[TELEVISION] Reiko Aylesworth ("24")
- "I didn't know a soul when I got to New York and I felt really
displaced. The first week I was euphoric, and then I realized how
isolating the city can be." - On her move to NY to pursue acting
Quote - "Who's going to remember someone like me, who's had big
parts in very small movies and small parts in big movies?" asks
Aylesworth. "Like in the Harrison Ford movie Random Hearts, I play
the secretary of Harrison's dead wife. I got to cry in some scenes
with Harrison." - On her career so far
Quote - "There's just this sexual charge to everything because of
the urgency. We have to stop the bomb, now! This might be our last
day on earth! We're all going to die, let's get our rocks off! That
kind of thing. And then you've got Kiefer and his velvety voice.
He's got chemistry with the lamp-post anything." - On '24'
Born on December 9th, 1972.
Reiko (pronounced rayko) was born in Chicago, but moved with her
family to Seattle at age 13.
She is 1/4 Japanese (hence the name).
She began acting at age 13.
An ABC talent search was her lucky break, and she left the
University of Washington behind and relocated to a large, lonely
city. "I didn't know a soul when I got to [New York], and I felt
really displaced," she admits. "The first week I was euphoric, and
then I realized how isolating the city can be."
She started her career on a soap opera called 'One Life to Live'.
She auditioned for the part of Nina Myers on season 1 of '24'... but
she lost out to Sarah Clarke. However, the producers remembered her
when season 2 was casting and she won the role of Michelle Dessler.
Her big break came when she was cast as Michelle Dessler, a Counter
Terrorism Agent for the CTU, in the second season of the hit Fox TV
The toughest thing she has had to go through on the show was
actually getting the role. Last year, she tried out for the part of
crooked agent Nina Meyers, but lost out to Sarah Clarke. This
season she read for the part of Kate Warner, the sister of bride-to-
be Marie, which went to Sarah Wynter. But the producers, convinced
that Aylesworth would make an ideal Michelle, offered her that role.
The entire cast of '24' was nominated for 'Outstanding Performance
by an Ensemble in a Drama Series' in 2003.
She has performed off-Broadway and has had lead roles in TV mini-
series and TV movies.
Nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series by TV
TV Guide said of Reiko... 'Dessler may be the least showy role in
this category, yet Aylesworth whom we once dubbed TV's best-kept
secret still manages to shine. Rarely moving from behind a
computer, she makes a big impact by imbuing her character's little
gestures with hidden meaning and untold import.'
Reiko was also in a Scope commercial.
'24' won the Golden Globe for Best Television Drama in January of
2004. Reiko accompanied Kiefer Sutherland, Elisha Cuthbert, Dennis
Haysbert and the show's producers on stage to collect the award.
Salary - $50,000+ per episode of '24' on Fox.
THIS IS A NEWS ITEM THAT THE AP RAN IN THE SUMMER OF 2003
Reiko was severely injured when she slipped on some spilled booze at
the April wrap party for the Fox's 24, and slammed the back of her
head on a wall and the front of her head on the floor. Kiefer
Sutherland rushed her to the hospital where it was discovered that
she had bruised both sides of her brain. Since then, "Kiefer hasn't
left Reiko's side," reports claim. "Caring for her when she was ill
brought out his tenderness. Now they're inseparable."
REIKO QUOTE - "Doctors tell me that I'm lucky to be alive because a
lot of people die from these types of injuries," said Reiko, who
plays Michelle Dessler in the hit TV series. "Kiefer did a great job
and he stayed with me for a while," she added.
Before the accident, Kiefer and Reiko only occasionally worked
directly with each other on the show, but they got to know each
other at script readings. "They became close friends as time went
on," the insider reveals. "Kiefer seemed particularly happy on the
set when Reiko was around."
Their romance blossomed after Reiko's accident. "Kiefer was scared,
and afterward, he constantly checked on her," adds the insider. "He
got more and more attached to Reiko during his visits to her home.
He'd do her grocery shopping and run little errands for
her. "Gradually, friendship and concern turned to love."
Reiko and Kiefer have been spotted strolling at Malibu's open market
and having dinner at trendy restaurants like Ago in West Hollywood
and Jiraffe in Santa Monica, says a source.
Although spokeswomen for both Aylesworth, 31, who plays counter-
terrorism expert Michelle Dessler, and twice-divorced Sutherland,
36, insist the stars are "just friends," sources say they are
enjoying a hot romance.
New York City-based actress Reiko Aylesworth comes out of the
theater world where she got her start by training by starring in
such plays as Eric Bogosian's "Humpty Dumpty," the Off-Broadway
show "Kissing Christine/Missing Marisa" for Director/Playwright John
Patrick Shanley and "Robbers" for Director Marshall Mason.
She then made a name for herself in television as a series regular
on "American Embassy," "All Souls" and "Sherman's March." She also
had a recurring role on "Law & Order: SVU," and guest starred on
such series as "Ed," "The West Wing," "Law & Order" and "The Dead
In features, Aylesworth appeared in Sydney Pollack's "Random Hearts"
and several independant films. She also had lead roles in the
television mini-series "A Will Of Their Own" and the television
movie "Someone Had to Be Benny." She will soon appear in the
upcoming cable movie "Fathers and Sons."