Last season on Fox's 24, it seemed Kiefer Sutherland's TV daughter, Elisha Cuthbert, did a lot of running. She ran into a psychotic child abuser, a stupid cop, a crazed loner in the woods, a homicidal convenience store shopper and even a thoroughly annoyed cougar. (You can follow Kim's ill-advised trail again on the just-released second season DVD.) But looking ahead, Cuthbert is relieved to find herself working at CTU in Season Three — which premieres Oct. 28 at 9 pm/ET — instead of racing along deserted roads. And now, just for us, the 20-year-old actress finally takes a breather.

TV Guide Online: Your character was always getting into the most ridiculous situations last season, and you took a lot of potshots for it.
Elisha Cuthbert:
I understood where people were coming from. Whenever they cut to my character, boom! She was doing something that no one in their right mind would do. How else were people gonna react? I did get a lot of criticism for it, but then I did get a lot of good comments about it, too. I just try not to let either of those really affect me and just make sure that I do the best job that I can.

TVGO: How does your character start off this season? And how do you feel about Kim joining CTU?
Cuthbert:
[Kim's] trying to prove to everyone that she didn't get the job just because of Dad. I was really worried. I think they went, "OK, we gave her this storyline — are we going to be able to pull this off?" I knew I was given something really great, and I wasn't gonna just go, "Oh, whatever." I worked really hard at it, and it's paying off, because the dailies are going back to everybody, and I think they [feel] it's working.

TVGO: Do you think of Kiefer Sutherland as a father figure, or is that some serious acting we're seeing?
Cuthbert:
Actually, I see him more as a friend and a co-worker. But the one thing that helps that father-daughter thing work so well is the fact that most girls respect their fathers, and I have a lot of respect for Kiefer as an actor. He's been really influential for me in the last three years.

TVGO: I'm always curious about when you guys go to the bathroom on 24. Because it seems like nobody ever does!
Cuthbert:
This season, you see me use the washroom. That was a big point. I think the last two years, we were lacking bathroom scenes, and that is something that happens during the course of a day for everyone — unless there's something wrong with them. So we've got that in there for sure, and I'm the lucky one.

TVGO: You should be very proud of yourself.
Cuthbert:
See? I'm helping the show out. I'm not running anymore. I'm satisfying everyone's bathroom urges right now.

TVGO: You had a small part in Old School. On the DVD commentary, your costars tell the guys at home to "get the pause button ready" for when you appear on-screen in your sporty pink underwear. What did you think of that?
Cuthbert:
It was kind of funny. We joked about it quite a bit — how I chose pink underwear — because when you're on a big screen, it's like your ass is massive. But yeah, it was funny. I wasn't shocked when I heard that.

TVGO: You were okay with your costars ogling you?
Cuthbert:
I don't know if they were ogling me, so much as just preparing everyone at home for "the ass shot."