Sarah Clarke (Nina Myers) was interviewed about her role. The host says that he was bummed when it looked like Nina was going to be bad, but luckily that was a false lead. He predicts Tony Almeida is the evil one, but no one knows.
While filming the pilot, Bob Cochran and Joel Surnow said the Nina character is still sort of an enigma. They had conversations on the hierarchy of the office and how Nina fit in. Sarah says there is not one weak link in the cast.
Sarah Clarke Radio Interview Transcript
You’re on track and you’re with us, Sarah Clarke, one of the stars of the great show – it is one of the most gripping dramas I have ever seen, I have recommended it to my audience who watch it every week, get into a habit of watching “24”, every Tuesday night at 9 o’clock, it is a great show on FOX.
Aww, that’s great!
And it’s gripping, I’ll tell you, it must be really gripping to actually even be acting in it.
Ohh, it is, yes, they definitely keep us guessing with the scripts. We don’t get them, you know, more than a week in advance of shooting, and, you know, I’m just as surprised when I get them (*laughs*) as the audience probably is when they watch it.
Sarah Clarke of course plays Nina Myers, the chief of staff who is working with the character of Kiefer Sutherland, Jack Bauer, in terms of…maybe different facets here, Jack’s daughter disappeared and they’re trying to kill a presidential candidate, and blah blah blah blah blah, lots of things happening and it’s just edge of your seat excitement! And this is week, I believe 4 or 5 coming up…yeah. For folks that haven’t seen the show yet, it’s one hour of a specific 24 hour period and it’s in real time and it’s a unique type of show, I have a feeling you’re gonna see copycats on this show, and the only thing I was concerned about was the ratings, and I think that after a while I think that it’s going to pick up, and do really really well.
Yeah…I mean, it definitely takes an intelligent audience, I think, to really follow all the nuances of it. And it’s not…you know, you have to work a little to watch it, and I think that’s good because it gets people involved, it gets them excited, because they wanna try to figure something out, so I think it’s definitely a turn for the better in terms of TV watching.
Now Sarah, you have a unique thing, you weren’t like a show-biz kid or anything, you’re from St. Louis, you were an architectural photographer, and you started acting in the theatre while you were doing that?
Yeah, well basically I was a photography and Italian major in college, and when I was in St. Louis, working on photography, I took some photos for free for this cultural art centre, and they offered to give me classes for payment, and I took an acting class, and when I was in Italy in my senior year of college, I took some acting over there, so I just sort of started to think ‘Maybe I wanna do this’… so I went to New York to start to study that.
And you went to a bunch of different theatre companies in New York, right?
Yeah, I did. I mean, that’s sort of how you get around, I mean I studied for two years at Circle In The Square but to really kind of cut your traps, you have to get your teeth…you have to, you know, be out there on the stage in front of a lot of people, and the downtown theatre scene is good for that.
Tell me a little bit about the short film that you did won you an outstanding performance at the Brooklyn Film Festival?
Oh, it was really such a beautiful project, […] was the writer and director on that and it basically was a short film that she did depicting a sort of tramp-like clown, which was played by me, she modelled him after Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, and it’s a silent movie that takes place in New York, but in the present day, and it basically unites this sort of quirky clown type performer that gets kicked out of the circus with a man who is the left at the altar because of his inability to laugh…and I basically make him laugh at the end of the movie, so it’s a cute movie.”
Will that be coming onto video, or…?
I think, you know, she’s definitely, it’s gone through the film… I’m sorry, I’m having a blank here.
The festival thing!
The festival circuit, thank you, and it might show up on IFC or something, one of those independent channels that have the short film festivals.
Right. I understand you made a guest appearance on ‘Sex And The City’.
What was the character you played? It must have been a lot of fun working with the cast.
Oh, they’re a great cast, and it was a small part, but it was definetely fun, I worked with Kirsten Davies…she plays…it was the episode where she has a party with all the ex boyfriends of her friends to be invited, so that everyone else can try to find a new man, and I bring my ex boyfriend who she sort of falls for, and then I decide at the end of the night that maybe he’s not so sad and I maybe want him back.
