On May 5th all hell will break loose in London when 24: Live Another Day, a 12 hour series, premieres on Fox. Done in the same breathtaking real-time, hour-by-hour format, the missing 12 hours take place off screen.
Once again the series will spotlight Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), now an exile living in England, and his CTU confidante, Chloe O’Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub), who is working underground with a high-profile hacker. But during this harrowing day, both are brought back into action to stop an unthinkable terrorist attack.
Kiefer Sutherland and Mary Lynn Rajskub came to the TV Critics tour in January to talk about returning to the roles that made them known around the world.
Mary Lynn, were you surprised to hear the show was coming back?
Mary Lynn: I never thought that 24 would come back, and I never thought it would come back in this format. I had just started getting away from Chloe and [now] I’m ready for it to start back up again.
When the rumors of this started to come out, the whole social media exploded and said, ‘You better have Chloe or we’re not going to watch.’ Were you surprised by that?
Mary Lynn: There’s no Chloe without Jack. Let’s start right there. It was pretty surprising to me. It was a strange two-month-or-so period where it was every day on Twitter and me waiting to see if I was going to be included.
I called Kiefer when I first found out and he was like, ‘Mary Lynn who?’ I’m kidding, but he did say, ‘Yeah, I’ll try to put in a good word for you.’
Kiefer, you lived in the skin of Jack Bauer day in, day out, for nine years, and then you took several years off. Is it intimidating coming back to the character?
Kiefer: I’m terrified. I used to get terrified in between each season, and Jon Cassar, the lead director, always for the first two episodes had a beautiful way of reminding me that I was doing it right.
In the middle of a season it’s a reactionary thing. You’re in that character. But if you go away to do something else, [there’s] a fear of starting up again. Am I being too hard with it? Am I being too soft? All of those things come into play.
Without patting ourselves on the back too hard, I feel we made eight very strong years. I was very proud of those eight years.
So to open that up again and make 12 episodes and not make them the best 12 episode that we’ve ever made is frightening. I won’t lie to you. I’m very nervous
What is Jack and Chloe’s relationship this time? Will there have to be exposition for viewers who maybe haven’t watched the original series?
Kiefer: I think the benefit of coming back four years later between Chloe’s character and Jack’s character, four years need to be explained.
So the exposition, as you put it, will not come off as straight exposition of explaining, but it is actually within a justifiable moment between characters catching up. So that lends itself really well to that situation.
Mary Lynn: I have to say, I just finished [reading] the second episode last night, and I was like, ‘Okay, you have to do the same things so that it feels like 24, but do it differently.’
I got to the end of the second episode, and it was like, ‘We’re back.’ It left me on the edge of my seat and wanting more.
Kiefer was asked what Jack’s state of mind is at the beginning of the series – click here to listen to his answer
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The audience loves Kiefer in the role of Jack – he was asked if he had any idea why – click here for his answer
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Jack Bauer is the role of a lifetime. Was Kiefer reminded of that when he returned to the franchise with this series? Click here for his remarks.
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