ELISHA CUTHBERT from 24 Exclusive Interview

Elisha Cuthbert - 24

A couple of days ago I interviewed ELISHA CUTHBERT who made her return on 24 this season as Kim Bauer.

For those who have seen this season of 24, I think you’ll agree that Elisha Cuthbert had some pretty intense, emotional scenes and it’s not a surprise that she is one of the Emmy hopefuls this year.

Elisha Cuthbert talked about her return on 24, some of her other future projects and much more. So enjoy the interview below.

How does it feel to be back on ’24’?

Elisha Cuthbert: It’s good. It’s kind of one of those things where I’m really lucky that I can come in and out and get to do other things and yet still be on the show and sort of there in the right way. It’s not because the writers are forced to write something for the character now. They write for Kim when it’s appropriate and it works for the show. I couldn’t be happier for those reasons.

Was it easy to get back into it after a few years of not being on the show? Did you still know who she was?

Elisha Cuthbert: I was nervous before I got in there to sort of play the character again. I had these ideas of, like, ‘I’m coming back and she’s older. Is it going to work? How am I going to play this? Do I play it differently?’ I had so many things going on in my mind, but then once I got there it kind of fell together and Kiefer [Sutherland] was really strong about how he sort of saw her coming back and I agreed with all of the things that he and I had discussed; sort of the maturity and the willingness to want to regain her relationship with her father. All those emotions led into the evolution of the character again. I made myself a wreck for nothing I think.

The first scene back is very emotional with him dying.

Elisha Cuthbert: Exactly and there had been a lot left unsaid and a lot left that was sort of open and hadn’t been closed as far as relationship between each other. So to jump back onto the show in such an emotional scene that really could’ve gone any way was kind of tricky. But once we got there it just made a lot of sense and it felt really great. We did that scene fairly quickly, too. It went really smoothly. Kiefer and I rehearsed quite a bit on our own time before actually getting on set and that really helped. In TV you don’t really have the luxury to take that time and to do that on the set because it’s such a fast paced show. There’s so much work that needs to be done that the extra time was really a nice thing for Kiefer to do for me.

I think you’re back next season, too, right?

Elisha Cuthbert: Yeah.

Will that be another guest spot or are you a regular in the new season?

Elisha Cuthbert: It’s so early in the year right now that I’m kind of just going with the flow. I think it’s probably going to be more of another guest appearance because really, like I said, it’s so hard to write each hour something interesting and sort of on the edge of your seat for this character for the twenty four hours. She does have a child and is married now. So the character is a little more basic than Jack. I think when it’s appropriate for her to come in and out of the show that season I think that’s what the producers want to do and I’m all for it.

Do you think that Jack will get to meet his grandson or granddaughter in the new season?

Elisha Cuthbert: I think that would be really neat. The fact that we sort of touched on it lightly last season was a really interesting part of my character. This year, whether or not he actually physically meets the grandchild I’m not a hundred percent sure, but I think we’re trying to make that work in some capacity. I think it’d be a really interesting dynamic to see Jack kind of come out of the mayhem of his life and see him as a grandfather and as a father as opposed to this sort of superhuman.

If you had a choice of a storyline for Kim next season what would it be?

Elisha Cuthbert: I absolutely love doing the action stuff. It’s a lot of fun and it’s extremely challenging. Last year, having to have my arm on fire and having to go in and do all of that was extremely thrilling. It’s a really great part of the show, the action stuff. But I think I’m really pleased to see that this season we’re touching on who she is now and where she’s at in her family life and how she’s reconnected with her father, which I think audiences really want to see. Then as the season goes on it would be amazing to continue to do action stuff. She’s got the training and the character who’s been down that path before and it wouldn’t be right to not have her in a bit of danger, but you never know. The writers are always going back and forth with ideas and coming up with things on the spot. I’m hoping that they’ll incorporate that somewhere in the season.

Did you actually have your arm on fire doing that scene with the car?

Elisha Cuthbert: I did. I did, yeah. It was terrifying. I was really confident going in because we have amazing stunt coordinators and they do this every episode. I knew that I was in good hands, but I just wasn’t sure how it was going to go. The idea of your arm being on fire isn’t a pleasant one, but then when it actually happened it was amazing. I just went with it and it was crazy, absolutely crazy. My fear was that we actually had some photographers on set that weren’t with the production and I was afraid that it was going to get leaked before it got on air. I don’t think it detracted from any of it though. So it was definitely the biggest stunt that I’ve ever done in my career so far.

Talk about not even faking it. You had fire right in your face.

Elisha Cuthbert: It was crazy. They had prepped all my wardrobe so that I obviously wasn’t feeling any of the burn. There was a lot of…it gets technical, but there was tons of that fire retardant gel and things like that. Really, I didn’t feel the fire at all. But when your eyes look down at your arm on fire your mind really is connecting to the sheer fear of the fact that you’re actually on fire. Even though I didn’t feel the heat it definitely was terrifying.

Did you find that the show had a different feel when you came back after a few years? Was there anything different about the set or was it still just the same ’24’ to you?

