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Mary Lynn Rajskub Talks Tattoos, Hair, and Chloe’s Darker Side

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Chloe1From the moment Mary Lynn Rajskub (aka) Chloe O’Brian showed up in season three of 24, fans fell in love with the quirky, snarky techie and her complete, unwavering loyalty to Jack (Kiefer Sutherland). Over the course of the series she’s helped him fake his death, ferret out a terrorist plot within the American government, and allowed him to escape after killing Russian dignitaries. It’s safe to say Chloe is Jack’s greatest ally and fans believe her to be part of one of the best duos in television history.

The actress took time out of her busy shooting schedule in London to chat with reporters via conference call.

When fans heard 24 was returning to our screens, we were all jumping for joy.  Rajskub had a little different reaction and was completely shocked; she couldn’t believe it as she watched her twitter feed blow up. It had been four years and she had moved on with her life.  She wondered what was going on as she anxiously awaited a call to be asked back. Of course, when it finally came she immediately said yes without hesitation. Learning that it was to take place in London, Rajskub figured that since she’s usually in the computer room it wouldn’t actually be filmed there. “This time they said no, you’re going for the duration. So I packed up the family, came here.”

This season there has been a huge change in the Chloe O’Brian we’ve grown to love so much and according to Rajskub this new version was very loosely described within the script.  After reading the first couple of scripts she felt excited and that classic 24 was back. However, Chloe4Chloe has done a complete 180.  Rajskub explained how while in the past she was always able to infuse some humor into the character, it’s tough this season because she’s in such a dark place.  “Approaching the character this time around, she’s really in a lot of pain and kinda just holding on and she’s not very happy with Jack, and we saw that in episode two.  So for the first time for me, there are moments where even though I can always find humor somehow in the most intense of situations or a sarcastic remark at least, this time around she’s in such pain that I wasn’t really able to find any levity at all and that was another surprising layer to play and challenge as an actor.”

Since there was little direction as to exactly how this edgier, darker Chloe was to be, upon her first week in London she took the reigns, meeting with hair, makeup, and wardrobe.  Working together for a few days of experimenting with different ways to depict the character’s evolution, they came up with Chloe’s new look which producers really liked. How long does it take for her to don her costume? Although she initially spent quite a bit of time in the wardrobe chair piecing in the hair extensions and putting the tattoos on, they’ve pretty much got it to a science. Interestingly, the tattoos Chloe is sporting were beautifully crafted with a lot of thought. A Chloe8couple of them sort of pay homage to her husband and son on the show, Morris (Carlo Rota) and Prescott, which the audience will learn more of their fate in episode three.

Not only has Chloe’s look dramatically changed, but the character has been greatly emotionally affected by the events in her life over the last few years. Rajskub talked about how her outlook has shifted from the classic snarky, annoying Chloe to someone who is completely beaten down by what’s happened to her since leaving CTU.

Our once by the book, anal retentive techie is no more and has a real distaste for the American government she so valiantly used to serve. Now working under super radical Adrian Cross (Michael Wincott), who in my view has sort of brainwashed Chloe, it’s clear to see how much her way of thinking has altered. It’s especially clear how Jack and Chloe’s perspectives differ on what she’s doing. “I think she’s been completely beaten down in every aspect. everything she tried to do right, turned out wrong and then Chole5some.  So when we see her in this hacker’s environment, to me it was a cool thing I wouldn’t have predicted for her, but then you start to believe that she could end up there as anti-government and attracted to Adrian Cross.” Rajskub adds, [Chloe] “feels she doesn’t have a lot to live for.”  Could this be foreshadowing?  Let’s hope not!

One of the things that endures from the show is the relationship between Jack and Chloe.  During the premiere last week, fans on twitter were all abuzz about seeing their favorite duo back together.  Why are Jack and Chloe such a dynamic duo?  Rajskub explains. “It’s amazing because it’s like not only is it Jack and Chloe, it’s like they’ve never left, it’s heightened even more so I think it turned out to be a cool thing bringing it back.”

Over each season we’ve seen many of our favorite characters killed off, and one that comes to mind is when in a shocking development, fellow techie Edgar StChloe9iles (Louis Lombardo) was overcome by nerve gas released in CTU.  Chloe literally had to  helplessly watch him die right in front of her!  Rajskub feels the reason her character hasn’t been unceremoniously killed off is because she’s not in a romantic relationship with Jack.  I will say that could be one reason. Seems like all of Jack’s leading ladies have either died or suffered because of him! But Chloe has suffered a lot because of her association with Jack. I think it’s Rajskub’s brilliant interpretation of the character that has kept her front and center in the action all these years.  For me, 24 would not be the same with out her!

Social media has begun to play a huge part in capturing and keeping audiences.  Just as fans are on twitter during the show, interestingly Rajskub is very involved in social media and pointed out how it wasn’t as prominent during the show’s initial run until the tail end of it. Now she’s become a twitter veteran.  “I absolutely will go through it throughout the day, and right after the show and leading up to the show.”

