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Q&A: Kiefer Sutherland Returns To TV In 'Touch'

Brittany Frederick Brittany Frederick
January 25th, 2012 11:00am EST

He's leaving Jack Bauer behind (for now): Kiefer Sutherland is back on the FOX network, but it's with the new series Touch (which previews tonight). Here's what the 24 had to stay about stepping into another leading role.

Touch

Obviously, the first question is what about this made you want to come back to TV so soon after the end of 24?

It was funny. I was doing a play in New York on Broadway. I had a film that I knew I was going to go do and so I read Touch almost reluctantly. I don’t think I was completely ready to go back to television yet. I was enjoying some of the different opportunities that I had had. I think it was around page 30, I remember going, “Oh, s--t." I just knew I would be so remiss if I didn’t take the opportunity that Touch was.

When you were doing 24, you talked about how you really connected to the character of Jack Bauer. How did you connect to the character of Martin Bohm?

I identified with him out of the gate. There was something interesting because obviously this is very different than 24. Yet there is a real similar through-line in the kind of character of the man. Jack Bauer would be faced with unbelievable circumstances in the course of a day and he would never win completely. This guy is never going to win either. He’s never going to have the quintessential relationship of a father and a son. Yet he perseveres and that’s a great kind of character statement. I identified with him greatly on that, and I think as a parent as well - just the sense of responsibility combined with not knowing what to do all the time.

Even though this is again a heightened experience, I think every parent feels that. I certainly can speak for myself and say that during [ex-wife] Camelia’s pregnancy, for nine months I’d have these great fantasies of how I was going to be the greatest dad on the planet. And then [Sarah] was born and a kind of fear came over me like none other that I’ve ever had in my life. I was confronted with the fact that I really didn’t know what I was doing and it was something that I was going to have to figure out as I went. I really relate to Martin on that level and just the dynamic between he and [his] son I just find so extraordinary.

The show presents the concept that everything is connected. Do you believe the world works that way?

I absolutely think it does. Can one focus on every single moment of their life in this way? No, of course not, but anything as simple as someone who is late for a bus one day. All of a sudden they’re not on the bus. They’re taking up other space. They had to get a taxi and that affects the taxi driver’s life.

So yes, I do believe that there is a cause and effect and a ripple effect upon everything everybody does and they have positive consequences and negative consequences. If you start to focus on the kind of minutia of that, it’s really quite extraordinary. Should I get on the elevator now or should I wait?

Obviously we can’t live our lives like that. But I do believe very strongly that all of us and all of the other things in the context of our planet with Mother Nature, all of these things absolutely have a profound effect. Some of the effects that can be felt are small and some of them are very large and it was really interesting to do a show that focused on that.

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