Kiefer Sutherland 24 - All Kiefer...All The Time

Kiefer Sutherland 24 - All Kiefer...All The Time
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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Kiefer Sutherland UK Interview

Kiefer "Jack goes out in a blaze of glory"

May 6, 2010

Keifer: 'Jack goes out in a blaze of glory'
It’s almost nine years since Jack Bauerfirst burst onto our screens all guns blazing. In that time, Kiefer Sutherland’s fearless hero has thwarted countless terrorist attacks, witnessed the death of numerous loved ones and killed off many an evil mastermind.

Next month, however, marks the TV swansong of 24’s all-action special agent. After months of rumours, it has been confirmed that the current series will be the last – though Sutherland will soon start work on a film version of
24, set in Europe,

We caught up with the 43-year-old actor on his recent trip to London and asked him to look back at his time on the show and give us a taste of what’s in store…

When you started out in 2001, did you have any sense of how big 24 would become?
"I’d made 70-odd movies and had a career that had gone up and down, so 24 was just another job to me. It wasn’t until the audience reacted the way they did that I thought, 'This is special'. After 9/11, people felt helpless and here was this guy in a terrible situation who was being proactive. You might not agree with how Jack operated, but he was doing something."

The ‘real-time’ format was completely groundbreaking, too, wasn’t it?
"It’s had an impact on the whole thriller genre, not just in television. By putting in a time element with a clock ticking down, you can’t help but be unnerved; it makes you uncomfortable. I didn’t understand the concept at first, but when I realised its effect, it was profound."

Over the years, though, the show has also faced criticism for its scenes of torture, hasn’t it?
"The torture debate was timely and in seasons six and seven it was a debate we portrayed in the show. In the end, though, it is a television show and torture was a great dramatic device to show an audience how desperate a situation was. The fact these things ended up happening in the real world is tragic."

In a show as high-stakes as 24, a frequent cast turnaround is inevitable. What’s that been like?
"I was very opposed to Teri being killed in Day One because I loved working with Leslie Hope, who played her. I thought creatively it was a mistake, but I was so wrong about that."

How do you feel about calling it a day on the series?
"It is a bittersweet feeling because this eighth season is some of the best work we’ve done and there is a huge sense of accomplishment. But even in season two, people were saying, 'How many bad days can this guy have?' So, creatively, the series had to end for us to go on and make the film."

What was the last day of filming like?
"It was so sad saying goodbye to all the people I’d worked with. We only finished filming a few days ago and that day was heavier than I thought it would be. By chance, the last scene we shot was episode 24, scene 24."

How does the series end?
"Jack goes out in a serious blaze of glory. It is an appropriate end, but not a happy one – although he doesn’t die. It sets up the film but there is also a finality to the relationships Jack’s had. I hope viewers will be satisfied."

*24 screens on Sky1 on Sunday nights


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