Another fun aspect of 24 is what we call “the dammit factor.” For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, as the series progressed, a Chloe10drinking game emerged.  What could it possibly be?  Since Jack says ‘dammit’ so much, now every time he says it one must slam a shot of tequila (or whatever you like).  The story goes that Kiefer found out about this, so Jack started saying it all the time and “the dammit factor” was born!  There are even a few fan sites dedicated to this including Porch Drinking.

So far the ‘dammit’ count is at one, but fans are anxiously awaiting for it to rise as the series unfolds.  Rajskub described filming one of the first ‘dammit’ moments.  “There’s one scene in a car where I’m on a laptop. It was one of those moments Jack and I had a back and forth, and in between takes I was like okay, so that felt really familiar.  We were doing a scene, as you can imagine it is 24 so everything was hyper and intense, he threw in ‘dammit’ and it was awesome because it was really real. So I went from being in the scene and living the ‘dammit’, then when the cut happened, we both starting laughing and he started singing “welcome back”, the theme from “Welcome Back Kotter.”  I think Kiefer definitely has an idea of exactly how the fans feel!

There are a plethora of incredible actors in the cast this season, including British actor and 24 fan Stephen Fry who plays Prime Minister Davies. While Rajskub hasn’t had a scene with him yet, she did have a bit of an exchange while in Chloe5wardrobe and was blown away by him. “I was really nervous in that way because he’s such a force of nature and I knew he was in the makeup trailer. I walked in there and he’s such a brilliant presence.” She adds, “He was present and humble, so that was really neat and he’s a big fan of 24, so it was cool to meet him.”

Of course, she had nothing but great things to say about her other co-stars, including Benjamin Bratt who plays Head of CIA Steve Navarro and Tate Donovan, Chief of Staff and Audrey’s husband Mark Boudreu. She hasn’t had any scenes with them yet, but they all shared an afternoon watching football and kind of bonded. “Everybody is so cool. There’s no jerks so far,” Rajskub reports.

So what’s in store for our favorite techie this week?

Episode three is set to air on Monday, May 12 at 9:00 p.m., and we will learn a little bit more about what happened to Chloe in the four years she’s been apart from Jack. It’s an incredibly sad moment that I think fans will get a better understanding as to why she’s completely abandoned her former self.  As the season continues, I have a feeling Jack and Chloe’s relationship will need a little fixing as well.

Last week the episode ended with the introduction of our villain. Let’s Chloe11just say that our dynamic duo is hot on Simone’s (Emily Berrington) trail, who does slip through their net and makes it home.  Waiting is her mother.  All I can say is that she takes ‘Mommy Dearest’ to a whole new level! Who is this woman and why is she hell bent on killing President Heller? You’ll have to watch on Monday to find out!

Meanwhile, President Heller is about to address the British Parliament, Chloe6who is in session.  Anti-drone demonstrations are at an all time high, especially now that two British soldiers were killed due to a supposed malfunction; emotions are also at a fever pitch.  Will the President be able to handle the angry politicians given his current health issues?

Lastly, we have seen that Jack’s love Audrey is now happily married to Mark Boudreau, her father’s Chief of Staff. Many fans on twitter last week dubbed him a baddie. All I will say is that he does a couple of things in episode three that could be perceived a few different ways. For me, the verdict is still out on this one. We will see more of the dynamic of the relationship between Audrey and Mark- things aren’t as peachy as they seem which I think is great because once she sees Jack, all bets are off!

Ultimately Rajskub is thrilled the show has returned. “24, it always surprises me.  Of course, I never thought it would come back, it’s a once in a lifetime, that’s now twice in a lifetime experience.”  I think fans will agree with you Mary Lynn!

All in all 24: Live Another Day is off and running to an epic start! Don’t miss a second of it, every Monday at 9:00 p.m. on FOX!

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About Chrissy Piccolo

Chrissy Piccolo the founder of RHeart Network, the Fan's Voice, the #1 Fan Connection Destination, supporting daytime, prime-time and online scripted digital content. Currently the host of RHeart Radio, the Fan's Voice, as well as Storytellers On The Net, and Sleepy Hollow Addicts on Blogtalk radio. In addition to writing for Blogcritics, she is also an author on Examiner.com. Web Series Today and currently co-hosts with Barbara Barnett and Jerome Wetzel on 'Let's Talk TV' on Blogtalk. She is also working on adapting her her first novel in The Kirsten Kelly Chronicles series into a webseries. Passionate about keeping scripted content alive, she continues to be an advocate for all forms. When she’s not working managing several websites or writing, one of her hobbies is investigating the paranormal with other enthusiasts and searching out possible cases through historic sites in the Northwest. Chrissy believes in being a positive influence in such a vast medium as the Internet.