Kate and Jack Bauer finally team up!
Behind the Screens with Joshua Maloni
Yvonne Strahovski knows a thing or two about playing a CIA agent, having starred for five seasons as Sarah Walker on NBC's "Chuck."
In that role, the actress demonstrated her butt-kicking prowess, as well as a knack for hitting every emotion. As Chuck's handler-turned-girlfriend, Sarah went from a no-nonsense, close-to-the-vest agent to an outwardly caring, loving but still deadly CIA agent. When Chuck was in danger, Sarah went momma-bear on his enemies. And when Sarah lost Chuck - especially in the series-ending episodes - she was heartbroken and vulnerable.
It's wasn't surprising, then, to see Strahovski cast as a CIA agent in the "24" reboot, "Live Another Day." The actress has proven she can hang with Kiefer Sutherland's Jack Bauer on both an emotional level and one in which her character must take action to protect democracy.
What is amazing is her character's popularity. In just a few episodes, Strahovski's agent Kate Morgan has resonated with "24" fans so much that rumors are flying of a spinoff.
"As far as the spin-off stuff, I mean I don't really know what to say about that," Strahovski said in a phone interview. "I've read a couple articles here and there about that, so I don't really know. I'm just happy that people seem to like Kate Morgan, and I hope that they continue to."
Like Jack, Kate finds herself at odds with the U.S. government despite past efforts to protect its citizens. That's what attracted Strahovski to the role.
"Initially, I liked the fact that we meet Kate at a low point in her life; you know, she doesn't have it all together," Strahovski said. "She's been demoted from her job, which means she obviously has professional problems going on, as well as personal problems, because her husband was found out to be selling government secrets to a foreign government. So I feel like, at the time ... it really gave me a starting point with somewhere to go from - and somewhere to go up from - which is what we're seeing Kate do now in this journey."
The original "24" made its bones with edge-of-your-seat storytelling and talented casts portraying people in impossible situations. In that vein, Strahovski said she's pleased "24: Live Another Day" producers have focused on her acting ("Chuck" couldn't resist reminding audiences of Strahovski's magazine-cover good looks).
"Oh, I think that's great, especially for something like this," Strahovski said. "That's part of what attracted me to this role, as well, is because '24,' it's filmed in such a way that it's really raw and really real and it forces you to sort of be very real. And on the same token, not just with the acting, but physically, I was adamant that I didn't want her to be glammed up. I wanted minimal makeup and the clothing had to be real - nothing fancy. You know, something like what she would wear in real life, which was part of the draw for me, because it is nice to just focus on scene work, and something that has this much intensity in it. All of that drew me to this role."
At the start of "24: Live Another Day," Kate was pursuing Jack through England thinking he was behind a drone attack. Her tactics were reminiscent of his, which made fans hungry for the day their two characters would team up.
In the past two episodes, Kate has realized Jack is trying to protect the U.K. and the U.S. Their much-anticipated pairing begins tonight (9 p.m., FOX).
Strahovski offered fans a taste of what they can expect.
"Well, all I can say is that I think it's still - it's a fun place to be in at this point," she said. "They are obviously two strong-minded people. The world knows Jack Bauer probably a little better than they know Kate Morgan, because she's only been on TV for a little while. So it's interesting seeing the types of people that they are. I'm not sure if they trust each other just yet, entirely, even though they're teaming up. They're still agents, after all. I think it will be a fun journey. It's certainly a nice starting point right now to see where it goes."
Click below to learn more about Kate Morgan:
•Joshua Maloni writes about television shows such as "24," "The Voice," "The Blacklist" and "Grimm." Follow him on Twitter @joshuamaloni.
Check out our "24: Live Another Day" page for more cast and producer interviews.