That glorious glowing digital clock is ticking away again, now that Fox's 24 has returned with a four-hour Season 5 premiere (continuing tonight at 8 pm/ET). TVGuide.com invited quirky little Chloe, aka Mary Lynn Rajskub (rhymes with "rice cub," says the actress), to leak to us some top-secret vittles.
TVGuide.com: So what am I missing by not bothering with the Season 5 "prequel" packed in the newest 24 boxed DVD set?
Mary Lynn Rajskub: Oh, you're missing both of our hairdos Jack Bauer has a great hairdo, and my hair is down, which is exciting. OK, it's not really that exciting. I just get to have a different outfit for a minute. It all just kind of tips off the new season, which I guess is coming up pretty fast.
TVGuide.com: You bet it is. This, by the way, is where you tell me, "It's going to be the best season ever."
Rajskub: Well of course it is! I don't know how they do it, but they're managing to keep the show going and keep it good.
TVGuide.com: Much has been said and teased about the season opener. Is it that action-packed?
Rajskub: It's sort of exhausting, yeah. You might want to take a, uh, little vacation after you watch it.
TVGuide.com: Four hours of 24 over two nights is a lot to take in.
Rajskub: I was reading this quote from [24 writer] Howard Gordon, and I was like, "Yeah, that's exactly it" it's always a question of how Jack can save the world every time. There can only be so many ways a terrorist can attack you, so I think they've had to come up with different ways [to make the threats] "smaller," in some sense, or more character-oriented and they've done a pretty great job of that.
TVGuide.com: Is this the season the terrorists go around handing out Ashlee Simpson CDs?
Rajskub: [Laughs] Woo-hoo!
TVGuide.com: How does it work at the start of each season? Does [24 creator] Joel Surnow gather the cast around a table and say, "OK, you live... and you die... live, live, die, live... "?
Rajskub: Not at all. Never! When I first showed up on the set, it pretty much felt like a movie set. You just showed up with your lines memorized....You get your script a week ahead of time, and it usually changes quite a bit....
TVGuide.com: So you only know your character's longevity a week at a time?
Rajskub: Yeah, pretty much!
TVGuide.com: On a scale of 1 to 10, let's say Chloe's computer aptitude is a 17. What is Mary Lynn's?
Rajskub: Um, I'd say about a 3? [Pauses] 2?
TVGuide.com: A 2?! So if I asked you to call up a real-time thermal satellite image of my cubicle, you'd be at an utter loss?
Rajskub: I know people in high places it is Hollywood so I could call somebody who could call somebody.
TVGuide.com: What are you at liberty to say about what's ahead for Chloe?
Rajskub: I take off my clothes halfway through, when I have to make a tourniquet. And then I also find a way that the fibers can be useful in my computer.
TVGuide.com: What?!? That's...
Rajskub: I just made that up.
TVGuide.com: [Grumbling] Not nice.
Rajskub: That was pretty good, though! I almost had you believing that.
TVGuide.com: I was going to say, that's very MacGyver-ish. So, no more AK47-toting?
Rajskub: Well, I do start in the field in the first couple episodes, and I have a hot boyfriend, and I do get some gun action early on.
TVGuide.com: By "gun action" do you mean firearms, or is that a euphemism for what Chloe's doing with the boy?
Rajskub: Both, both. Actual guns and... I'm too much of a nice girl to describe anything else.
TVGuide.com: Are you ever tempted to lobby the wardrobe department to make this the season Chloe spends in a nice, comfy Juicy suit?
Rajskub: Like, a Juicy sweatsuit? You know, that's a whole other show. You can't just, like, cut to me in the CTU wearing that.
TVGuide.com: Sure you can she was called in from a weekend furlough or something.
Rajskub: I love that! But I would need ass padding and breast padding.
TVGuide.com: Now, now. Do you know about the Chloe-Edgar fans out there?
Rajskub: What are they doing?
TVGuide.com: I guess a few folks want you two kids to hook up. Me, I don't. Dude is so not worthy.
Rajskub: Thank you very much. I think he's worthy, I just think that would kind of ruin it. I like that people are even thinking that's a possibility, but for me, I see it like we are actually friends, even though I'm totally mean to him all the time. But that's only because I want him to be better. I watch out for him.
TVGuide.com: He's not going to still be whining about Ma getting killed last season by the melted-down nuclear reactor, is he?
Rajskub: No, I think he's learned to live with it.
TVGuide.com: From where you sit, who is the most interesting new character this season?
Rajskub: You know who I've been working a lot with lately is Sean Astin, because he's done a lot of stuff with us in the CTU. I thought that was really interesting casting because he looks kind of boyish, and they cast him to be the top authority over [CTU director] Bill Buchanan, who is an older man and very authoritative. All of the sudden this young guy comes in during the middle of this crisis, and they gave him the name Lynn McGill, so we're all like, "Who is this guy?" I love how they sort of cast against type like that.
TVGuide.com: I couldn't believe it when I saw they named this new hot shot "Lynn."
Rajskub: I love that! For being such a serious show, there are little moments like that. "We're going to put a guy named Lynn in charge of everybody!"
TVGuide.com: Does Sean regale you with bawdy Lord of the Rings backstage anecdotes?
Rajskub: He doesn't really talk about it that much and nobody really asks him.
TVGuide.com: You haven't even seen any of the Lord of the Rings, have you! To be fair, I haven't; they're all just so damn long.
Rajskub: I couldn't agree with you more. They're really long!
TVGuide.com: What else do you have coming up? Is that you playing Harrison Ford's bank coworker in the trailer for Firewall?
Rajskub: Yes, that's me. That was really fun and I'm psyched about that. That's coming out in February.
TVGuide.com: Who's sexier when saving the world, Harrison Ford or Kiefer Sutherland?
Rajskub: Oh, s---, don't do that to me! Don't put me in that kind of position! I'm just lucky to be around both of them. They each know how to save the world in their own special way.