Jennifer Westfeldt Explains How 24 Faked New York


24 is set in New York this year, but look closely next time you watch, because chances are, that iconic building in the frame wasn’t really shot here. When we ran into Jennifer Westfeldt at Sundance — where she’d come to support her boyfriend, Jon Hamm, who plays the defense lawyer for Allen Ginsberg’s obscenity trial in Howl — we told her how cool it was that the U.N. had let her shoot a scene in which her nefarious journalist character gets past security. "Oh," she said, laughing. "I wasn’t at the U.N. I wasn’t in New York. I was in some field in Valencia." Westfeldt told us she shot all her scenes on green screen. "I think they wanted to shoot three weeks in New York and my part wasn’t budget-approved. I was standing on the street in front of the U.N. and I had to imagine cars and taxis. They’re like, 'It’s loud! It’s the din of the taxis, and New York street noise!’' And you’re like, ‘I feel so stupid. I’m alone in a field in Valencia.’"

Still, Westfeldt, who’d never done green screen before, walked away with a new appreciation of the process. “It makes me think that every actor who has played in movies that are all CGI is amazing. They’re amazing." Westfeldt said the closest she got to being in a New York setting was “when they take me down. They found a nice location in Los Angeles so we could run through some courtyards and there were lots of extras.” In any case, she’ll have more time to practice her green-screen skills very soon. “I’m going back to shoot more 24 in two weeks,” she said, then quickly covered her mouth. “Spoiler alert!” Then she shrugged. “Well, I mean, my character didn’t die.”