Kiefer was interviewed by director Joel Schumacher in the February 2004 issue of “Interview” Magazine” which is on newstands now. Here’s a transcript of the 24 related stuff.
Joel Schumacher: I want to ask you, Did you know you wanted to do 24 right away? Did you read the script and go, “This is great! I have to do this”?
Kiefer Sutherland: Actually, no. I thought “This is really clever and different, so there’s no way they’re going to pick it up. But I could use the money, and no one will ever see it.” I didn’t realize that television has gone through immense changes and has become very progressive.
Sometimes more than features.
In some areas. I was coming from the perspective of ’70s television, which was very predictable. I thought, They’ll never pick this up because it’s trying to do too many things. Boy, I was wrong. [both laugh]
What’s your shooting schedule like? How many [script] pages do you shoot a day?
A lot — between four and eight.
Do you feel that’s helpful? For instance, on Phone Booth [Schumacher’s 2003 film in which Sutherland co-starred], which we shot in 12 days, I found that you can produce quality work when the pressure is on.
Absolutely. When we shoot 24, there are so many things I have to worry about, from the script to technical things to my performance, that I don’t have a second to be bored or take anything for granted. We produce 24 hours of film a season, which is like making 12 movies, so there are going to be mistakes along the way, but I am incredibly surprised by how many things work well as a result of working at that pace.
It’s like theater in that way. When I’m making a film and I see an actor obsessing and not being able to deliver something, sometimes I’ll say to them, “If you were onstage now, you would deliver this in a second.” So, your next film, Taking Lives, comes out in March. How was that one?
It’s funny – after working with the kind of urgency that we did on Phone Booth and that we do on 24, it was a huge gear shift for me to do Taking Lives, which was a big production with Angelina Jolie and Ethan Hawke. I remember standing around going, “God these people move slow!” [both laugh]