SPOILER ALERT: This interview contains information
on critical plot developments on the second series of 24.
Clarke is known to millions of fans of 24 as special
agent Nina Myers. Viewers of the first season of the show
where shocked when it was revealed that she was a double agent
working against the American government. In
September 2002 she married her co-star on 24,
Xander Berkeley, who plays George Mason. She
also makes a return to the show's second season.
We caught up with her as the second season of 24 was due
for release on DVD.
Rea: Apart from the money, what was it that attracted you
to the role of Nina in 24?
Clarke: [laughs] Apart from the money? Well, I would say that
the part of Nina wasn't fully developed when I went for the
auditions. It was never clear, at the start, whether her role
was going to last for the entire series.
I was happy to be playing the role of a strong woman who had
an important role in a male dominated environment. To explore
the world of the CIA, that was exiting to me.
Why do you think the first season was so popular? Do you think
that the ongoing fear of terrorist action against the Western
World has led people to become interested in what official
channels are in place to deal with such threats?
Yes, I think the fact that this shows that there are people
working so hard behind the scenes may well be comforting.
When 24 was launched there were a couple of other similar
shows that looked at CTU-type organisations. The other CIA
shows didn't really last because I think that it was daunting
to think of how much information was available to anyone who
wanted to commit a terrorist act. The fact that 24
was conducted in real time, I think, also captured the viewers
In the first series, at what point did you realise you were
the CTU mole? And how did you feel about that?
I found out six episodes before the end. So of course I was
completely shocked by this revelation. Because until that
point I was convinced I was one of the good guys.
I'd been such a trusted confident of Jack's and I'd played
it that way and then I realised how brilliant that was of
the writers. Because that was exactly what they wanted. They
set me up to be the ultimate double agent.
I think it worked really well as there was no way the audience
could tell from my performance that I was the mole, because
I wasn't playing the character with that in the back of my
they did eventually tell me I was thrilled, because it gave
me a secret to play and I think that is a wonderful tool as
an actor to have something that the audience are not aware
of and is something that is slowly revealed - to have a slow
understanding of what is happening.
As far as you were concerned was that the end of your character?
Yes, but when I hear that Nina would be coming back I was
very curious to see what they were going to do with the character
after I was jailed [laughs]. I waited to hear what the premise
was going to be and then I was told that I was being pulled
out of jail to help Jack.
ongoing narrative then looks at how well the two of us work
together, and when you consider what I did to his family,
you know it is not going to be an easy ride.
other great thing is I got to wear what I wanted in the second
season. I actually went out and picked my costume...
Not the prison gear I assume...
[laughs] No... not that costume. I managed to chose my own
civilian clothes which was great because I could chose something
I would normally wear.
You're married to Xander, who you met while filming the pilot
for 24. Was it love at first sight? What first attracted
you to him?
[Laughs] I thought he was a great, funny, genuine guy. I thought
that I really had met someone different. As I got to know
him he'd talk about movies he's been in and I'd say "Oh,
I saw that. I didn't realise you were in it." [Laughs]
Last summer you made two movies with Xander. Do you prefer
I love working with him. He's so inspirational, a joy to watch
and very helpful as well. The first movie we did was Below
the Belt which was shot in Denver. The movie is based
on an off-Broadway play. I had a very small part, but I was
just there to hang out in Denver really [laughs] 'cos I was
exhausted from the first season of 24. They had me
on set for a couple of days as the face and voice of the corporation
that the movie revolves around. I was an info-mmercial that
lured people to come and work for the corporation. It was
very sci-fi. I was sort of a deranged stewardess.
second project we got to do together was a movie called The
Third Date with one of my best friends, Amy Barrett. She
wrote and directed this short film set in Coney Island. So
we got to go to Coney Island for a week. I play a Russian
immigrant and the movie is the crazy story of a third date.
The Third Date is currently doing the rounds at the
film festivals. Below the Belt is still in post production
at the moment. Because the world of the story is so fantastical
- it is set in a nondescript third world country that has
been poisoned by this multinational company - a lot of the
exterior shots are in the process of going through CGI treatment
at the moment.
Xander's character in 24 has only one day left to live.
If you were told tomorrow that you only had one day left to
live how would you spend your last day on Earth?
Wow, excellent question. One day left... Hmm, I would try
and see as much of the World as possible. I would start on
a boat because I feel that the water and the coastline would
be something you could just take in immediately. Then, maybe
I'd get on a train [laughs] and see the countryside. I would
just try to have as many visceral and sensory experiences
as possible because this would be the last day in this body.
Thank you for your time.
thanks to David Cox at DSA
two of 24 is available from 11 August from 20th Century
Fox Home Entertainment RRP £49.99 (DVD) or £39.99