24's Chris Diamantopoulos and John Boyd

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Earlier in the year, BBM mourned the end of last decade’s best show – 24. However, we were thrilled this week to catch up with Chris Diamantopoulos (far right) and John Boyd (far left) to celebrate the DVD and Blu-Ray release of 24: Season 8 – available from December 1.

 

Tell us about your characters.
Chris:
I play Rob Weiss, chief of staff to President Allison Taylor. He kind of represent a young guard in 24’s Washington. He is loosely fashioned around a sort of Rahm Emmanuel type. Very efficient, very intelligent and the kind guy who really wants to make sure that he represents his presidential administration well
John: I play Arlo Glass, who is an analyst at CTU, kind of a new addition to the CTU upgrade in New York City. It’s sort of changed and got more than a new coat of paint. I work under Mykelti, who plays Brian Hastings. He’s a young, a sort of confident, cocky analyst who is in charge of drone surveillance. So, a techie flying drones around, spying on people.

There must’ve been a bit of jargon to learn?
John: Yeah, getting into the, the 24 tech jargon was fun. You know, I am talking about looking things up really. I am always saying that I want to get to talk more and have more lines but then I will get two big chunks of tech jargon. Katee Sackhoff was like, ‘You asked for more lines!’ But it’s fun. They know how to write so it really it rolls off the tongue. So it’s fun to talk.

Is the New York City CTU cooler than the one from LA?
John: Of course! Yeah, I think the whole show has a New York…
Chris: It’s got an edge to it.John: An edge to it, yeah. I know I’m loving the new characters. [To Chris] I know you are from New York. I’m a New York actor. Cherry Jones is definitely from New York.
Chris: Yeah, she is a bad ass New York actor. Also, the CTU set is pretty fantastic. The United Nations set they built is just magnificent. It’s really well designed and it photographs beautifully. But more impressively, in person the set is just awesome.

So, what kind of bribes do you get from your friends to reveal a plotline?
John:
See that watch? [everyone laughs]
Chris: It’s funny. The people that are fans of the show are such diehard fans, they don’t want to know, it’s only journalists.

And which one of you is the mole?
John:
Oh yeah. [To Chris] I think you and I as newbies could hit up for these kinds of questions. We were at a press event the other day and there were mobs around Howard Gordon, the executive producer, and Kiefer, and a reporter wanted to know something about a plot line. She came up to us and goes, ‘I just need to know if so and so is alive or dead. It’s all over Twitter. Can you guys confirm?’
Chris:
Right. She was trying to get information out of these two idiots. She was working it.

CTU never seems to get any better at weeding out the moles or better at background checks.
Chris:
They’re too focused on—

On great monitors
.
Chris: That’s right! A glossy finish is important in mass terrorism.

Did it make you nervous coming in as newcomers? Did you wonder how long you’d survive?
Chris:
I think because of the pedigree of the show and because I think most actors would agree—getting a gig, first of all? Amazing. And then getting a gig on a show that you love and that is so respected, you just take it and go with it. If you get an episode—wonderful. If you get 20—spectacular. Right?
John: Yeah. I went through this thing where I was reading and thinking about it: ‘OK, will I be good? Will I be bad? What will they make me? I just want to live long, I just want to make it.’ Then, at the end of the day, this is a great show to work on. So whatever happens, happens.

How much time do you get with the script? Do you need some time to prepare for the role?
Chris:
You kind of get the script as you are doing it. We get two scripts at a time, and we shoot two episodes at a time. Sometimes it can get a little confusing. On a certain day, you will be flipping from one episode to the next or vice versa. It can feel like a giant déjà vu—’Wait I was just in this. I was just over here…’
John:
Yeah, I think it is different with television like this when you are working and you are really in the groove and you’re ready to just soak up whatever comes up. The second I read it, I could shoot it. It’s not like you need to sit around ponder your motives and things like that. I am just ready to do it.
Chris: Yeah, I’ve also learned not to think that when you get the first draft that’s what you’ll be shooting. Because there are how many drafts before we shoot? Maybe five or six drafts

Do the CTU phones still have that same ring tone?
Chris:
Gosh, I hope so. You know, a lot of that stuff gets added in [in post production].
John: But I can tell you that I have the 24 clock app for the my phone. It’s really cool.
Chris: So does your phone wake you with Kiefer’s voice: ‘Wake up now? Wake up!’

When the shoot is very intense in a show like this, what do you do in between takes to light
en things up a little bit? Or is it always intense?
Chris:
Most of this crew have been together since the first day of the pilot, so for eight years—which is really, really rare on a TV show. Usually people do a pilot and go their separate ways and then there is a new crew. And then often after a year or two, another crew. These people have been together so long that there is both an efficiency and a levity about the set. So, things get done when they need to get done. While we are shooting, everyone is really focused and then when we cut there’s always people joking or whatever. It doesn’t feel like there’s an effort to get in and out of the character situations. When it’s time to be in, you know it, because everyone is working and you are working. And when it’s time to be out, it’s … you know, sandwich time. Because everyone’s been together so long I definitely think there is socializing, but I also think it’s a solid job. So you show up, you do it, you go.

John: Yeah, I have noticed that people are inviting each other to Christmas parties and their kids play together and they’re hooking each other up with a new housekeeper. So it’s like a family.

Do you have a favorite moment from 24, from any point in the series?
Chris: Last season. Season 7, in the beginning—I think it’s episode 4 or 5 or 6, Kiefer is in a parking lot being shot at. He jumps into a car, face first into where the pedals are, in the driver’s seat, and he’s shooting out of the window. As they are coming after him—he uses the mirror to see them coming—he starts the car with his hands and using his hand, puts it in reverse, pushes the accelerator, goes out of the back of the parking lot, and through the parking structure, lands the car on its bumper, flips out, gets out of it… It’s one of the best escapes I have ever seen. So awesome. You know, I still think that Kiefer actually did that. Don’t tell me he didn’t. He definitely did that!

Make sure to enter our 24 Season 8 competition here!

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