Tuesday 20 November 2018

'We made the mistake of trying to stop for a drink in every pub' - Kiefer Sutherland on his Irish road trip

INDIO, CA - APRIL 30: Musician Kiefer Sutherland performs on the Palomino stage during day 3 of 2017 Stagecoach California's Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 30, 2017 in Indio, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Stagecoach)
INDIO, CA - APRIL 30: Musician Kiefer Sutherland performs on the Palomino stage during day 3 of 2017 Stagecoach California's Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 30, 2017 in Indio, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Stagecoach)
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Kiefer Sutherland has spoken fondly of the road trip he took across Ireland in the early 1990s.

The Hollywood star and musician, who is gearing up for a gig at The Academy in Dublin on June 30, spoke to Ryan Tubridy on RTE Radio 1 about his fond memories of the trip which saw him travel from Dublin to Dingle, up to Galway and back through Limerick.

"We just had a wonderful time," he said, "I think we made the mistake, me and a friend of mine, of trying to stop and have a drink in every pub and I think very quickly we decided we'd stop in each town and have a drink and even that became a challenge!"

The '24' and 'Designated Survivor' star said he has travelled back to Ireland every few years and is looking forward to performing in Dublin.

"I always remember walking up and down Grafton St and realising every 15-year-old kid was just an amazing guitar player," he said.  "So it's going to be very nice to be able to come to a city where music is such an integral part of its fabric.

Speaking about being a musician as well as an actor, he said he doesn't 'kid' himself about why some people might come to see him perform on stage with a band.

Kiefer Sutherland performing at Glastonbury last year.
Kiefer Sutherland performing at Glastonbury last year.

"I don't kid myself about why someone might come to the show," he said, "The truth is, kind of what I've accepted, is that I don't care if you come because you're curious from 24 or if you're curious for another reason.  I'm just grateful that you show up at all and that we've got an opportunity over the next two house to put a really good show on for you."

Asked about his attitude towards the hugely successful TV series 24 in which he starred, he said it was "one of the great experiences of my life and it also changed my life."

"It was incredibly successful so I will always be incredibly grateful for that opportunity," he said.

"I also really liked playing that character [Jack Bauer].  He was a very kind of black and white character in the sense that he had a very strong moral compass which circumstances made him betray a a lot and so there was a lot of fun as an actor in playing that part.

Kiefer Sutherland stars as Tom Kirkman in Designated Survivor
Kiefer Sutherland stars as Tom Kirkman in Designated Survivor

"In no way shape or form do I ever want to confuse that character with what is morally correct in the real world - it was a television show."

He joked, "The only reason... I mean I would have lobed to have done that forever, but let's face it, there are only so many bad days one guy could have!"

Kiefer Sutherland and Freddie Prinze Jnr on 24
Kiefer Sutherland and Freddie Prinze Jnr on 24

Sutherland said he was lucky to embark on a TV series at the right time.

"When I started working in films there were five studios and they were making 50 movies a year.  Now there are three studios making 15 movies a year," he said of how the landscape changed in the US.

"All of the writers and all of the actors that probably normally would have been doing films during the 80s or 90s, those opportunities weren't as available and I think a lot of those people started writing for TV and the actors followed that.

"The $20m movie, whether it was Ordinary People, Terms of Endearment, even The Godfathers, all of those films kind of got replaced by the really high end super action hero kind of movie and the rest went to television so you saw this dynamic chance in the product that was available for TV.

Regarding Designated Survivor, which was cancelled by ABC after three seasons, Kiefer says he's in the dark about its future like everyone else.

"I read Netflix might pick it up for 12 or 13 episodes a year.  I'm not sure," he said.  "ABC network in America who did the show has a lot of new shows they're very excited about doing and we had to kind of make way for that."

Kiefer Sutherland will play The Academy in Dublin on June 30.  Listen back to the entire interview on RTE Radio 1 player.

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