Entertainment & Arts

Kiefer Sutherland rules out 24 return

Kiefer Sutherland in 24: Live Another Day Image copyright Fox
Image caption Sutherland reprised the role of Jack Bauer in a 2014 mini-series

Kiefer Sutherland has confirmed he will "definitely not return in any way" to his hit TV show, 24.

Sutherland starred as counter-terrorism agent Jack Bauer in the highly-successful thriller from 2001 to 2010, and made a return in last year's spin-off series 24: Live Another Day.

When Fox announced a reboot with a new protagonist earlier this year, the star said he hadn't "ruled out a cameo."

However, he has now told the BBC: "24 is definitely over now for me."

"It's one of the greatest gifts I've ever been given as an actor," Sutherland added, "but it's moving on without me, I want to do other things."

The Canadian star, who made his name in 1980s "Brat Pack" films like The Lost Boys and Young Guns, said working in television had fundamentally changed his outlook on acting.

"I want to do more television," he said. "My experience of 24 was unbelievable, but the main benefit was that it was nice to do something that people actually watched, and that they enjoyed.

"There are some movies I've made people might have enjoyed, but there were nine of them watching. And so 24 was so refreshing - the most significant thing was that it was accessible to a lot of people and to know they enjoyed it was so rewarding for me.

"I don't think there's a better medium than television out there at the moment. So think I want to do more of it and look for projects where I can repeat my experience.

"You have to take your time though to find something like it - and that means you have to work less. So I'll be waiting for something that's worth it, with the potential for the kind of audience access that 24 had."

Image copyright Momentum Pictures

Despite this, Sutherland was speaking to the BBC at the launch of his new film, Forsaken, which sees the 48-year-old star opposite his father Donald for the first time.

The younger Sutherland explains that he "dreamed for thirty years of acting opposite my father, but I just wanted this ideal project to come along.

"Then at Christmas I just looked at my father and I realized we probably didn't have that much time left to do this together - he's just turned 80 - so I got on with it."

Forsaken is Sutherland's first western since Young Guns 2 in 1990. He plays a reformed killer, while Donald plays his estranged father.

The star believes that it was only the kudos of the actors' names that allowed the film to get a green light.

"Hollywood doesn't want to make westerns any more," he mourns. "I've had Robert Downey Jr and Kevin Bacon both express envy because I'd been able to make Young Guns at all.

"The studios may have tried to make a western with aliens, anything to try and revive the genre, but generally it's not on the cards.

"New York and Los Angeles are where ideas for films come from and they've long since left the middle of the country behind, they don't represent it very well."

Image copyright AP
Image caption Hunger Games star Donald Sutherland has never acted alongside Kiefer on the big screen... until now

Forsaken has shown at the Toronto and Zurich Film Festivals, and has been bought for cinema release next year. But Sutherland says that, for once, the success of the film is secondary to his experience.

"I was so desperately afraid that I would let my father down," he confesses. "But it turned out he was as nervous as I was, and we told each other that the night before we started shooting.

"It turned out great, I think - perhaps it's cheating, but when I looked into my real father's eyes during takes I think my heart beats a little faster.

"Some fathers take their sons fishing to connect - I got to make a movie with my dad, even if it was a little late in life."

The Zurich Film Festival runs from 24 September - 4 October.

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