February 02, 2009 12:00 PM

• The St. Louis native, 31, does her best to keep up—and possibly heat up—with Jack Bauer as FBI agent Renee Walker in Season 7 of FOX’s 24.

HERE’S AN ODD DETAIL—YOU WERE A COMPETITIVE IRISH DANCER.
I started when I was 5 until I went away to college. Your calf muscles are just gigantic. I was known—well, now it’s so popular thanks to Riverdance—but I was known as the girl who smiled.

DID YOU HAVE TO TRAIN FOR SUCH AN ACTION-PACKED ROLE?
There wasn’t any time for it. I’d taken, like, cardio kickboxing at the gym. I think that helped, so I’d like to thank the YMCA. I didn’t realize how hard just running really fast would be. Kiefer [Sutherland] and I were running, and I totally beat him.

IS IT DAUNTING, TAKING ON THE BAD GUYS?
In one fight sequence, I was hitting a guy with a shovel. It was really crazy. It was so much fun!

TELL US ABOUT RENEE’S SEXUAL TENSION WITH JACK.
Well, as Kiefer has said, it really stems out of professional respect. He’s almost like a weird mentor out in the field with Renee. Working so closely together, it leads to all sorts of interesting things.

AND HOW ARE THE MAKEOUT SCENES?
Hmm, aren’t you sneaky? I don’t know that answer.

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