|Janeane Garofalo talks about her new role on 24 yesterday while on the set of the film Binky being shot around Ottawa. (A.D. Wilson/Sun Media)
Janeane Garofalo was as shocked as anyone to learn she was cast on the upcoming season of Fox's real-time counter-terrorism drama 24.
Garofalo was in town shooting the made-for-television movie Binky when the news broke yesterday. The 42-year-old actress and comic has been an outspoken critic of the Iraq War. That she was hired on the right-leaning 24 is, she jokes, "much to my chagrin."
"That's why I feel like I'm being punked," she told Sun Media. "I feel like the creators are going to make me say things that cause my sphincter to tighten."
Producers are retooling for the seventh season of 24, adding Broadway actress Cherry Jones as the new president, and Rhys Coiro, who plays an eccentric independent film director on HBO's Entourage.
Garofalo says she and Coiro's characters will work closely together on a counter-terrorism task force. But she has no idea whether they turn out to be good or bad guys.
"They don't tell you in the long term," she said, "because they don't want it to affect how you might behave."
On Sunday, Garofalo checked out 1,000 people gathered on Parliament Hill to protest the arrival of U.S. President George W. Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderon for the Security and Prosperity Partnership meetings.
"Seems like there's always a protest against George Bush, and rightly so," she said yesterday.
Garofalo can currently be heard as French-accented Colette in the animated hit film Ratatouille. She last appeared on TV in NBC's The West Wing and co-hosted a program on liberal U.S. radio network Air America.
24's co-creator and executive producer Joel Surnow reportedly jokes he's a "right-wing nut job," so time will tell if Garofalo really might have issues with some of her character's dialogue. But, as the actress is quick to point out, "I'm not playing myself."
Binky, a comedy filming in Ottawa until the end of the month, is set to air on new pay station SuperChannel next year. Garofalo plays a cranky rock critic who inherits her mother's dog. Her co-star is a Jack Russell terrier named Victor, well-known in his native Quebec for Fido ads and roles on film and television.
Garofalo says despite the language barrier, the dog's a pro to work with.
"He speaks French. So I've been trying to learn French to talk to him," she said. "Bon chien. Good dog. Stuff like that."
After wrapping in Ottawa, Garofalo heads west for a standup gig at 2007 Bumbershoot: Seattle's Music and Arts Festival, before reporting to the Hollywood set of 24 on Sept. 7.
Blog: 'I feel good about counter-terrorism'