Former Olivia Dunham from “Fringe” is Dr. Carr in “Mindhunter”: the only woman in the main cast of David Fincher’s new series. Nevertheless, the director gave her a few lessons of feminism.
Even with the brown bobcut, Fringe fans recognized her at first sight. Mindhunter’s Dr. Wendy Carr, the new drama from David Fincher now streaming on Netflix, is Anna Torv who is best known for her role as FBI agent Olivia Dunham on sci-fi cult series Fringe (playing the lead alongside Joshua Jackson, former Pacey from Dawson’s Creek).
In the first ten episodes, directed by the American filmmaker and acclaimed by critics, the Australian actress, who returns after 4 years in an American project, plays a determined, smart and extremely confident woman, who assists detectives Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) in developing their study of serial killers’ psychology.
“I tested few times, and the last audition was with David Fincher. Two weeks later they called me to tell me that I got the part: I was thrilled!”
What was it like working with David Fincher?
“He gave me a lot of advice, he pushes you beyond your limits and thinks out of the box. We had all the scripts before we started filming, and that’s unusual. We knew the first season story arc since the beginning and that allowed us to talk a lot about the character”.
Any special advice you want to share?
“In a particular line a man calls me “Mrs. Carr” and I had to correct him saying “Dr. Carr”. I was so uncomfortable, it felt rude and presumptuous, and I didn’t want to say that. David made me realize that it was the simple truth, Wendy is a doctor, and you don’t have to always make people comfortable. It was a challenge, but in the end I did it.
I remember that scene. It’s about respect and equality, actually.
I'm happy if this was your perception. It made me think about what it means to be an actress and what we usually take for granted. In television you often see women cry or having a meltdown, but David wanted Wendy to be different. He made me reflect on common things, like smile. Why should I always smile? I don’t need to made you feel at ease, Wendy doesn’t care.
Speaking of submissive women, what do you think about Weinstein affair? What’s your experience?
It’s fascinating. I was talking to friends and other actors about it, and I was shocked to discover how common this problem is. I’m lucky, nothing like that (so terrible) has ever happened to me. But it’s true, we're a minority: you look around on set and see 4/5 women surrounded by hundreds of men. You get used to it, but what’s happening is giving us the opportunity to talk about it. And it’s a general problem, it's not only a women's issue, I know male colleagues who have been victims of abuse; It’s about power.
After Fringe you waited four years before returning to US television.
“I lived in Canada for five years while filming Fringe, and I had no time to do anything else. I just wanted to go home and work in Australia for a while. I knew I would come back, I even did a couple of auditions, but I wasn’t ready for a 22 episodes TV show. And then I was lucky enough to get Mindhunter, it was incredible, I don't even know how it happened.
When Fringe ended, you were famous and with a lot of fans. Were you not afraid to lose opportunities returning to Australia?
“No, but not for arrogance. I wasn’t interested in being the young star, I hope to have a long career. I like to watch actors who are still working at 80 years. If you worry too much about not getting a job right away you end up narrow-minded. How are you not going to get another job in your life?”
Do you miss Olivia Dunham?
Of course, I often think about her, I spent so much time with her, she is a big part of my youth. I miss the people I worked with, we were a great team. Today a friend from the crew comes to visit, it’s impossible not to stay in touch.
Just out of curiosity: how do you explain the fact that some fans have mistaken you for Carrie Coon (Nora from The Leftovers)?
This is really funny! I’ve no idea. A friend of mine told me about those articles and the fact that people were confused. I heard she even changed her Twitter bio to make it clear that she isn’t in Mindhunter. I feel bad for her, but I’m flattered by the comparison because she is a fantastic actress.
Credit: Vanity Fair Italia
(English translation by Elimoncia)