24 Sex and Death: Jack Bauer’s love talks
By Fred Topel
If you haven’t caught up on this week’s 24, don’t read this article yet. If you did, you’ll want answers and Annie Wersching gave a conference call with the media to give those answers.
First, Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) and Renne Walker (Wersching) finally hooked up. Since the show runs in real time, it’s important to notice that Jack and Renee spent a good half hour in bed together. Jack Bauer’s no quickie.
“That was a huge, huge consideration,” Wersching said. “Because he’s Jack Bauer, he can’t be like an eight minute sort of adventure. We went through many different ways that it was going to be. We weren’t even sure if we were able to get them to the place where they were actually making love just because of the real time. They figured out finally sort of a way to do it.”
Then, after their happy rendezvous, Renee gets shot by a sniper. She should have known that things don’t go well for Jack Bauer’s ladies. The producers of 24 told Wersching this was coming at the beginning of the season.
“Since I knew it was coming, I was pretty prepared for all of this,” she said. “We shot the love making and the death, both of those things together over the two days. Kiefer and I were so nervous about the love scene that it sort of helped tame down the Renee getting shot part. The whole thing was bittersweet. It was bittersweet to be able to shoot scenes with Kiefer where they finally get close and then straight into covered with blood.”
It takes many hours of production to create 24’s real time effect. Capturing all the different angles of Jack and Renee’s tragic episode took days. “It’s funny because once I saw it air the other night, it seemed to happen so much quicker than it did in my mind. We spent I think over two days which are like 12-14 hour days right in a row of him trying to save her. It was very intense. It was a very big episode for him as far as that look on his face when they come out and tell him it didn’t work is heartbreaking. We spent quite a long time on it. It was sad and I felt bad he had to carry me so much.”
Renee still goes in the line of duty, trying to give Jack vital information with her last breaths. “There wasn’t really any specifics from a director. I’m sure if had been doing something that didn’t seem suitable to how Renee should die they would have told me but it sort of just happened. She didn’t seem like the type that would be over excessively gurgling. Just the fact that she was in his arms most of the time, those last moments were just heartbreaking.”
Actually playing dead was the hardest part. “That was actually very hard. It was probably just 20 seconds, 30 seconds or something like that but it was more so that even though my eyes were closed, I could sense what he was doing. You kind of want to watch. There’s amazing things happening and I can’t see or breathe. It was less challenging than holding my breath when I was buried alive.”
With her death, Renee got the 24 honor of a silent clock, counting down the last seconds of the hour without the beeps. “It was a great honor honestly. Besides Jack, she was actually the only one to ever get two silent clocks because there was a silent clock with a little bit of breathing when she got buried alive. It’s a complete honor because I’m fan of the show and I know the significance of the silent clock.”
As a fan of the show, Wersching knew the history of women who came before her. She just enjoyed the ride while it lasted. “Simply because I love the character so much, you always think of other ways things could have happened. I kind of wish the Jack/Renee love story/making would have had its own episode to resonate and then she got shot because that was a huge deal. A part of me was bummed those both happened in the same episode. That was the first time on the show that Jack’s ever done that. She went out in that way instead of in the field.”
Wersching almost made it to the end of 24. Season eight will be the show’s last on the air, so when this “day” ends, the only continuation for Jack Bauer would be in a movie. “As far as the show ending, I wasn’t there. There were always sort of rumors going around through the crew. We knew it wasn’t necessarily looking great but everyone had high hopes. The fact that the movie is lurking out there in the future is something to look forward to, knowing that you’ll at least see Jack again.”
The only bummer is that Renee won’t be in the movie. Even screenwriter Billy Ray was upset about that. “He was saying how much he really, really loved Renee and my work on the show but he was sorry that she had met her demise. Who knows? He was just being nice to me but he said that he had big plans for her in the film and that he was sorry it was taken away.”
Renee will go down in 24 history as the closest thing Jack Bauer ever found to an equal partner. “Being a fan of the show too, I knew Jack’s history with every single woman throughout the show just from watching it. I think that was a little bit of an advantage. Besides being equal out in the field, she was the first one who truly got him and what he has to live with inside of him to do what he has to do, the pain that he lives with. That’s what made them so unique is that she’s really the first person ever that truly understood him and got him.”
See how Jack Bauer gets revenge in the last few hours of 24. 24 airs Monday nights on Fox.
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