Q&A with 24's Carlos Bernard

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24's Carlos Bernard Previews Finale

After “dying” in his pal Jack Bauer’s arms at the end of Day 5, Tony resurfaced this year as a despicable Jack-stabber. Now the old CTU-mates will smack it out in 24’s two-hour season finale.

First you were dead. Now you’re alive. You were a good guy, but now you’re bad. Has Tony Almeida been skipping his meds or something?
It’s been a roller coaster for him, definitely. But we always knew he could come back after Day Five [the show never ran the silent clock that signifies death]. I think it’s too simplistic to say he’s a bad guy or a good guy. With a character like Tony, you have to look at the emotional circumstances he’s in. There are reasons for these big dramatic turnarounds.

It’s not all just a ploy to draw viewers after seven long seasons of 24?
I understand why audiences might think that, because I wasn’t convinced bringing him back made sense. They talked about bringing Tony back last season but none of the ideas really worked. What’s so great about 24 is that nothing is what it appears to be, and once we worked out a believable storyline for Tony, and gave him some bad-guy facial hair (laughs), the changes made sense. Fans watch this show too closely for us to do something half-assed.

What’s coming up for the finale?
Some very physical stuff. It’s pretty fantastic. I’ve always been a very physical actor and was into martial arts before. But we have some hardcore fight scenes coming up that were really pretty brutal. It’s tough work. That fight on the dock between Tony and Jack earlier this season took us about three hours to shoot but they ended up cutting it down to a few minutes.

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