24 star Carlos Bernard is one of the show’s few fixtures. With all the double-crossings, cliff-hangers and back-stabbings, it’s a wonder anyone has survived from the first season, but his character Tony Almeida was an integral part of the season just aired, the seventh in the show’s run. All indications suggest that he’ll be back in a big way for Day 8, set to kick off in January.
The actor came to London this week to promote the DVD release of the Season 7 – also available on Blu-ray for the first time – and RT sat down with him to guage his five favourite films, talk about the show and do our best to learn all we could about Day 8. We failed spectacularly on the latter point, for he chose instead to invent an plot implausible even by 24 standards, but read on for the rest…
“It’s just incredible… everything. Incredible acting, writing, cinematography; they’re just amazing films, really.”
“Because of the world that they create. I’m a big fan of Harrison Ford, especially in that movie. The whole world that they create in that film is just spectacular.”
“It’s my favourite Paul Newman [film]. Paul Newman is one of my favourite actors, and this is his greatest performance. It’s just a great story of coming back from the abyss to reclaim his life. It’s a really well told story.”
“I love Gladiator. It’s such a fun movie, so well done, well acted; a beautiful film.”
“The writing is fantastic. The director took the material and did what I didn’t think was really possible with that play. Again the performances are just amazing”
Continue onto the second page as we chat 24 Season 7 with Bernard, and learn the secrets he’s willing to spill about Day 8…
Carlos Bernard: No. First of all you read the scripts. The scripts may be fantastic, but it’s absolutely no guarantee that it’s going to be worth seeing once it’s been shot and put together. This show especially, when people were first looking at it, they really didn’t think it had a shot. They didn’t think it would even make it through one season, much less seven, which is crazy.
CB: In the first season, when we were working on it, we really didn’t know who was good and who was bad. A lot of the characters I played before 24 were darker characters, the antagonists, so I’m always attracted to darker characters. In the first season, I really played him the possibility of winding up either way, and I think that the show, and the style of the show, lends itself to be both; to allow both worlds to go on within the character, which is the way it is in life. We’re all light and dark, we all have the capacity for things we haven’t done, or maybe things we have done but keep secret.
So I definitely allowed for the possibility with him to go dark, but I think the way it’s evolved through the years, and then what finally took him over into where he is in Season 7, has worked out nicely. I don’t think you could have possibly planned all that from the beginning but certainly from the beginning I wanted to allow the space for him to possibly go there.
CB: It’s a strange show because so many people come and go, there are very few of us who have been there from the start. As far as the unit goes, it’s really the crew, our main directors, writers, myself and Keifer. And yeah, we’re very tight; it’s a very collaborative environment. The writers and creators have really allowed us to help shape the script as we go along if we feel the need on set, so in that sense there’s a real collaborative environment that was created by Joel Surnow and Bob Cochran off the bat and has continued through the years.
CB: It does keep it fresh with new actors certainly, but definitely the characters as well. Different characters bounce off the old ones, and those dynamics aren’t the same as the dynamics between the main characters, so it makes things different. That definitely helps keep the show fresh.
CB: Yeah, Tony runs for President and loses at first but… He doesn’t take the loss very well! He doesn’t take any loss very well, actually. But he ends… well I can’t tell you any more, that’s as much as I can tell you without spoiling it.
CB: [Laughs] You’re right.
CB: I don’t think so, no. I didn’t see 24 lasting through the first season so I’m not much of a prophet in that sense, but I don’t think so. Personally I think season 8 will be our last year. That’s my guess anyway. But I thought Season 1 would be the last year, so what do I know?
24 Season 7 is out on DVD and Blu-ray now.