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24 Fodder

The Life and Times of Edgar Stiles

Edgar StilesHe's stopped nuclear power plants from melting down the country. He's stopped attacks at a hospital from killing innocent kids. He's dealt with Chloe for much longer than most of us probably could. But the one thing he couldn't stop was the nerve gas that entered his body and killed him. His name was Edgar Stiles.

His death was shocking, I'd say. Out of all the characters that could have died, Edgar was probably the least developed and the most loved. He was always the good guy, taking trash from his inept superiors, and always looking out for Chloe.

The New York Post has some key quotes from Louis Lombardi, who played Edgar, about the character's death and when he was informed from the top brass at 24.

"They told me in like episode 9 or 10. They said, 'Hey, can we talk to you a minute?' and I knew right then and there by the tone of their voices," says the affable Lombardi. "When I heard, it was pretty shocking to me. They said, 'The good news is you're one of the most-loved characters on the show. The bad news is we have to shock the audience [by killing Edgar].'"
During the scene where Edgar died, I was totally hooked in. I completely fell for how they wanted us to feel ... to not realize that Edgar was gone, and then to be shocked when he showed up on the screen, and you knew he was going to die.
"It was tough and weird," Lombardi says of Edgar's death scene. "It's kind of sad and frustrating. This has been the best experience I've ever had . . . and I don't really want to go. But I'm glad Edgar didn't go out with gunfire or by being killed by someone. That would've cheapened it and wouldn't have been as powerful as him dying on his own. Kiefer said to me, 'Louie, this is one of the best scenes we've ever shot.' I think it's going to touch so many people."
Gotta agree with the Kief on that. It was awesome.

Ironically, on the day the show aired, Movieweb posted a one-on-one interview with Lombardi, and asked him this nugget.

So with Edgar Stiles you don't know the fate of your character? Right now you're on the show, but there's nothing you can really tell people because you don't know.

Louis Lombardi: Nothing! I don't know. Everyone thinks it's such a secret, this and that, people just don't know. It ain't even that it's so secretive. You hardly know what's going on episode to episode and that's not even a lie. People don't even know and that's the best thing about it, I guess. Or, it could be the worst... but the best thing about it is that something new is always gonna happen.

I'm not sure when this interview took place, but man, that's timing.

On Edgar's death, Howard Gordon told USA Today that it was the right decision to make.

"It was a tough decision but really the right decision," since producers needed to underscore the terrorist threat. "To keep it honest with the audience that anything is possible, sometimes people have to leave."
"I hope people will understand, I hope they'll be affected by the loss and I hope they'll miss him," Gordon says. "Because if they do, we'll have all done our jobs."
The Movieweb interview also has this great bit about how people interact with Lombari in real life, especially when he brings his Mac into the Apple store when there are problems.
It's the worst experience I've ever had with a computer, and I'm playing the computer genius on 24, that's the funniest thing. Every time I walk in there everybody's like, "Edgar! What's wrong with your computer?" Right away they look at the Mac and they're like, "Oh God, if Edgar can't get it going no one can."
Edgar, it was nice to spend time with you every week, even if you and Chloe never got together.

Maybe we'll see him back on the Sopranos sometime soon. -- Jason Unger

Posted by Jason on March 13, 2006 10:13 AM
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