'Dirty Work': Mary Lynn Rajskub Gets Digital Beyond '24's' Chloe in Emmy-winning Web Series
Today's cuppa: Barry's Irish breakfast tea
Even though she played uber-hacker and tech whiz Chloe O'Brian for several seasons on "24," actress and stand-up comedian Mary Lynn Rajskub (center above, with Hank Harris, L, and Jamie Clayton, R) is not exactly Mark Zuckerberg.
"I'm horrible at computers in real life," she says. "I've been talking about it. I've been doing stand-up, and the first two minutes of my act, I explain that I'm not really a computer genius, which is interesting because, the people who watched '24,' they need to hear that. It's like, 'What is she doing?' And audience members who haven't seen '24' are like, 'What is she talking about?'"
BTW, here's what she's talking about ...
Told that she could take classes and get better at using computers, Rajskub says, "What are you trying to say? I'm doing the best I can. I've made my one-on-one appointment at the Genius Bar. I'm getting there, slowly but surely."
But whether she's a tech geek in real life or not, the digital world has continued to be good to Rajksub.
She can be seen online in the three-episode original Web series "Dirty Work," a dark comedy about a Los Angeles-based crime-scene clean-up crew. Dubbing themselves "bioremediation engineers," what they actually do is clean up body fluids, bits of brains and other detritus of criminal activity (Rajksub was also in the Web series "FCU: Fact Checkers Unit").
In "Dirty Work," Rajksub plays Roxy, who seriously hates her job -- and she's not too fond of other people, either.
Using Fourth Wall Studios' RIDES platform, each episode unfolds through both the computer and the smartphone, using video, audio, text and images. On Sept. 15, "Dirty Work" was awarded the Emmy for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media, Original Interactive Television Programming, at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, at the Nokia Theatre LA Live in Los Angeles, Calif.
The honor marked the first time the Academy has given the award to a project created solely for an online audience.
While Rajksub liked the initial script, the multimedia elements puzzled her.
"I thought, 'I think this is pretty good; it's pretty funny. I don't want all these pop-up things,'" she says. "There was a part of me that's like, just sell it to a network so we can make more of them. I was skeptical.
"Then when I saw the final product, I was blown away. Not that I didn't trust them, I was like, 'If I'm watching a show, I don't want stuff to pop up.' When I first read the script, I was like, 'What is this?' I had to go back and keep reading it, because there was so much content.
"There were so many people getting text messages popping up, but I could also feel the groundedness of the characters, even though they're goofy. They're always making fun of each other, and it's dark and goofy and gritty, but it's grounded."
And, as a bonus, her husband, personal trainer Matthew Rolph, liked the show.
"My husband watched 'Dirty Work' after it had been on for a week," Rajskub says. "He's the perfect audience. But, also, I will say about him, he's not surfing the Web every day. When he watched 'Dirty Work,' he liked it so much, he clicked on everything that came up immediately.
"He was like, 'A character's going to call me on my cellphone? Let's sign up for that now.' It was awesome. It just had a great flow, and that got me really excited."