Anna Diop Previews Her ‘Strong, Brave’ Character in Fox’s ‘24: Legacy’

Anna Diop moved from Senegal to the U.S. when she was 6 and perfected English in two months by watching “Three’s Company” with her mother. At 16, she moved to New York to pursue acting and modeling, working on campaigns for companies such as Nike and Verizon. She landed her first role in “Everybody Hates Chris” and currently appears in ABC’s “Quantico” and the OWN series “Greenleaf.” Up next: Fox’s “24: Legacy,” premiering Feb. 5, after the Super Bowl.

What drew you to “24: Legacy”?

The character and the pilot. I read the pilot and saw how Nicole was such a strong, brave woman. I also knew Corey Hawkins was attached. I had just seen “Straight Outta Compton” and was thinking, “Who is this?” So the character and the cast and the fact that it’s “24,” a staple in American television — bringing it back is really exciting.

What can you say about your character through the first season?

She’s a strong woman, but her strength is tested in so many ways — physically, mentally, emotionally. She goes through so much.

Both “Quantico” and “24: Legacy” deal with terrorism. Do you find similarities?

In “Quantico,” I played a computer tech, which is completely different from Nicole, who is a nurse. Nicole doesn’t willingly go into this kind of life; she is thrown into it, versus Mia in “Quantico,” who willingly goes into that.

Does “24: Legacy” reflects issues we are experiencing with global terrorism?

Yes. Throughout the series, you see people who don’t look or speak like terrorists; they are normal-looking people who live among us, but who are doing that. It touches on the reality of what we experience, be it in Orlando with the nightclub or wherever else. But we don’t use those instances specifically.

Does “24: Legacy” bring a different perspective than the original? 

The original is Jack Bauer, who became America’s hero in a lot of ways. But “Legacy” has a completely new hero. He’s a young black man, with a black wife, and deals with being a black man in America — it’s an interesting aspect of the series.

What’s it like to have the series be the lead-out for the Super Bowl

I’m so excited, it’s insane. I don’t think I will believe it until it happens. We couldn’t have asked for a better time slot — and the game is in my hometown of Houston.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Ballers HBO

    'Ballers' to End After Season 5 on HBO

    “Ballers” is coming to an end after five seasons on HBO. Star and executive producer Dwayne Johnson confirmed the news via an emotional Instagram video. “My heart is full of gratitude to all of you for rocking with us every season. You made us HBO’s highest rated comedy for years and most importantly, you helped [...]

  • Sublime Primetime

    How Emmy-Nominated Writers’ Rooms Keep Politics in Mind

    In a world filled with elections, social movements and national tragedies, how open should the doors of a writers’ room actually be? For some of this year’s Emmy-nominated shows, those doors are wide open. Before the 71st annual Primetime Emmy Awards air on Sept. 22, the Writers Guild of America West and Writers Guild Foundation, [...]

  • Disney Villains Series 'Book of Enchantment'

    'Book of Enchantment' Series Based on Iconic Disney Villains Shelved at Disney Plus

    Disney Plus has decided to not move forward with “Book of Enchantment,” a series based on some of Disney’s most iconic villains, Variety has learned from sources. The news comes the day before Disney is set to unveil its streaming service at the biannual D23 convention in Anaheim. The prospective project was based on the [...]


    Brenda Blethyn to Star in New ITV Sitcom 'Kate and Kolo'

    Oscar-nominated Brenda Blethyn is set to star in the new sitcom “Kate and Kolo” for ITV, the U.K. broadcaster announced at the Edinburgh TV Festival. Blethyn takes on the title role of Kate in the comedy alongside theater and film actor Jimmy Akingbola as Kolo. Blethyn is a popular star with ITV audiences after having [...]

  • Sean Spicer Emmys

    Sean Spicer's Casting Explained? Red States Love 'Dancing With the Stars'

    ABC faced backlash this week after casting former White House press secretary Sean Spicer on “Dancing with the Stars.” But that outrage might actually spice up the dancing competition’s dwindling ratings — particularly in Trump Country. “Dancing with the Stars” has faced a relatively alarming decline in ratings over the past two cycles, falling 32% [...]

  • Peppa Pig

    Hasbro Acquires Entertainment One in $4 Billion All-Cash Deal

    Toymaker Hasbro is acquiring studio Entertainment One in an all-cash transaction valued at $4 billion, bringing My Little Pony and Nerf under the same umbrella as “Peppa Pig” and “PJ Masks” and furthering Hasbro’s growth goals in the infant and preschool categories. Hasbro aims to expand its operations in film and TV. Entertainment One’s production [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content