Kiefer spills the beans

” … we recently caught up with the show’s star Kiefer Sutherland to hear his thoughts on the beginning of a new gaming dynasty and being the world’s most harassed secret agent. Has playing Jack Bauer changed you as a person?

Kiefer Sutherland: In a typical 24-hour day, if I sleep for about 40%, that leaves 60% over and I would say 50% of that is spent working on this show as an actor or producer. We work at such a pace and over a long period of time that it’s allowed me to notice the smaller aspects of a story.

Do you find it difficult to top your performance in each episode?

KS: I talk to the writers as a producer but also from the standpoint that I will have to play one of the characters. It’s an incredible challenge and we didn’t know if we were even going to make it out of the first season!

We were very scared about whether the idea would play with the same cast of characters in the second season. It’s a tribute to our writers that they keep getting more and more creative in trying to find the variables on a very similar theme year after year. We also cast fantastic actors that helped make the show last, and I think the fourth season is our best yet.

Jack has a troubled life. Is there any hope for him, or is he doomed?

KS: If you lost hope for him then you would lose interest in the show. The fourth season starts with him being happy, very much like the first season started off. I think he smiled more in the first two episodes than he smiled in the entire history of the show!

What impact has 24 had on TV in general?

KS: That will be up to other filmmakers to decide, but there is an awful lot of reality television that uses a lot of split screens. It was innovative when we did it.

Why do you think 24 has been such a big success?

KS: Watching a character deal with knowing something that millions of other people don’t know, yet they should, creates a lot of fear and anxiety. One constant thing I hear back from the DVD watchers is that they have to watch at least four or five episodes at a time. They’re tapping into a fear and that makes them too anxious to turn it off after one episode.”

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