Jack is Back – Kiefer Sutherland Talks about 24Category: Television
From 2001 -2010, Kiefer Sutherland mesmerized television viewers as Jack Bauer in the series 24. After several years, Jack is back in the Fox 12-part series 24: Live Another Day. Unlike the original series, which took 24 episodes to unravel a day in the life of Bauer, this new series still travels through 24 hours however viewers will get all 1440 minutes of the day in 12 episodes.
Kiefer Sutherland spoke with members of the Television Critics Association in January and again with members of the press recently to discuss this new adventure, which unlike the previous seasons, takes place in London. Before this 12-part series was written, there was plenty of talk about making a movie instead of another TV season. “The film is an ongoing kind of situation. There’s always an opportunity to do that,” Sutherland said. However, at the present time he is satisfied with this 12-part series.
“I think people were anticipating a movie,” the actor acknowledged. “Even in the context of the promotion of another television show I did called Touch where I would be in Russia, you know, I had gone to a lot of different places, been to South Africa, I was always amazed how successful the show was and that it somehow managed to transcend culture, language, politics, religion, etc. I’ve never had another project that I’ve been a part of that has had that kind of international success, where arguably through Europe, Asia, and even parts of Africa, that was equally successful as it was in America, which I think is a really rare thing for an American television show,” Sutherland stated with pride.
“And then with regards to people coming up [to me], it was either one of two things. They would either say, ‘oh, man, I really miss 24.’ And if they were going to say ‘when is it coming back’ it was usually directed towards that of a film, meaning that the last thing I thought we were going to do is another season. And I think fans were kind of surprised by that as well, and I hope in a good way.” Having the season shortened by half the number of episodes might prove to be something that fans will enjoy.
What is it about his character that affects the viewers? “I think the fact that he doesn’t always win. In the context of the first season, he managed to save the president, he managed to get his daughter back, but he lost his wife.” Sutherland characterizes it like “a guy goes and gets a promotion at work and he’s very happy for a few minutes, but then realizes he doesn’t have time to take his son to football practice anymore. And I think there’s a kind of reality in that not winning that makes Jack Bauer incredibly relatable.”
Among TV viewers, Jack is an iconic character. Kiefer explained, “I think there’s a very strong moral compass with Jack Bauer. Whether he is right or wrong he is going to do what he thinks is the right thing, and he’s going to do everything to the risk of his own life, that he’s going to do that to try and prevent whatever situation the day brings from happening.”
When asked how he would like 24 to be remembered in years to come, Sutherland was philosophical. He said, “When I take a look at a movie like To Kill a Mockingbird, … its performances are outstanding, the story is really important and special, and it has not dated itself at all to me. I would like 24 to kind of be the same thing. And please know that I’m not comparing 24 to To Kill a Mockingbird. I’m just saying in the sense of it not dating itself I would like that very much.” For Sutherland, having people enjoy the series in the future, as much as they do today, is what he is hoping for.
“I’ve always said this from the very beginning of the show, that I felt that the star of 24 was this concept, was this idea, and I still believe that very strongly.” Mr. Sutherland is also an executive producer of the show. And he added, “We became so focused on trying to make these the best 12 episodes of 24.”
24: Live Another Day airs Mondays on FOX.
About the Author
Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment business for 20 years. She also writes about technology and has been a travel writer for the past 12 years. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.
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