I remember that episode, wow. Any chance for another appearance on that?
Well, you know, because of the show taking so much time, that’s sort of where I’m putting my focus.
Tell me about that, you mentioned that, how many hours are you spending on 24?
It’s definitely not as much as if you were, you know, there was only a core cast that shot, but because there’s five open story lines, we do get some time off. When we do work, it’s very intense, because of the nature of the story that we’re telling, but it’s nice that we get full days off, two or three days off, and we always get the weekends off, so that we can have some down time to sort of get our lives back in order, and to prepare for the next script.
I’ll tell you, one of the early episodes your character…it looked like she was bad, and I was really bummed out with her, so was Jack, but it turned out that that was a kind of lead that someone threw, a false lead, and she’s actually very good. Your character and Jack Bauer’s character seem to have a lot of chemistry…of course, they dated at one point when he was as Ross would say “in time out from his relationship”.
I’d like to think I was there to console him.
Yeah, I think you were, but of course another one that you were dating is there, who I don’t think is a good guy…
Tony…yeah, well, they definitely want you to think that no one can be trusted. And no one can be, everyone is double-crossing everyone else.
True. I mean, we could find out later on that your character’s nasty too. I would think that she’s so wonderful like you are, but you never know! How much input do you have into the development of these characters, are you reading scripts, are you inputing at all?
Well, you know, it’s interesting, the pilot…so many pilots get made and you don’t know if they’re going to get picked up. I will say that I thought, and Bob and Joel came up to me and said that the Nina character was still sort of an enigma, as to how her role was going to pan out in terms of the job, and so it was nice because we did have conversations in the beginning, when we were filming the pilot, about my placement in the hierarchy of the office, and then once the show got picked up, they ran with it. I mean, they had so much material for me to cover that I just sort of took their lead. And you have little moments that you input as you’re shooting, but they spend so much time in prep and in the writing that there wouldn’t be time for my input as much, on that end. It’s more sort of once I get the script, and I have sort of my interpretation of what is happening.
Tell me about your take on the cast, you work with Kiefer Sutherland, do you like working with him, and he seems like a…he’s one of the more talented people now on television.
Mhmm hmm, oh, he’s wonderful. Everyone is, it’s such a talented cast and crew and I really feel it makes the whole thing work, I really don’t feel like there’s one weak link anywhere, and I couldn’t be more pleased. A lot of Canadian impact, and I thought at first that that was intentional, but it just sort of happened that way, and I think that was interesting, a lot of Canadians ended up on the same project.”
Yeah, we had on the show here Leslie Hope and Dennis Haysbert. Leslie of course plays Teri Bauer, and Dennis is David Palmer, the presidential cadidate. One of the people who is very outstanding in the cast – and you are correct, everyone in the cast is really strong, otherwise this wouldn’t work – but Elisha Cuthbert has a really tough job there playing Kimberly, the daughter.
Yeah, I agree, I think she does a wonderful job.
It’s a very intense role for a young kid.
And she seems to just, you know, go through it effortlessly. She’s very professional, and very sweet, you’d never think she’d be capable of wrapping her head around those kinds of situations when you meet her, and then you watch her and you’re like ‘Oh wow!’
She’s done a great job. One of the executive producers, you’ve mentioned a couple of them, a very famous name, Ron Howard. I assume you’ve sat and talked with him about this?
Well we’ve definitely been in meetings with Imagine [Entertainment], so there’s a whole team and that’s… I haven’t personally met Ron Howard, but in terms of Tony Krantz and the other producers that are on board, they’ve come to set and we’ve had different meetings with them.
So you haven’t seen Ron though, huh?
Haven’t seen Ron yet.
Well, Sarah Clarke stars in ’24’, Tuesday nights at 9 on Fox, it’s one of those shows you can’t miss folks, if you can’t see it live, tape it, because you gotta watch the show, it’s incredible. If you haven’t got into it, it’s still not too late, they give you a little bit of an intro on every show, so check it out. Thank you so much for coming on and continued good luck, Sarah.