TV

Kiefer Sutherland is 'terrified' to reprise Jack Bauer 

Jan. 13, 2014 at 2:09 PM ET

IMAGE: Kiefer Sutherland
Mario Anzuoni / Reuters file
Kiefer Sutherland is about to return to his most famous role, as Jack Bauer.

The following took place between 9:30 am and 10:10 a.m.

Kiefer Sutherland is "very frightened," he admitted at a Television Critics Association press conference on Monday in Pasadena, Calif. He is also "anxious" and "nervous" and he's got good reason. 

Thirteen years since "24" first premiered on Fox and four years after it ended, the network is bringing the iconic show back for an unprecedented special event on May 5. "24: Live Another Day" will take place over 12 episodes and will run in its signature real-time format, though some hours will be skipped to fit into the space of a single day.

All of that is very exciting to Sutherland, who loves inhabiting Jack Bauer, one of TV's most beloved heroes. But that's exactly why it's scary.

"I used to get terrified in between each season," Sutherland said. "...I feel we made eight very strong years. There was something every year we wished was better but I was very proud of what we did. So to open that up again — and not make them the best 12 we’ve ever made, it’s frightening. I won’t lie, I’m very nervous. Until we start shooting, it’s intangible so I’m as anxious and wound up as I’ve been in a long time."

Production on the show begins in London in two weeks. The story will pick up four years after viewers last saw Jack Bauer's bloody face as he said goodbye to his longtime ally Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub). A fugitive for four years, Jack is now being hunted by the CIA and is drawn back into the fold by a new mission — whose nature producers would not divulge. 

Rajskub will reprise her role as Chloe, but her character has changed a great deal. Executive producer Manny Coto described her as someone who "has turned against the government and is a (Edward) Snowden-type character." Rajskub, who also attended the press conference, described the two-month period she waited to learn if she would be part of the new season as "surprising," considering the Twitter campaign demanding she be included. 

"I called Kiefer when I first found out and he was, Mary Lynn who?'" she joked. "No, but he did say, 'I’ll try and put in a good word for you.' It was really nice on Twitter and really strange. I have a lot of people who refuse to call me anything but Chloe."

"There’s no Chloe without Jack," she added.

Also returning are Kim Raver as Jack's former love, Audrey, and her father James Heller (William Devane), who is now the president of the United States. Since it's been five years since the show concluded, the producers admitted they had to dig a little on Wikipedia to remember who they killed off.

"Are they dead? We don't remember," executive producer Howard Gordon said and laughed. Coto explained they were happy to recall that James Heller drove his car off a cliff, but survived.

"And so he's the president," Coto said.



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