On the phone the other night, New York stage actress Cherry Jones almost spilled a few good beans on 24's seventh season (premiering January 13), in which she plays President Allison Taylor. Maybe Jones, 50, who was openly gay long before she won Best Actress Tonys for The Heiress and Doubt, was still giddy from that women's gala Saturday night at the Lesbian and Gay Community Center where she was honored by about 600 "high-powered, philanthropic lesbians" (her words!).
"I can't give anything away," she first said, responsibly, of 24's upcoming episodes. "We're absolutely bound by confidentiality up the wazoo." Then Jones slipped a bit back down the wazoo, admitting, "I have no problem with her policies." Well, um, what's President Taylor like? "I find her to be an honorable, courageous, upright kind of gal," Jones allowed. Kinda Hillary-ish? "I think she's very much her own person," she continued, "And the situations are very much like something we've yet to explore as a nation." Um … events we wouldn't want to explore? "The president makes a very bold move, which then sets off the cataclysmic events," Jones began. "It's up to her in some way as to — I can't go into it."
Will her character be attacked in some exotic way like most of the previous 24 presidents? At this point, Jones clammed up. "I can't tell you anything. Sorry." But she did admit that she'd never seen 24 before getting the part (she's not a big TV watcher, except for PBS news shows), and that, no, her POTUS isn't a lesbian. "She's very happily married," said Jones. "To a man." —Tim Murphy