Kiefer Sutherland Talks Bringing Back Jack for ’24: Live Another Day’

24: Live Another Day Episode 1 & 2 Day 9: 11:00 AM-12:00 PM/ Day 9: 12:00 PM-1:00 PM (4)

Last seen in 2010, Jack Bauer, America’s super agent who specializes in saving the day (quite literally) is returning to television screens tonight, Monday, May 5th at 8PM ET/PT in Fox’s 12 part event series 24: Live Another Day. Recently, TV Equals joined in a conference call with series star Kiefer Sutherland to discuss stepping back into Jack’s shoes, how the grizzled former agent has changed and saving the country on foreign soil. Read on for highlights from the interview.

Why Jack Is Coming Back

Fans of 24 last saw Jack Bauer going off into exile, but he decides to return to the fold in 24: Live Another Day sans the support of a government agency or the President. The reason? Because the American President could be assassinated in London, putting the entire world at risk of war. “The opening threat is he has uncovered a plot to kill and assassinate the president of the United States on British soil,” Sutherland elaborated. “And the fear of doing that, even if it’s an ally, but the fear of doing that on foreign soil could be tantamount to a world war, and he thinks that the ramifications, or the outcome of this event, if it were in fact to take place, would be global.”

Who Is Jack Bauer Now?

The Jack we see in the event series is harder than the Jack we knew. Sutherland noted that the people he is trying to help are trying to hunt Jack down. In their eyes, he is a terrorist himself, and so Jack is more of a loose cannon than ever before, but his moral compass remains intact. Sutherland discussed the difficulties he faced in returning to his iconic character. For him personally, there was a fear of not being able to slide back into the character.

However, the instance that restored his confidence involved Jack “coming in hot” to extract Chloe and switching between his guns blazing heroics and a soft spoken plea for Chloe’s help. “I think there’s a very strong moral compass with Jack Bauer,” Sutherland said. “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.”

Even Jack’s years spent in isolation, separated from his family cannot change his sense of loyalty and duty to protect his country.

How 24: Live Another Day Will Continue 24’s Tradition Of Playing Off Of Current Affairs

24 became a global hit post-9/11 as it gave the world a character who rooted out terrorists and fought to protect America, and the world from those who sought to do it harm. The series was often at the center of debates on torture at the height of its popularity and the miniseries will also use current events to shape the themes of the story.

“One of the things that I’ve always admired about Howard and Evan and Manny with their writing is that they do manage to have quite a very current political discussion within the context of the show,” Sutherland said. “And even though it doesn’t necessarily permeate my storylines, we’re dealing with Edward Snowden, we’re still obviously dealing with torture, we’re dealing with drones, and those conversations are being represented by all sides, so, I think that that’s a really interesting part of the show, and it will be interesting to see how an audience processes that.”

As for Sutherland himself, he noted there was a time after 9/11 when they all questioned whether the series should continue at all, but ultimately he found a strength in the character of Jack that much of the audience also found. “I certainly felt very helpless after 9-11 and there was kind of a great refuge for me in that character.”

In Sutherland’s opinion, even if the circumstances Jack finds himself in are exaggerated, he is still a relatable character. He said it’s the “not winning” that makes Jack strike a chord with so many people. Like everyone else, even his triumphs can be laced with failure.

Why London Is The Perfect Locale

24 was always a huge success globally and it was particularly popular in England. For that reason, Sutherland is happy to reset the clock in London. “I mean, if there was a place that I thought deserved our attention, I thought London was it,” Sutherland said, noting it was “instrumental to the longevity of the show.”

From a storytelling standpoint, removing Jack from America raises the stakes even more. Aside from the global threat, it also allowed the writers to change things up on the Big Bad front. While Sutherland would not reveal much, he did say there is not one singular bad guy this time around. Jack is on foreign soil and in new territory completely– and the clock is about to start ticking once more.

24: Live Another Day Episode 1 & 2 Day 9: 11:00 AM-12:00 PM/ Day 9: 12:00 PM-1:00 PM (22)

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