If there’s one thing that cast members of 24 should live with, it’s death. Lots of them. You can either die by gunshot, or by nerve gas poisoning, or by explosion, or by a needle somewhere in your blood stream—and we very well know that didn’t work. Sure, we were shocked to see Bill Buchanan (James Morrison) die in last week’s episode, and in just a snap: he throws himself to a bomb, it explodes, and he’s dead along with a group of terrorists, if only to save President Taylor (Cherry Jones). It was unexpected, it was unwarranted, and it was quick. Collective gasps, please.
But here’s something 24 fans already know: death, and lots of them. So feel free to skip this part… or maybe not. “The moment you step aboard 24 you’re taught to expect that you’re going to bite it,” the 54-year-old actor said. “In this solar system you have one sun. The rest of us are just planets that are invited to orbit, and sometimes we’re just yanked out of the sky.”
And, of course, there’s the off-screen tributes for a cast member who’s about to leave, or in this case, about to die. The whole cast and crew celebrated with cake on the set, marking three seasons for Morrison, who was only supposed to be a one-off guest star. “I spent a moment with them basking in their appreciation of what I felt like was sort of a family member leaving the fold,” he said. “It was the most familial set I’d been on.”
(It’s something you’ve probably heard from many other cast members whose characters died on 24, so there.)
So what’s next for Morrison? First, he guarantees he is really dead, so there aren’t any hopes of a Tony Almeida-styled resurrection. Second, he’s bent on recording his music—“blues, folk stuff,” he describes—and finish his work on a documentary that he’s co-producing with his wife, about the audition process for actors. And then there’s his role in the final two episodes of ABC’s Private Practice. “I can only reveal that I play someone who comes in to shake things up at the clinic,” he said. “It was so great to do something where there’s no angst, where you’re just having a conversation with somebody and the safety of the world is not at stake.”
As for 24, well, it gets another cast member: Tim Guinee, who’s appeared in both the CSI and Law and Order franchises, and in films such as Iron Man and Synecdoche, New York, will appear as Ken Dallao, a news reporter with ties to First Daughter Olivia Taylor (Sprague Grayden). It’s just a recurring role, but I hope he’s ready for the possibility of on-screen death.
-Henrik Batallones, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Sources: Los Angeles Times, The Hollywood Reporter
(Image courtesy of Fox)