As 24 fans discovered last night, President Palmer's duplicitous ex-wife Sherry is back in her husband's crosshairs. And making matters worse, TV's Lady Macbeth arrived on the scene armed with something far more unnerving than a new ulterior motive: a killer makeover.

As the character's portrayer, Penny Johnson Jerald, tells TV Guide Online, looking good is the best revenge. "If my man dropped me, I would certainly want to look better than I did last year," laughs the actress, who says she worked with 24's hair and make-up experts to create a more sophisticated, sexy — "less presidential-looking" — Sherry. "I was really careful about the hair, because last year, Sherry had very '80s hair. So, I decided to go with very '90s hair — very straight and bouncy. I also wanted to soften the eyes, the face, not make her so hard looking.

"She's a divorcée now," adds Jerald, "so [it makes sense] that she would want to look as hip as she can in the confines of the political world."

Truth be told, the 41-year-old former ER star had her own hidden agenda where Sherry's transformation was concerned. "When people met me in person they went, 'Oh my gosh, you're younger!' And I went, 'Yes! Of course I am!' So, [this season] I was trying to get closer to my own age, because Sherry's six years older than me."

Despite the spiffy new look, not everything about the well-connected schemer has changed. As eagle-eyed 24 viewers no doubt picked up on Tuesday night, "Sherry's still wearing her wedding ring," reveals Jerald. "That was a choice I thought would be rather juicy." Laughing, she adds: "Besides, divorced women don't give up diamonds!"