The blog was an interview with T.J. Ramini.
Off camera, T.J. is a hilarious, British import who couldn’t be more excited to be part of one of his favorite television shows. Here he talks about his character as well as his favorite on-set moment.
Look for Tarin to take a more central role in the upcoming storylines. The producers obviously saw some major potential in this actor and we think you will too.
Why was the big street explosion scene in 803/804 the most “Hollywood” day of work he’s ever done?
- T.J. Ramini: Being on 24 is exactly as you'd think it would be. You turn up and there's God knows how many people on a crew and they all work meticulously to get it perfect. I remember we were working downtown in L.A. studios - I remember this like it was yesterday - and there was a crater in the middle of the street and it was probably 25 feet wide and it was all broken and erupting and - this is so funny - there was a massive hole in the floor and smoke and water rushing out of this thing and there was a little guy in there and he had these controls. He's obviously controlling the smoke and the water and stuff, and he was like a little mole! Popping in and out again and again, "oh I'm going to adjust the smoke" or whatever. And we're like "Hey, Jonny! Turn down the smoke!" And he's like "Yeah, OK!", and he'd pop out with his little yellow jacket on and then pop back in and it was amazing, it was amazing. There's guys screaming round on NYPD bikes, and there's yellow caps, and there's NYPD cop cars, and there was all these background artists in their suits and they were so into it!
- T.J. Ramini: And seeing the car that our characters were in after they blew it up, and just looking at it and thinking, goodness me, this happens. People do this. Regularly. Seeing the damage that is inflicted to this thing is quite disconcerting. You get this nice guy who works there and he kind of yanks the door open for you and goes "in you get", and there's another with his little dustpan and brush and he's getting rid of all the glass and says "Is that alright for you?". They look after us so well.
- T.J. Ramini: It was immense. That was a great day and probably one of the most dramatic, all-singing all-dancing, very Hollywood days that I've ever done.
- T.J. Ramini: It sounds so corny, but this is literally a dream come true for me. I used to sit in London in the pouring rain and watch this TV show. I've never missed an episode - quiz me if you like! - and I would literally watch this show and say, "one day I will be on that show". It was quite funny actually, I think it was in Season 3. There was another English guy, I think he was called Reza and the actor who played it was a guy called Phillip Rhys. I guess he looks a little bit like me, and sounds a little bit like me, he's another Londoner and people used to think it was me and stop me in the street. "Oh, you're Reza off 24, nice job mate! You're doing well!" And I'd be like... "Yeah it is!" So I used to think, he's in it, he's a similar type to me. And I always wanted to move here, come to Hollywood, it is the premier league of what we do, you're in the entertainment business, you know. This is the Mecca. I was on a big TV show in the UK for many years, and as soon as that wrapped up for me I was on a plane and actually Debi and Peggy, the casting directors for the show, were actually the first people I met when I arrived. A very long answer to a very short question but yes, I'm very happy to be on the show and to be a part of it.
Can he ride a horse on water skis while throwing pizza dough? Plus, playing political scenes vs. emotional ones.
- T.J. Ramini: It's a great privilege and a great challenge for me that I may do a scene with the great Anil Kapoor who, you know, has been a pleasure to work with from day one, and do a very heavy, very politically loaded, very pertinent, very topical scene. During those political scenes it was a great challenge, and very satisfying. You can imagine, there are people out there who do have these political discussions and do have to wrestle with moral issues. Those political struggles are a treat.
- T.J. Ramini: Then of the same token, going and doing a scene with Nazneen, who plays Kayla on the show, and there was a very genuine emotional connection between the two characters. And she's a terrific actress and is very generous and was a delight to work with, which always makes it easier. And so from one scene with Anil - who of course is playing her father on the show, so there's that kind of fruit; am I being disloyal by having a relationship with his daughter.
- T.J. Ramini: So it was lovely to have the opportunity to play such a well rounded character, that's always what we look for as actors. We're quite selfish creatures in that we always want to say, "look what I can do, look at me I can do this, I can do that". You'll never find an actor that, say, can't do anything. It's a kind of a cliché - "Can you ride a horse," "Yeah course I can" then you get there and you break your neck on the first day. "I can do everything, I can water-ski whilst throwing pizza dough and twiddling my moustache". Being given the opportunity to do the emotional stuff and the political stuff was just a treat.
Which director that he’s worked with this season is “kinda nuts” and which one is “more introspective?”
- T.J. Ramini: I mean, Milan's just thoroughly unpleasant... no, he was the first director I worked with. He's a great guy and he's got a fantastic sense of humour. He's very passionately vocal, he used to be an actor so he's kind of nuts. He knows the process and he loves the process and he really gets into it, great guy. Enormously privileged to get to work with him. Great bloke. And he'd be right in there with you. Brad is more introspective. He's the guy that sits there and he, he literally strokes his chin and he's looking at the monitor and he's quieter. He'll come up and he'll say something and its such a pearl. Like, today, he gave me a note and changed a line. I won't even say what the line is because it doesn't matter. He literally changed one word and it made all the difference.
What’s it like working with the 24 production crew?
- T.J. Ramini: Everyone's so committed, but they're so lovely. There's a real family atmosphere here. I think it's an enormous part of the success, you know? You come to work every day and it's a head-ache, we've all had those jobs where there's one person or a couple of people you can't stand, and you just can't be productive in that environment. Here, they're all over it. There's nothing they can't do. They make a movie every week.