Renee (Annie Wersching) seemed almost innocent during 24's Day 7 — until she turned toward the dark side and went all Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) on last season's villain. When the Fox series returns, Renee is willing to do anything to get the job done, Wersching says. Find out how far she'll take it...
TVGuide.com: How do you feel 24 is on a bigger scale this season?
Annie Wersching: I think taking it to New York City changes things up a lot. It was a great idea last year to get a new energy to the show by taking it to D.C. Different cities have different vibes to them and New York is such a huge, thriving metropolis. I think it's a perfect setting for the show because it has a grittiness to it like the show has. I think that in itself sets it up.
TVGuide.com: How would you say Renee plays into this season?
Wersching: Renee didn't end Day 7 in a very great place. She obviously went through a lot of changes and was just fighting a lot of stuff and trying to figure out what's right and what's wrong. Renee has not had a good time of it in between Day 7 and Day 8, so she comes back pretty damaged and she doesn't have anything to lose so it makes her pretty dangerous. Last year she had her job to lose, her entire career that she's built, her partner; she had all this stuff she could lose if she did something the wrong way or went against what she thought were her morals and ethics, but this year, meh.
TVGuide.com: Is that fun to play?
Wersching: It's really fun. I got to do so much great stuff last year. From where the character began in the first episode in Season 7 to the 24th, I got the greatest arc that you don't always see. I'm just so excited that somehow it's so different again this year.
TVGuide.com: Did you know last season that your character had this background in being undercover in the Russian mob?
Wersching: Uh no. It's not like I had written it off as something she couldn't have done, but it's not like there was really even enough time to delve into every case she had ever done and been in.
TVGuide.com: Do you think you would've played her differently had you known that?
Wersching: I don't think so. I don't think I was playing her like she had never done anything risky or underground before. You have to play so immediate because it's in real time, you don't even have time to reflect on what you might have learned from your previous cases that you could use now. You just have to go with whatever is happening. I think it's a really interesting twist that that's in her background. Obviously she was able to handle herself really easily with Jack in the field, so she's obviously had a lot of experience and learned some good things along the way.
TVGuide.com: How do you think she will help or hinder Jack this season?
Wersching: It's such an interesting relationship this season because last year they both helped each other in a lot of ways. They both saved each other in a lot of ways. She's totally now living on the edge and is completely dangerous. She's trying to help out the new CTU, but she's definitely not playing by the rules. Jack comes along to try to keep an eye on her and make sure that she doesn't do anything that can hurt the mission, but I think he really cares about her and wants to make sure that she's OK because he can obviously tell that something's off. She has no one to answer to and gets herself into a wee bit of trouble.
TVGuide.com: Do you think that Renee can find redemption for certain things she has done and is doing?
Wersching: She could. The issue is wanting to. If she doesn't want to, she'll never get there. I think that's where Jack comes in and changes things a little bit. They have another day where they're really close and work together, maybe he's the reason she would want to fix herself and get things together.
The eighth season of 24 begins on Sunday, Jan. 17 at 9/8c on Fox.