Mary Lynn Rajskub has been on a roll these last 15 years, appearing in such notable shows and movies as Mr. Show, Veronica’s Closet, The Larry Sanders Show, and Legally Blonde 2, among many others.
But no role has done more for her career and increased her popularity than her long tenure as CTU (counter-terrorism unit) computer expert Chloe O’Brian, whom she has played for the last six seasons – Days 3 through 8 – in the hit weekly real-time action thriller TV show 24, which airs Mondays on FOX from 9-10 pm ET.
Yesterday afternoon, Ms. Rajskub took part in a conference call run by FOX that ran for about a half hour. As is her norm when talking to the media, she was at different times hilarious and deadly serious when talking about her time on this successful TV series or answering questions on her personal life.
Here are some highlights from the Q & A session of the call with the print and online journalists who were lucky enough to pick her mind (this journalist included).
A journalist from Hearst Newspapers pointed out that the show’s main star Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) says to Chloe at the end of the series that he never dreamed how important she would be to him when she first joined CTU, and then asked Rajskub if she can relate that to what her own expectations were of her character when she initially joined the cast.
Her answer was that she too had no idea when she first started as Chloe that she would go from a “geeky,” “by-the-book” computer tech girl at first to this quirky, humorous, and vital character that became “Jack’s most loyal helper,” confidant, and friend.
When asked by another scribe what her favorite moment on 24 was, the actress responded that with all her extra responsibilities she had this season, there’s “a whole new set of cool moments” to remember, but still came up with a few, including proudly stating that holding a gun and being on the run (earlier this season) was fun. In a more somber tone, she stated that watching fellow computer tech Edgar die a few seasons ago was hard, and “kind of a turning point for my character.”
A certain journalist from Blogcritics – take a wild guess who that is – got in a few questions regarding her favorite actors she worked with over the years, her guitar playing “skills,” and whether or not she had to fight the show’s writers (like Carlos Bernard did for his Tony Almeida role) to save her character.
She responded by saying she was really close with the actors she shot scenes with in CTU over the years, especially this year, including Katie Sackhoff (Dana Walsh), Freddie Prinze Jr. (Cole Ortiz), and John Boyd (Arlo Glass), and actors in past seasons, including Carlos Bernard, whom she thought was “ballsy” for successfully getting his character saved, and James Morrison (Bill Buchanan). Mary Lynn also revealed that though she loves that somebody wrote she was a “skilled guitar player,” it is “so not true” since she can’t really play and sing at the same time, except when doing it with a more skilled “partner” as a comedy duo like she did in the past.
And though she thought it was “kind of funny” that this journalist brought up any significant beef with the show’s writers, Rajskub never had any at any time, though she said in an answer to another question that she was worried at times, especially in the early years of Chloe not being brought back or killed off. Still, she believes that not fighting Chloe’s script has “worked in her favor.”
Finally, when MTV Radio asked about the much talked about future 24 film project, how it might work on the big screen and whether she’d be in it, her answers were classic Chloe/Mary Lynn. First, she interrupted herself to attend to her dog Ginger: “Sorry. Can you hear my dog? Hi, Ginger, come here! I’ll be right out.”
Then the actress proceeded to answer by pointing out that 24 already feels like a movie with its “groundbreaking” format, but doesn’t yet know how it would translate to the big screen and that the concept should be an “interesting and creative challenge.” And since she feels the media would know before her, Rajskub half-kiddingly urged it to “please call [her] at home, day or night” if they find out she’s in the movie.
In a bit of news, the star actress also said during her long answer that Extra TV revealed while interviewing her the other day that Kiefer told the show there are three 24 movies being planned. If that is indeed the case, fans will still have a lot of Jack Bauer action to get excited about long after the TV series is gone.
But before all that, be sure to watch Mary Lynn Rajskub in the exciting season and series finale special on FOX this Monday night (May 24), which runs from 8:00-10:00 pm ET.
Bonus: To view eight suspense-filled clips of 24’s series finale, click here.