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Mary Lynn Rajskub of '24' talks about 'Raising Hope,' polygamy and her new E! pilot

March 8, 2011 |  3:45 pm

RaisingHope_Cultish-Sc11_0320 "24" fans remember Mary Lynn Rajskub as Chloe O'Brian, the tech whiz who gave Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) secret and usually unauthorized help during his anti-terrorism capers. Now she's following up that breakthrough with one of her most, um, demanding roles yet.

In Tuesday's episode of Fox's comedy "Raising Hope," Rajskub plays "a reverse-gender polygamist" with four husbands, including the highly suggestible Cousin Mike (Skyler Stone). The clan's unexpected arrival in an RV offers new challenges for Virginia (Martha Plimpton) and her family. As Rajskub's character puts it, "Marriage isn't a two-way street; it's a five-way intersection."

The actress admitted that roles like this are rare, because reverse-gender polygamy is not widely practiced. "It’s sort of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity unless I’m so good in this role that I get typecast as a reverse-gender polygamist," Rajskub said in a phone chat. "I sort of liked having four husbands to boss around."

Especially noteworthy are the character's teased bangs, which Rajskub said she helped style. "You’ve got to think a lot of yourself to think that you could have four husbands — in which case, she’d spend a lot of time on your hair."

While "24" viewers may not have realized it, Rajskub's background is really in comedy, and she's pursuing several sitcom ideas at the moment. On Sunday, she also filmed a pilot for a talk-show she'd host for E! Guests included Mike O'Malley of "Glee," a psychic — and a barista from Rajskub's neighborhood Starbucks. "We'll see what happens," she said of the pilot.

Meanwhile, she remains optimistic about prospects for a "24" movie. "I hope that it happens," she said. "I'm not sure if it will or not. The sooner the better, before it does disappear from people’s memories."


Coverage of "Raising Hope" on Show Tracker

— Scott Collins (Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT)

Photo: Skyler Stone and Mary Lynn Rajskub in "Raising Hope." Credit: Greg Gayne/Fox.