Mary Lynn Rajskub interviewed about 24, Chloe O’Brian

Mary Lynn Rajskub Photoshoot

We have to start with 24 – your most notable television role to date. Some people may not know that the part of Chloe was written specifically for you after the co-creator/producer of 24 Joel Surnow saw you in the film Punch Drunk Love (2002).
Yes. Actually at that time I had only auditioned for comedies and then I got the audition for 24 and I was like, “I don’t think I can do this right now. I don’t really do that. I had a really bad experience with dramas and I don’t think I can take it there today.” My agent said “Well I really think you should take a look at this. It’s a really good show.” I hadn’t watched the show so I went out got the DVDs and my mom is pretty savvy with TV and she had watched it from the beginning, so she was like, “Oh My God, it’s the best show. You have to go!” So the night before the audition, I watched two or three episodes and I thought “Wow, this show is pretty fantastic.”

I was excited to go in but on the page it was me talking to Jack and there was no character written, so it was like “Yes, Jack. No Jack.” Literally no dialog. So I go in and Joel Surnow met me in the hallway and said, “We’re so glad your here. I just love you. I think you’re terrific. I want to write a part for you…” Then he asked me what I think about the show and I said “I think it’s really really good.” He said, “You don’t watch our show do you?” So he totally called me out and I said “No. I just crammed.” {laughs}. So he said he was going to write a part for me and it was like a dream come true-totally amazing.

The full story is I didn’t really think he (Joel) was going to write the part and then when I got the part, I thought it was going to be four episodes. So I show up for work on this drama thinking “OK, I’ve got four weeks of work in this weird trailer where there’s a folding wall and there’s somebody six inches away from me.”

I didn’t think it was going to last but it did.

So did you get a better trailer?
I did. I got a trailer that I could actually take ten steps in and I had my own door. I was like “Wow! I’ve really made it!” {laughs}

When you look back, what was the best part about playing Chloe?

I think it gave me a lot more confidence in dramatic acting, and being able to be so loyal to such a smart character in such a complicated world. I’m just very lucky . I think the best part is that it was such a surprise, you know? Then it kept getting better and better.

Can you give a quick shout out to the fans of 24 who miss you and the show? I think there’s many people still mourning the end of 24.
I know they are. I have people on my Twitter – it’s pretty constant. The fans are always coming up to me and telling me how much they miss the show. It’s a really special show. It’s really beloved. It’s been awesome to be a part of the show. It’s a phenomenon. I have total respect and love. We had a great run and I was sad that it was over, but it’s like “OK, it’s time to move on. Cool.”

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you are just the best. keep it anywhere u find you self