The 24 cast knows the drill: When talking to the press, never, ever leak any key plot developments. Lucky for TV Guide Online readers, Golden Globe nominee Dennis Haysbert — who plays President David Palmer on Fox's serial thriller — broke that cardinal rule during a recent interview.
After some good-natured prodding, Haysbert revealed that shortly after 24 returns on Feb. 4, Palmer will be calling the shots from a new location. "We're getting out of the Operations Complex and moving to Air Force One," he teases. "I think they got [the set] from Harrison Ford's movie, Air Force One. That's going to be very cool."
Let's hope Palmer won't be taking estranged wife Sherry along for the ride. On Tuesday's knockout episode, the wannabe first lady was revealed to be the mystery insider plotting against the president. For his part, Haysbert defends his alter ego's decision to let his duplicitous ex back into the fold. "She knew about things that nobody would have known about, and [Palmer] will elicit anyone's help if they can help him stop the bomb," he reasons. "He'll do whatever it takes to stop the tragedy."
In real life, Haysbert is doing his part to diffuse another ticking time bomb: heart disease. The self-proclaimed health nut recently signed on as a spokesperson for Centrum's new "Mind Your Heart" campaign. "The people most at risk [for heart disease] are African Americans," he points out. "I've spoken out on a number of issues in the past that affect African Americans and Hispanic Americans, and this one is — pardon the pun — close to my heart."
But unlike another famous TV president — West Wing actor-activist Martin Sheen — Haysbert has no intention of letting his personal beliefs eclipse his duties as commander in chief. "I'm an actor, first and foremost," he says. "My job is to get to the set on time, hit my mark and tell the truth. Everything else is pretty private."