Elisha Cuthbert: It was a bit of both. There hasn’t been too many changes. We’re really lucky in that we mostly have the same crew from day one. Kiefer being there. I was really lucky that my first scene was with him. That kind of helped because it brought back old feelings of what it was like on the show and it didn’t feel like I had gone away, but at the same time a lot has happened. I’ve gone off and done other things too and to come back really did feel like home again which was a really nice feeling to come back to.

Who’s your favorite character on ’24’ apart from Kim?

Elisha Cuthbert: Let me see. God, there are so many. I really like the dynamic between Carlos Bernard’s character, Tony Almeida and Jack. Tony has been there from day one which is rare. Obviously a lot of characters have died off or gone off to do other things. Tony’s character has really stuck through from the beginning. Last year, for his character to go through so many twists and turns, it was really exciting to watch that and the suspense of if he was bad or good and what side he was on. He was just a really well written character last year, just dynamite.

When the switch came that he was bad again I thought, ‘No way.’

Elisha Cuthbert: Yeah, exactly. I think fans that have seen the show since day one are getting smarter and know that these twists are coming, but for some reason the way that it was written and the way that Carlos played the character and obviously the history that he has on the show, it was really tough to determine where he was going. That was really amazing. I enjoy watching Carlos and also when Carlos and Kiefer work together, it’s just dynamite. Their fight was so intense. I can only imagine. You could sense it, you could feel that these were two actors that have worked together for quite some time on the show and they just brought it. It was unbelievable. Really great. I feel the same way for me, that I’m lucky I’ve been there since the beginning. There aren’t many characters that have done that and to get to come back and really do some meaty stuff with Kiefer and to end the season the way that it ended with him and I in the hospital was just dynamite. The writing was just so great last year.

Can you talk about how you prepare for a part, your process in creating a character when you get a new project?

Elisha Cuthbert: I’m pretty easy going, but I really put a lot of time and effort into the physical aspects of the character, as far as the aesthetic and the look. I’m not one of those actors that likes to keep it the same. ’24’ has really taught me that because everyone associates or a lot of people associate me with Kim Bauer. So when I go off to do other projects it’s been a big important thing to do, to kind of get away from that look, that Kim Bauer look and try other things. A lot goes into coming up with wardrobe and hair. I think when you get a character physically the acting, becoming that person becomes so much easier because if she’s brunette or a little bit more on the edgy side or a little more feminine, it kind of all comes together at that point. So that’s sort of a big deal.

Is there a dream role that you have?

Elisha Cuthbert: There are so many. I’d love to do something or become a character…as opposed to coming up with a fictional character, something that is actually real, a real person, portraying a real individual that’s gone through some really intense things in their lives, playing someone who exists and getting to pick their brain and trying to give justice to a real person; doing that would be amazing. I’d like to do more action. I just feel like there are so many great parts for the female character that kind of goes through and comes out triumphant as far as kicking butt and doing fun stuff. After ’24’ I definitely know that I can do it. To find something that’s a little Jack Bauer but a female version would be dynamite. I would love to do that.

Is there an actor that you’d like to work with that you haven’t had a chance to yet?

Elisha Cuthbert: I’ve worked with a lot of great actors. Robert Duvall. I’ve been a huge fan of his for a long, long time, since I can remember. I’d love to do something with him. Meryl Streep is my all time favorite actress. I think working with her would be pretty dynamite. There are so many and for all different reasons. It’s interesting when you meet and work with different actors how that kind of brings out a different side to you. Even just working with Kiefer and stepping up my game. I think you’re only as good as the people that you surround yourself with. Working with really talented people who are creative and who push the limit is always great for someone like me who’s not in the beginning but in the early stages of my career.

Can you talk about some of the projects that you have coming up?

Elisha Cuthbert: I’m excited to be back on ’24’ again. That’s really cool and has been taking up my time right now. I did a movie with Tim Allen called ‘The Six Wives of Henry Lefay’. I don’t have a release date, but that should be coming out at some point. It’s a comedy. Andy McDowell is in the film and Jenna Elfman is also in it. I just had a blast doing that because it was light and it was fun. I learned a lot from Tim, too, about comedic timing and stuff like that. So that was a whole different ballgame and it was a ton of fun to do and so that was great. Then I’ve been gearing up for Kim Bauer again.

If you could guest star on any other TV show which one would it be?

Elisha Cuthbert: Hmm. That’s a good one. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but let me think. That’s hard. Actually, over the years, coming up with ideas about doing other shows, other pilots has been really difficult for me because I just feel like I set the bar so high for myself with ’24’. It’s just a phenomenal show that it’s almost crazy to think of doing anything else unless it was up to par. There’s a ton of shows out there that are up there. I don’t know what show I would be on. That’s a tricky one. I like ‘Nip/Tuck’ a lot. I think that’s a fun show. I like that show quite a bit. I’m a huge Hugh Laurie fan and so ‘House’ is one of my favorites, too. I don’t know where I’d fit in there, maybe a young doctor or something. Maybe ‘House’. That would be a good one.