Jasika Nicole stars as Astrid Farnsworth in FOX's hit television show Fringe and has also appeared in Law & Order: Criminal Intent as well as the Antonio Banderas film Take the Lead. Jasika also spends her free time writing a comic, High Yella Magic, on her website. For more information on Jasika, and to read her comic, you can go to her website at JasikaNicole.com.
TH: What do you enjoy most about your character in Fringe?
JN: Astrid is quick, educated, and vulnerable. She is completely relatable and so far I haven't learned anything about her that I don't like.
TH: If you wrote an episode of Fringe, what would you have your character experience in the show?
JN: Going home at the end of the day to her apartment, plopping down on the couch and having a gigantic glass of wine while she watches reruns of terrible reality TV shows on VH1.
TH: I hear that one of your jobs pre-Hollywood was as a cocktail waitress. What was your favorite and least favorite job before your acting career took off?
JN: Pretty much everything was my least favorite job before I started getting more work in film and TV - it's painful to work any job when you know exactly what you want to be doing in your life and your job isn't it. That said, I was pretty patient about the whole process and I was able to get through even the most annoying jobs intact.
My favorite job was temping as the receptionist at the office of Badgley Mischka in Manhattan, the famous women's evening-wear designing duo. If I had stayed in that job, I am sure I would have inevitably found my way working as a fashion illustrator somewhere with the contacts I had made, but eventually I had to make a decision to either quit that job so that I could audition again, or stay and find a new career path in the fashion arena. I decided to leave, which was scary, and difficult because I had no other job lined up, but it ended up being a good move.
TH: Making it in Hollywood can be a daunting task, at what point did you finally feel that you "made it"?
JN: I guess it depends on what you mean by "making it." Part of me continues to experience that feeling over and over again, and I imagine (and hope!) I will continue to do so. The first time I thought I had made it was when I moved to New York City. I thought, "I never thought I could actually make this happen, but I am here!" And then when I worked on a film with Antonio Banderas, I thought I had made it, because he was such a big star, but he treated me (and all the other people I worked with on that film) as equals. And then I thought I had made it when I went to my first red carpet event, when I was cast by J.J. [Abrams], when people recognized me on the street... it's never ending. I suppose my next "I made it!" moment will be when I have a public meltdown posted up on TMZ.
TH: With your High Yella Magic comic you write a lot about your life and family; have there been any specific topics that have been more difficult to write about than others?
JN: Not really, or at least not yet. I blogged all the stories in some form before they were turned into comics, and my need to write them was based on the fact that I wanted to share my experiences with people, so I never wrote down anything that felt too difficult to share with other people. The only stories that have been difficult to write are the ones that I haven't actually written yet - they are ideas in my head that need to be put onto the computer screen but I don't exactly know how to tackle them at this point. My ideas about race and growing up in Birmingham are complicated and a little heartbreaking, I think, and it's important that I tell those stories honestly, which will be really hard for me whenever I start.
TH: You've joked in past interviews about wanting your own spin-off titled Fringe: The Farnsworth Chronicles. In your mind, would your spin-off feature Gene as well, or would you go for a different farm animal?
JN: I'm not as attached to farm animals as the audience is, so no, neither Gene or any of her buddies from the farm would make it into my spin-off. Maybe a monkey...
TH: What's your favorite of the wrong names that your character has been called by Walter in Fringe?
JN: Afro. That happened in real life, not on the show.
TH: What have you enjoyed most about filming in Vancouver for Season 2, compared to Season 1 being filmed in New York City?
JN: Honestly, there aren't strong enough differences between the two in regards to filming that I have noticed. Vancouver and NYC are obviously VERY different cities, but when it comes to actually filming, we create our own little world wherever we are so our surroundings are not as significant.
TH: What's the strangest interaction you've had with a fan, whether on the street or at Comic-Con?
JN: To be honest, I haven't had any uncomfortable or strange interactions with fans. Maybe that will change one day, but so far, everyone who has approached me has been incredibly sweet and complimentary and sane.
TH: We end all interviews with word association, so I say "wombat" and you say...