Chad Lowe, <EM>24</EM> Chad Lowe, 24

In a TV Guide interview, Chad Lowe reflects on his new gig as 24's resident evildoer, sobriety, his new girlfriend and playing hockey with Kiefer.

TV Guide: What can you tell us about your character on 24, deputy chief of staff Reed Pollock?
I don't want to give too much away, but Reed has somewhat of an ulterior motive. He does things to further his agenda and the agenda of an organiza­tion of people he represents. What's interesting is that I don't even know who they are.

TV Guide: Do you mean you, Chad Lowe? Or you, Reed Pollock?
I, Chad Lowe, don't know. When I got the role, I went in and met with the producers and writers and all they gave me was a broad stroke of where they're going with him.

TV Guide: Did they use words like "evil" and "henchman"?
God, no. I'm not sure that I would agree with Reed's point of view, but I can certainly see his perspective. I think he feels like a patriot and that he's doing the right thing for the country and is proud to be serv­ing Peter MacNicol's character, Tom Lennox. He's well intended, if maybe misdirected.

TV Guide: Misdirected? He does something truly horrible this week!
It's a pretty big event that I'm in­volved in. But I think the jury is out about how people will respond to Reed Pollock. Today, somebody in the elevator of my condo looked at me side­ways and said, "I don't think I like you." [Laughs] Then he said, "... on 24."

TV Guide: Have you been made a regular?
No. I'm going episode to episode. Every time I've read a script, I always read it know­ing that it may be my last. I'm not dead yet, I can tell you that much.

TV Guide: How does it feel to be on a hit show at the same time as your brother Rob?
It's nice. There have also been many, many patches when we've both been unemployed.

TV Guide: You used to be on the same ice-hockey team as Kiefer Sutherland. Denis Leary once said he's one of the best celebrity players he's ever seen. True?
Ah, um... I was surprised by how good Kiefer is, but I don't know if I would go that far. Maybe according to Denis he's the best. I think there are a few people I might put ahead — Matthew Perry is a very good hockey player. Most actors fancy themselves tough guys to some degree. But it's a great equalizer.

TV Guide: On a recent appearance on Larry King Live, you were asked about your new girlfriend, Kim Painter, and you said, "It's not serious." Was this news to her?
Everything was fine. [Laughs] It's a new relationship, and I was trying to deflect — as awkwardly as possible. We met coincidentally. She produces Carrie Fisher's one-woman show. I'd called Carrie to ask her to participate in a function I was putting together, and I dealt with Kim. We clearly had a fancy for one another and decided that maybe we should go and have coffee. We're in the nice stages of an early relationship.

TV Guide: Last August your ex-wife, Hilary Swank, told Vanity Fair about your heretofore unpublicized substance-abuse problem. What's it like being unable to control how a personal issue becomes known to others?
That was my ex-wife's press. She chose to speak out for whatever reason and say what she did. I didn't bring it on, and I didn't ask for it. I thought I'd address it in my own time.

TV Guide: Any unexpected big changes that come with nearly four years of sobriety?
I don't spend my energy figuring out how I measure up. Humility really takes you out of the arena of where one fits in — in a marriage, in a career, in life. There's a saying, "I may not be much, but I'm all I think about." [Laughs] I'm glad I'm not all I think about anymore.

For an inside look at the controversy surrounding 24's depiction of torture, pick up the Feb. 26 issue of TV Guide.

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