Comic Con 2014: Long Live ’24’

24: Live Another Day Episode 3 Day 9: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM (12)

On the first day of San Diego Comic Con 2014 one of the first panels to take place at the annual fete paid tribute to one of the most iconic TV characters and one of the most buzzed about TV shows to grace the small screen: Jack Bauer and 24

As the panel got underway, an action-filled clip highlighting the biggest moments from the 9 seasons of ‘24’ was screened to a very excited audience before the show’s executive producer Jon Cassar, who was acting as moderator, took to the stage to introduce the one and only Kiefer Sutherland to the stage.

After the booming applause, hoots and hollers came to an end, the two men got down to business, telling stories about what it was like filming the latest version of ’24: Live Another Day’ in London as well as their memories of filming the long-running series.

Kiefer shared that while it was a great fantastic working in London, it was a difficult shoot as “there are a lot of rules” in the legendary city because “they have real issues with guns”. He further explained that while here in the States if they needed any kind of weapons during filming it was almost as easy as getting it out of the back of a truck of any of the weapons specialists on set, but in London it would take “6 weeks to have a gun on the set”.

Much like the appeal of ‘24’ for the American audience, the folks in London would come out in droves to watch the cast and crew film. Kiefer shared that the emotional scene between Jack and Chloe (series regular Mary Lynn Rajskub in the car where she reveals to Jack what happened to her son and husband was an interesting scene because “there were about 2000 people watching us film that scene. Mary Lynn was actually crying after that scene not because it was an emotional one for Chloe, but because she was so overwhelmed by so many people watching us film the scene”.

‘24’ aired for eight seasons on FOX from 2001 to 2010 with Kiefer sharing that the role of Jack Bauer was the “greatest gift of my career”; so when executive producer Howard Gordon called him about coming back to the character he postured for about 5 minutes before saying “when do we start”. But he did reveal that he was rather nerve wracked about coming back as well because he wanted to do the character and the story justice. He also joked that he is older and was, admittedly, a little worried about the stunts, joking that he wasn’t sure if he could to the opening scene were Jack jumps over a railing, falling down to a beachside.

When talking about getting to work with Kim Raver and William Devane again, Kiefer shared that “Kim is one of my dearest friends and Bill is crazy”. He also shared a story about his first time meeting Kim, “we meet and five minutes later (playing Jack), I pushed her against a wall, opened her blouse, moved my hand up her back and kissed her (passionately) and then I meet her husband” after filming that scene. Needless to say, the audience broke out into a great round of laughter over that story.

Kiefer shared that he “when I grow up that is the guy I want to be”, but he is very different from Jack Bauer. “We both have a strong sense of right and wrong, but I (personally) don’t always follow (those rules), but Jack live by (them)”.

During the audience Q&A one of the more poignant questions asked was if the writers were thinking about the political ramifications of the storylines and themes featured in all the seasons of the show. Kiefer shared that the debut season was written about 6 months before the tragic events of 9-11 and several other seasons featured stark storylines that eventually came to be, but those were “uncanny things of (the) worst scenarios (that eventually) came true”.

As the panel came to an, one of the last questions was if Kiefer would say “Dammit” as Jack Bauer; he, of course, obliged leaving the packed panel room hoping that there will be much more ‘24’ and Jack Bauer in the very near future.