cultural capital

The ‘24’ Absurd-O-Meter: Bonus Michelle Dessler Edition

We ran into Reiko Aylesworth, who used to play CTU agent Michelle Dessler on 24, at a party for the new Philip Seymour Hoffman play, Jack Goes Boating, recently. And so we realized we had a perfect opportunity to get some expert insight on our 24 Absurd-o-Meter, which she confessed she hadn’t seen.

Did you ever read a script and just blurt out, “What the hell?!”
Oh, we would do that, probably every other day. There’s a lot of stuff that gets to us, and we say, “Oh, come on.” And it actually doesn’t even air. There were things that they wanted to do with my character …

Like what?
Oh, like, suicide. Within the course of 24 hours, I become suicidal.

What’s it like to die of that plague and then come back?
I didn’t die! I was super-immune or something. The entire show is a series of “Oh, come on!”s It’s really James Bond on crack. They do have a lot of realistic elements, but the show is completely fantasy.

How do you handle crisis in real life? Has this show taught you how to change a lightbulb, manage your relationship, and defuse a bomb at the same time?
If I could get on GPS in two seconds and find out why my plumber’s too late and get to my doctor’s appointment — I wish I could do that, but no.

How many times have you said “Patch me through!” or “Open a socket for me!”
“Tony, I can’t take it anymore!” That was my recurring line for a while.

Ever hear the clock in your head? When you’re going to sleep?
No. I’d end up in an institution if I heard that all the time. —Justin Ravitz

The ‘24’ Absurd-O-Meter: Bonus Michelle Dessler Edition