and my mom would rehearse until, like, 9
o’clock every night. That’s how I grew up.
When I was about 14, my mom did
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? And somewhere between the first and the second act, I
forgot that it was my mom up there. That
had a really profound effect on me. I was so
moved by how you could develop and disappear into a character like Martha, like my
mother did, and basically create a new reality.
I joined a small theater company and worked
really hard and found my own way.
what a difference
a day can make
By J. Rentilly
CC: In your own career, you hit the
ground running. You were very young when
you were cast in a pivotal role in Stand by Me.
COURTESY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT
KS: I was really young. Stand by Me is the
only film I’ve done, out of almost 70, where I
walked in and was cast on the spot. Rob Reiner
just gave me the job, and I thought, “Wow, this
is going to be easy.” Of course, it’s never happened again. [Laughs]
[What] really helped me, if not saved me,
as a young actor were the directors I worked
with out of the gate: Daniel Petrie, Rob
Reiner, Joel Schumacher. They kind of
guided me, not only as an actor, but they
were also surrogate parents
for me. They helped forge
my soul, at a time when I
kind of needed it. And the
first six or seven films I did,
they all opened at number
one. It was a pretty good
time. I was just too young
to realize how lucky I was. I
just assumed it would
always be like that. By my
later 20s, I got all my life
ASK NOT FOR WHOM the clock ticks—it
ticks for Kiefer Sutherland, star of Fox TV’s
hit real-time action thriller
24, which recently
wrapped up a creatively and critically successful seventh season.
After bursting onto the industry scene in
his late teens, starring in a wildly successful
run of feature films from Stand by Me to
Flatliners to Young Guns, Sutherland, son of
actors Donald Sutherland and Shirley
Douglas, hit a cold streak and became a recurring character in the tabloid media.
Now 43, Sutherland is doing some of the
best work of his life, even winning an Emmy in
2006 (the show’s fifth and, arguably, best season), as
24’s Jack Bauer, a deeply vulnerable but
nearly superheroic government agent who, in
each season, has one awful, conspiracy-laden
day. Season 7’s bad day, during which Bauer
fights a bomb plot, is among his personal
worst, which makes it among the most enjoyable for audiences to watch on DVD.
As for Sutherland, he’s
never been more focused on
his work, or more grateful
for the second and ninth
chances Hollywood has
afforded him. Today, being a
gentleman and a critically
acclaimed actor are all part of
living on the clock.
COURTESY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMEN T
CC: Your career really
entered its second act with
24, which premiered almost
eight years ago. Did you
have any idea back then
what impact the show
would have on you, your
career, TV and pop culture in general?
KS: Not a clue. Stephen
Hopkins, who directed the
pilot and the first season, thought the show
had a cool idea and asked me to be a part of
it. But I think we both thought, “This is a
really cool idea, and it’ll never go beyond that
first episode.” It seemed too out there. To say
we had any idea that it was going to have the
impact that it has—no way.
It was the right people, the right material,
hitting an audience when they were ready.
For all of those elements to come together, it’s
really one in a million.
The nice thing about being my age now
is that I’m not too young—or too dumb—to
take any of it for granted. I’ve been able to
As Jack Bauer, Kiefer
Sutherland arguably has
the worst days of anyone.
The Costco Connection: You’ve
been acting a very long time and come from
a storied acting family. When did you know
you wanted to be an actor?
Kiefer Sutherland: I was about 14. I
hadn’t seen many of my father’s films then,
because they weren’t out on VHS or they
weren’t really appropriate for younger audiences. So that work was largely a mystery to
me back then, but my mother was a very well-respected, successful stage actress in Canada.
After school, we’d go hang out at the theater