[TV] Kiefer Sutherland Calls New 24: Live Another Day Format a 'Godsend'
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 01.22.2014
Cutting down to twelve episodes makes it easier...
Kiefer Sutherland recently spoke with IGN about 24: Live Another Day. Check out the highlights:
On what it is about Jack Bauer that has made him want to continue the role: "You know, I don't know. You could ask Leonard Cohen the same thing. He's written 73 verses to "Hallelujah," and he's going to write them until the day he dies, because as a musician and as a poet he found a meter and a melody that is intrinsically him, and he writes to it all the time. I love this character. We ended because Howard [Gordon] said, "I know how to finish this eighth year, and I don't know how to start a ninth." I said, "Then we're done." He was like, "Well, do you want someone else to come in?" "No. We did this. We're done." It wasn't because we didn't want to do it. We were just tired. So it was a five-minute conversation when he called me up and said, "I think that I've got an arc of 12 episodes that could be amazing," and I said, "You mean, like, really amazing, like the best season of 24?" He said, "Yeah." I said, "F**k, let's do it.""
On Howard Gordon's reviving the series: "It was clearly nagging at him for awhile. He had thought it out, and it was bugging him. So here we are. But the ending and the beginning, it never had anything to do with a want or not; it was, how can we stay believing that we can do the best kind of show ever? And maybe the break was it. You know, we haven't shot anything yet, and I'm f**king scared! [Laughs] But I wouldn't be here if I didn't think we had a shot at making the best season of 24, and that's what we're going to set out to do, and hopefully we'll do it."
On the negative effects of Jack being a fugitive for four years: "Absolutely. I was describing this to a friend of mine. He said, "So what's it going to be like?" I said, "Well, he's been isolated for four years, estranged from his country, estranged from his family -- he's pretty pissed off." He said, "Well, you can't do that. I mean, he's always pissed off." I said, "No, no. There's another notch we can do," and it's not how he deals with someone who's doing something wrong. It's how he deals with someone who might be able to help him - he doesn't even want to know. "I don't trust nobody. I am my own machine." Well, when that dynamic hits Chloe, that's pretty serious, so that's going to be a major shift. Will Chloe be able to pull him back, or is he going to set her up and use her? Has he gone over that point? Is it too far? We're going to play with that."
On Jack's dynamic with Chloe in the new series: "Well, some things have also happened to her in the four years, and that influences exactly where she's at and why this is going the way it is. What is nice is this doesn't need to be explained in complete exposition. It's explained because someone needs to know something about what happened in the four years. So all of that stuff works for me. It's an interesting dynamic to come to, because every season has always been trying to push him a little farther. It'd be nice to start with him up here and have to try and pull him back down. He's not even trying to wiggle room around the law. He doesn't give a s**t anymore. The law is nothing to him. He's been a fugitive and wanted, hunted by the CIA for years."
On changing up the format to twelve episodes: "For the writers, it's a godsend. I mean, we had really great writers from other shows, even from other films, that were fans of the show that wanted to come in and do it. We tried it out and it was like watching a five-year-old with a Rubik's cube. I think because they [the original writers who returned] started doing it from the very beginning, they had this learning process, but it's friggin' hard to write in real time and keep it moving and keep it exciting and keep it somewhat believable that all of this crap could be going on at the same time. It was a very, very difficult thing that they did. So to give yourself some latitude that way, where you're not restricted to -- 'He can get on a plane in episode three and be in Berlin at the beginning of episode four? Oh my God, thank God!' So I don't have to figure out how to watch him sit on a plane for an hour and a half and be exciting -- which we have done. I'll never forget, Joel Surnow in the beginning of Season 2 -- we had all that plane stuff and Mexico stuff -- and after we finished shooting and those episodes were done, he was like, 'We're never putting you on a f**king boat or plane again, ever.' And what does he do? Season 3, I'm back on a plane. 'At least this one's gonna crash!'"
On the dynamic between Jack and Yvonne Strahovski's character: "Well, she's very much like me when I started. She's a smart operative, she knows her s**t, she sees things, she has a sense when something not right. She's the only one who picks up on what I'm doing in the very first episode and tries to warn everybody else. It would be a nice character to align with down the road. But she's not a bad character. She's a good character, in the context of our story."
On the future of the franchise: "Our job right now is one thing: Make these the best 12 episodes of 24, period. If we can do that, an audience will dictate what they want, and I guarantee you, if the audience is there and they're asking for something, they'll give it to them. That's kind of their job; it's how they make their money. So our responsibility is make the show and make it really great. You know, a lot of the nervousness is just nerves before getting started with anything. Shooting in London is not going to be easy, and I'm nervous about that. So we'll see what happens."