Kiefer Sutherland
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Coming off of a DC-set season that even naysayers agree was much, much better than Season 6 (aka “The Season with Mushroom Cloud, the Evil Grandpa, and Rick Schroder”), 24 has moved its base of operations to New York for the eighth season. To reflect the show’s new setting, billboards across America are proclaiming: “New York Gets Jacked.” I don’t know what that means, but I like it. (Check out Ken Tucker’s take on the new season here.)

The show hosted a red carpet premiere in New York last week and was there to chat with Kiefer Sutherland ask vital questions to the supporting cast. (I labored hard to get top-secret intel, Ausiello-style, but the cast was pretty tight-lipped; thus, this post can only earn a VERY MILD SPOILER ALERT.) The Season 8 premiere kicks off tonight.

Director Brad Turner on the possibility of another season of 24: “We can tell you one thing for sure: we’re not picked up yet. What I’ve been saying to everybody is that if the audience shows up, that’s a very good possibility. Because people – Kiefer and Howard [Gordon] – want to do it again. Which is good for our fans. But our fans have to realize that waiting for the DVD is not gonna help us. We gotta mobilize and watch the show.”

Freddie Prinze Jr. on Cole’s relationship with Jack Bauer: “It’s not at the mentor stage. The stakes are a little bit too big for ‘lessons to be learned.’ But they have a lot of similarities. They’re both ex-marines. Cole holds the position that Jack had in Season 1, as the head of Field Operations for CTU. Where they differ is this: the government has failed Jack numerous, numerous times, and it hasn’t done that to Cole yet. Jack lives in the gray area. Cole is very black and white. He’s not willing to sacrifice humanity or morality to get the job done. He knows that’s wrong. His foundation sort of gets shattered throughout the season.”

Prinze Jr. on Cole’s relationship with Katee Sackhoff’s Dana: “They’re engaged, and there’s a past to her character that he wasn’t really aware of. As it comes to light, it affects his relationship with her, but also with Jack. It’s one of those things that challenge his suit of armor.”

Katee Sackhoff introduces us to her 24 character, Dana Walsh: “I like to think of Dana and Cole as the Ken and Barbie of CTU. If Dana was a Barbie, she would be Career Barbie. Cole would be Captain America Ken.”

Sackhoff on shooting 24 compared with Battlestar Galactica: “The pace of Battlestar was slower. It took longer to do everything, and we worked these hours that were just absolutely insane. With 24, this is their eighth year, they’ve got this down to a complete vibe. You work one day a week, they get ya in, they get ya out. You kind of feel unemployed. At home, you’re like, ‘Do I have a job?’ Occasionally I find myself calling my agents, going ‘I need a job. Oh, that’s right, I have one.’ I never work. It’s fantastic!”

Mary Lynn Rajskub on where we find Chloe at the start of Season 8: “Chloe hasn’t been at her job at CTU. She’s been at home with her child. So when I start, I’m totally behind. And that lady [points to Sackhoff] tries to comfort me…She’s trouble. She tries to be so nice and tell me it’s gonna be okay. I just get angry. But I catch up, and I get my two cents in there. Nobody listens to me, and I take matters into my own hands.”

Chris Diamantopoulos on comparisons between Rob Weiss and Obama’s Chief of Staff: “I think he’s actually fashioned around Rahm Emanuel. He’s a bit of a bulldog. He won’t take ‘no.’ I knew that Rahm was a big influence in [the character], and so I paid close attention to him in the news.”

Anil Kapoor on Omar Hassan, the president of Kamistan: “What I liked about this character was that he’s very real. He’s charismatic, but still he’s very human. Sometimes you feel: he’s a good man, will he succeed? Sometimes you feel: he’s very weak, how did he ever become a president? He looks like such a weak man. But he isn’t. The strongest and the most powerful people also sometimes look the weakest. That’s what makes them more exciting for actors to perform..I made my own backstory. He started from a very ordinary family. He rose the ranks, studied abroad, educated himself, then he came back to his own country, and realized that his own country was regressing. He wanted to come up with his own ideas, to become a leader.He initially joined the army, then he went into political life. He got the confidence of the people of the country, and became president. I imagined all that going into the character. Then I read a lot of books.”

Annie Wersching on Renee’s journey in this upcoming season: “She definitely continues on the dark path, for sure. And not in a good way. She saw a lot last year and was very affected by what happened. She starts in a very dark, damaged place, even more so than she ended the last [season.]”

Mykelti Williamson gives us a little tidbit about his character, New York CTU Director Brian Hastings: “He’s not crazy about Jack Bauer, nor Chloe. He thinks Chloe is completely useless.”

Williamson on whether or not his character will break the CTU director death curse: “One of the exciting things about this show is you have to be in the moment. Each week when you get the script, you read through it and you don’t know what to expect…Anything could happen to anybody. And that’s what’s so much fun about this show. My character’s very much alive, but we’re starting episode 19 when we get home.”

Who else is excited for 24’s premiere tonight? Sound off in the comments below.

Photo, L-R: Annie Wersching, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Kiefer Sutherland, Katee Sackhoff. Credit: Sylvain Gaboury/PR Photos

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Kiefer Sutherland
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