AE: Have things changed noticeably in your life since the show premiered in late August?
Iím really busy and more people stare at me when I am walking down the street, and so now I donít know if itís because theyíre thinking, ĒOh, her shoes are terrible,Ē or, ďOh, what is she wearing,Ē or, ďOh, I think I recognize her.Ē Thatís the biggest difference that Iíve noticed.
And Iíve gotten a lot more hits on my website, where I have my own illustrations. I get a lot more people writing and commenting on the comic and saying, ďI really appreciate what youíre doing,Ē which is nice. I just feel like Iím getting more written support.
AE: What drew you to be part of Fringe?
: I guess that Iíve always been completely enthralled with horror. I was watching Freddy Krueger movies when I was 5 and 6 years old, which is probably not a good thing, but whatever, thatís what was happening in my life at the time. So I grew up with this tendency to be really into ghosts and spooky things, and experiences that you couldnít explain, and I was obsessed with Unsolved Mysteries
when I was little, and I would watch it every Wednesday night that it came on.
And so from that, I think thereís a really strong connection to that kind of a background ó that kind of mysterious bent on television writing ó because there isnít a whole lot of that out there. And I think what else drew me to this right now is because so many of the shows that are on right now arenít about this sort of thing.
I think a lot of it is about escaping from the reality that we as a country are in right now. But this show is really nice because it offers an alternative to the escape that Sex and the City
and shows like Gossip Girl
AE: So rather than an escape, you see Fringe as an alternative to whatís been a dominant theme in programming?
: I think so. Itís certainly not completely realistic. The science that weíre talking about, itís made up. But I think the premise of it is that this is all stuff that very well could happen, could be happening, or could have happened already because itís all based in science. Itís all based in information that exists in the world that nobody else really knows about, and what happens when that information gets put in the wrong peopleís hands, and what does that mean for us as a world, and what does that mean for us as an individual, and as a society. Itís definitely fantastical in whatís its dealing with, but I think thereís a lot of reality rooted into it.
AE: Are you filming now in October?
: Yes, we are starting Episode 9, I believe, this week, and of course we got picked up for the back nine episodes. So in January, we will finish our 22-episode season. Weíre not even quite halfway through yet, which is really exciting. I canít wait to find out what else is going to happen!
AE: Where do you film?
We film in Long Island City in Queens, at Silvercup Studios East. Itís very close, which is wonderful. I didnít have to move away from New York City.
AE: What do you like most about Astrid, your character?
I love that she is smart in all the ways that I am not smart. I am super creative and thatís where I feel like all my talent kind of rests ó within drawing, within communicating and using words. Thatís where I feel most comfortable. And Astrid very clearly feels comfortable on the complete opposite end. Sheís really OK with being in this lab and learning all this stuff from this relatively crazy man whoís teaching this to her, and sheís just soaking it all up.
I donít know if I would have the same response if I was Astrid and thrown into this lab where there are all these dead bodies and really, really weird and scary things are happening. I guess I just appreciate that sheís brave in that way and sheís smart and she understands all these really wild concepts because I never would.
AE: Can you reveal how your character is going to grow?
JN: She definitely starts to become more involved as the other members of the team become more involved. Instead of it just being very textbook, and then trying to figure these things out separately from whatís happening, theyíre all kind of knee-deep in everything thatís going on. So I think you get to see her be a little bit more vulnerable. You get to see Astrid as being a more human character with flaws and with emotions that you didnít really get to see before.
It was slow to build up, but now that itís happening, itís really satisfying for me.
AE: What is it like working with Anna Torv [who plays Special Agent Olivia Dunham]?
Sheís awesome. I really like the way that our characters are eventually going to connect in the show. I think that sheís really smart and sheís funny, and I love watching her in this show. I think she is so good. And this is a lot of pressure. I would imagine that this would be overwhelming for anybody to do.
Youíre in a new country, and you have to speak without your native accent. And then you have to know all of this dialogue and work with all of this scientific lingo. Thatís a huge deal and she does it with such grace and such good energy that itís absolutely mind-blowing to me.
I think sheís just absolutely amazing and Iím so excited to get to work with her.
AE: Now, would your character and hers be connecting in the way that might be of most interest to the AfterEllen.com audience?
: No, no. [Laughs.] That wonít be happening. Not that I know of, but of course, there is a Season 2, so who knows? But itís more like she just looks up to her so much and they actually have a really nice conversation about how Agent Dunhamís character, she gets scared, and she has anxiety, too.
She just doesnít show it, but she has a little bit of a heart-to-heart with Astridís character. It comes out really nicely, I think.