'24: Live Another Day': Mary Lynn Rajskub on her return to the show
Not only did the return of Jack Bauer in the premiere of 24: Live Another Day on Fox boosts the network’s ratings last Monday night, but it finally confirmed to star Mary Lynn Rajskub that the show, which had ended its original in 2010, was actually back.
“It’s still unbelievable to me,” Rajskub told EW. “I’m like – is this really happening? Obviously it is, but it’s exciting!” Even though its return is a limited event series consisting of only 12 episodes, half of what fans are used to, Rajskub promises that the action is very much the same and keeps up with the fast pace of the current television landscape. “At first, I was like wait, what, huh? But the way people are consuming stuff now and for the writers towards the end, I think it was getting difficult to do the 24. So, they came up with this concept where they could have 24 but in 12. When I read the scripts, they feel very much like the old 24 in terms of the pacing. I think the 12 are going to go by really fast when people watch it.”
Rajskub’s character Chloe was saved by her confidant Jack in last week’s premiere from an “enhanced interrogation” room and fans were introduced to a new look from the computer savvy analyst. “My character is anti-government and has suffered personal tragedy and kind of has adopted this look as an ‘F You!’ to the world, and she has a bad attitude now and is in a lot of pain.” Some people have noted similarities between the darker look and The Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo’s Lisbeth Salander, but it took a couple of options to get to the final look. “We took 3 or 4 days to experiment with different looks,” Rajskub says. “There was the platinum blonde look and the dreadlocks Chloe. It kind of made sense to do this universal goth/punk look, whatever you want to call it. I didn’t want to put a wig on everyday so I was like, ‘Hey man – cut my hair. Let’s do it.'” And that’s just what Rajskub did on the London set, having family and friends think her hair was actually fake. “Someone tweeted me, ‘I’m pierced and tattooed and I’m in a very good place!’ I was like, God bless, for this character it’s the opposite of where she started out, and it’s a reflection of how she’s gone a little off the rails and we came up with this hairstyle.”
For Rajskub, returning to the world of 24 and Chloe is also probably the opposite of where she thought she would be when the show ended four years ago. Rajskub had focused her career back to comedy when Fox announced that the show would come back. “I was shocked! It was done. I had moved on with my life. I thought the movie was gonna happen for a couple of years after we wrapped, but then I let go of that idea, and I was doing comedy and touring stand up and when they announced it, I was really in shock for a few days. Then I waited for them to call me and invite me back on the show and then it kind of started to make weird sort of sense.”
After last week’s premiere, a lot still doesn’t make sense for the remaining final 10 episodes, but Rajskub is just happy that they exist at all. “It’s something that was a once in a lifetime thing that’s now a twice in a lifetime thing. Why not, you know? Let’s give it a whirl!”
24: Live Another Day airs tonight on Fox at 9 p.m. ET.