Kiefer Sutherland 'terrified' ahead of '24: Live Another Day' filming

Kiefer Sutherland (C), executive producer and actor, speaks on the return of

Kiefer Sutherland (C), executive producer and actor, speaks on the return of "24: Live Another Day" with actress Mary Lynn Rajskub (L) and Executive Producer Howard Gordon during Fox Broadcasting Company's part of the Television Critics Association (TCA) Winter 2014 presentations in Pasadena, California, January 13, 2014. REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian

Bill Harris, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:07 PM ET

Jack Bauer doesn't get nervous. Does he?

Well, maybe not. But for the actor who plays Jack Bauer, Canadian Kiefer Sutherland, it's a different story.

“I'm terrified,” admitted Sutherland, who was at the Television Critics Association tour to promote the upcoming 12-hour series 24: Live Another Day, which debuts with a two-hour episode May 5 on Fox and Global.

“It was nine years (over eight seasons that he played Jack Bauer) and I'm terrified. I used to get terrified between each season. I'm very nervous. Without patting ourselves on the back too hard, we made eight very strong years. We always would look back every season and wish something had been better, but I was very proud.

“So to make 12 more episodes and not make them the best 12 we've ever made, I'm terrified, I won't lie to you. Until we start shooting, I'm about as anxious and wound up as I've been in a long time.”

We all knew Jack Bauer would be back at some point after having left the air in 2010. But many thought it would be in movie form. Sutherland and the producers indicated that the movie is still a possibility, but that 24: Live Another Day is a separate story that has nothing to do with the script of the proposed film.

“The film is an ongoing situation,” Sutherland said. “There's always an opportunity to do that. But Howard (Gordon, executive producer) came up with this and this was the opportunity that came to us first.

“This is what we're primarily focused on. So if this ends up rebooting the show or leading to a movie, so be it, but we're very focused on this right now.”

Sutherland added, though, that his comments don't necessarily mean he's committed to more TV time for Jack Bauer following 24: Live Another Day. “When I said reboot, I never said I was a part of it,” said Sutherland, prompting laughter.

24: Live Another Day will be shot and set in London, England, and filming will begin in a couple of weeks.

“I was born in England and I've spent big chunks of my life there, but I'm anxious about (shooting in London),” Sutherland said. “Traffic there is very difficult. We plan to be shooting outside. I'm sure we'll be hated by a large portion of London for snarling up their traffic, and for that I apologize in advance.”

Story-wise, things pick up four years later, and Jack remains a fugitive. One interesting element is that as the new season begins, Jack and his trusted former sidekick Chloe, played by Mary Lynn Rajskub, will be working against each other.

Sutherland and the producers insisted that 24: Live Another Day will be both rewarding for devotees and also completely accessible to anyone who never saw the first eight seasons.

“The benefit of coming back four years later is four years need to be explained,” Sutherland said. “So it is a justifiable moment for characters to be catching up.”

Sutherland, 47, was asked about the physical demands of returning to Jack Bauer.

“I started working out about five months ago,” Sutherland said. “I'm not getting any younger.

“I'm not taking any supplements. But I'm probably in the best shape I've ever been in my life.”

So to sum up, Kiefer Sutherland is nervous, but in great shape. Wrapping that into Jack Bauer should be explosive.

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca


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