Jimmy Smits Interview – ’24: Legacy’ and Joining the ’24’ Franchise

24: Legacy stars Jimmy Smits, Miranda Otto and Corey Hawkins
Jimmy Smits, Miranda Otto ad Corey Hawkins from ’24: Legacy’ at Comic Con 2016 (Photo © Richard Chavez / Showbiz Junkies)

When we spoke to Jimmy Smits at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con, the 24: Legacy star had only completely the pilot episode. Filming will kick off in September on the remainder of the first season, and Fox has set 24: Legacy to debut in the prime spot following Super Bowl 2017. Smits, who’s a news junkie in real life, says current political events are fascinating to him and he’s interested to see how much of that will bleed through to the world of 24: Legacy.

Jimmy Smits Interview:

Can you talk about your character?

Jimmy Smits: “I play Senator John Donovan, aspiring for higher office let’s say. His spouse – he’s married to Miranda Otto’s character, Rebecca Ingram. Kind of a Washington power couple. As is the case with all of the 24 incarnations that you’ve had, you’ve always had the progressive female proactive characters. Miranda’s character in this incarnation of the show is the head of the CTU and with my character running for office she has had this kind of silent agreement that it’s his turn to do something, but she gets called back in as does Corey (Hawkins’) character – he gets sucked back in. And then the clock starts ticking. That’s pretty much it on my side.”

Have you been a fan of the series?

Jimmy Smits: “Oh yeah, absolutely. Not every single season, but I check in with every show. I think the great thing about this and why I was real happy to jump on board is that the visual tint of the show is so iconic. Real-time, multiple boxes…I think it’s changed the way we watch television in a lot of respects, that whole real-time thing, and has become seminal in a lot of shows that went after it. So, it’s kind of for me – and it’s appropriate that it’s called Legacy – it’s just an extension of the universe, an expansion of this kind of universe that they’ve created. A lot has changed since the episodes first aired in our world, in our real world, and I think that the writers – and a lot of the writing team that was involved in the original incarnation of the show are on board – they’re going to keep that whole (aspect).

It’s not like a reboot. We’re not saying it’s a reboot because a reboot implies it’s replacing something. It’s a whole different rejuvenation of the series in a lot of ways.”

24 was great for diversity in showing that there could be a black president before there was one, but also having a lot of diversity in the rest of the cast. Was that important to you?

Jimmy Smits: “Because the same producers in terms of the executive producers and the writers of the show, that is something that’s definitely going to continue. And if you turn around and look at the two other actors (Miranda Otto and Corey Hawkins) who are up there, you see proof of that. You see something that’s very diverse. It’s reflected in the writers room, I’m happy to say, all around, and with our crew. That’s a nice thing.”

Is the format more rigorous and exhausting than you expected?

Jimmy Smits: (Laughing) “Not for me. Corey’s the one who’s going through all of the action parts. I was just in and out for the pilot episode. It’s kind of just introducing the characters and touching on the relationships. We’ll see what happens from there.”

Watch the full Jimmy Smits interview: