Though one of her favorite books as a child was William Gibson's Neuromancer, Torv says she never considered herself a science fiction fan. In fact, her first introduction to Star Trek was on the bridge of the new movie's Enterprise. Freshly cast as Olivia, Torv says she was flown to the Los Angeles set to meet Fringe creator and Star Trek director J.J. Abrams. "I was literally sitting in the chair in the control room and he came in and went, 'Hi! Lovely to meet you,'" she says. "It was so surreal."

With a fanatic following and some of the highest DVR numbers around, Torv credits Fringe's success to the fact that it has a little bit of science fiction, Cold Case and family drama all rolled into one. "Science fiction is becoming more of a diverse kind of genre. ... [Fringe] doesn't really fit in any particular genre," she says. "I think it shifts, and that's what that appeal is."

Still—aliens or monsters, land or sky—science fiction's appeal seems to be universal. "I sort of thought, 'Oh, Fringe probably really is for the younger people,' and then I was shooting a scene with [co-star] Kirk Acevedo a little while ago. We were running down the street, and we nearly ran into an old couple," she says. "We sort of stopped and apologized profusely and went back to doing it. They looked up and went, 'Oh, you're from the Fringe.' [I thought]: 'Really? You watch the show?' It sort of defied everything."

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