggest joke of the year is the same person stalking and writing the same nonsense about Anna in several sites. She’s a J.Jackson fan, but not a sane one.

  • dumBham

    can’t you read or something??
    i just said that JOHN NOBLE is the best actor on fringe.

    who is talking about josh jackson??

    YOU assume that when somebody doesnt like anna , josh have to be involved??

    no, not this time, honey.

    it’s JOHN NOBLE all the way

    • paladin24

      I’ll explain it for you in simple English:

      There are three (3) principal actors on Fringe:  John Noble, Anna Torv, and Joshua Jackson. 

      All three of them, along with Lance, Jasika, Blair, and now Seth Gable, are awesome. 

      This collective awesomeness is one of the best things about the show.

      Now, please go troll somewhere else.

    • Response

      John Noble gets all the material in the world: the backstories, the oneliners, the big emo scenes so that everyone can go Poor Walter ( he abused children  but hey,), every actor can score with that, the one better then the other, but with those scenes you cannot go wrong.
      This season new Walter got a phobia, locked in the lab, and more then 10 scenes to TELL us how sad, guilty and pityful he is, and again  about the death of his wife and his son.
      Same goes for Walternate, he shows up and we get scene after scene to tell us this a different Walternate. I am not convinced that John Noble is that good, otherwise why does he need all that material?  

      New Olivia got 1 line about killing the stepfather, 2 only  30 secs scenes with Nina and that was all Anna Torv got to SHOW us her new Olivia, all through her acting. AltLivia or Fauxlivia gets nothing, only the one line that she split with her boyfriend , we get to see that she is a different AltLivia , through Anna Torvs acting.
      Olivia Dunham is mostly Anna Torvs acting, you can tell that Olivia must have had a tough life because of her acting, not because she tells you so.
      Olivia never gets the chance to talk about her past, for me the biggets mistake of the writers. Only the Olivia Dunham fans will know about her past as it is given to the viewer in facts every so many episodes, where the Bishop story is repeated endlessly.
      As if Olivia Dunhams pain is not important? Mother, father,abuse?

      From comments I read, people still think that the big showy scenes is what makes you a good actor,
      so the credit always goes to Noble, or the Bishop Boys,even when Noble gets it completely wrong, for example the anger in the hotelroom in Subject9, empty anger not part of that phobia, but the great moment of Olivia/Anna angry attacking Cameron, no praise, but that was great acting , in close-up.
      All actors will say that having to restrain your emotions and subtle show them is far more difficult.

      I admire Anna Torv not only for her awesome acting ( she can show a multiple of emotions in a couple of seconds ) but also for her courage, as her character is not an easy to like one, and even less the Altlivia character, but she is not afraid to do so.

  • As I said at the beginning, I think the entire cast is exceptional & one of the best on air. I am surprised John Noble hasn’t been nominated; he’s done great work as Walter/Walternate. But Olivia is a more introverted character, and performers of introverted characters sometimes don’t get the recognition they deserve (William H. Macy in ‘Fargo’ for example). Olivia is a very interesting character brought to life by a very talented actor, and that she didn’t get nominated last year for her work is baffling considering who got nominated. 

  • panda

    Anna is the master of subtly heart wrenching expressions.It’s mind-bending to me how many versions of Olivia she has pulled off so far.An extraordinary actress.

    P.S. From what i read in tumblr, fans who met her always say how gorgeous, down-to-earth, nice and friendly she is to them. As the rest of the cast.

  • beckstar78

    agreed! torv and noble deserve awards. the fans and one of the fringe websites donated money for a blue moon awards. the cast took pics of them reserving their fan awards. they are very nice. i think they’re on facebook under fringemunks or morethanoneofeverything

  • Stainless Steel Rat

    Indeed!..have felt the same for a long while

  • Oh Anna, you rock my world. You are amazing on Fringe! I hope you get an Emmy!

  • Tkwatcher

    As far as I know it was mentioned that she was not subjected to Cortexiphan trials. And Nina Sharp is basically doing it on her now…

    • Liv

       Of course she was! But not as long as our Olivia, because ours ran away, and was found by Peter, and then went to the daycare. In this Peterless timeline though, she ran away from the daycare, but didnt came back, so they shut it down. But she still was injected with Cortexiphan as a child.

  • I totally agree!!!!!!

  • WTFringe Dunham!!!

    From the first minute I watched Fringe I was impressed with Anna’s work, and it was gradually getting better and better, from one episode to another. She became the reason to watch it, period. And even now that she’s been given less action-plot development than season 3, she has me on the edge, seeking for new outcomes with her character’s fate. She’s simply the reason for me to continue watching Fringe, and the reason I like Walter’s and Peter’s characters. Olivia Dunham could only be performed by Anna Torv and is the -> Best Female Character EVER!..
    in my book.

  • Ra

    Anna Torv is a horrible actress on Fringe. She walks like a poor imitataion of John Wayne and acts even worse. All she ever does is manage to grin like a village idiot.

    • Yea right, that’s why she’s been nominated several times and won :P

      Give her an EMMY already!…she is nothing but brilliant and I wanna walk like her!

    • Planetearth00

       I think someone needs to take a step back from the Anna Torv hatred because frankly she is amazing!

    • Dagre

      i wouldn’t go that far but yeah, her exaggerated body language annoys me to no end.

  • It’s crazy that she is not as recognized as she should be. They “Need” to give her an EMMY for her outstanding performances in all 4 seasons of Fringe.

  • Arturo Garcia

    wtf? what about John Noble?! HE deserves one it too if not, MORE than she does. IF it weren’t for him, SHe wouldn’t be as good.

    • He’s deserving too, but Torv hasn’t been given much on the page, and she has done so much with what little she has been given.

    • Planetearth00

      They both deserve one. They don’t have to exclude each another you know.

  • Planetearth00

    Anna Torv and John
    Noble will never get the Emmy they so richly deserve thanks to the
    industry’s prejudice against sci-fi. It’s a shame really.