Kiefer Sutherland

Kiefer Sutherland

Kiefer Sutherland is most famous for his role as Jack Bauer in hit television series 24 but he is back in a movie with Mirrors.

Why were you interested in making this film?

I really wanted to work with director Alexandre Aja and do a film in this genre. As an actor your desire is to illicit a response from an audience, and there is no better genre to do that in than this. I get very affected when I see films.

I suspend my belief and let the film take me somewhere which makes me very vulnerable for a film like this, so it’s a lot easier for me to make the film than to watch it.

What was the scariest scene when you watched it?

Obviously the first time he looked in the mirror made me jump but the oddest thing is I know its coming, and I still jumped. Even just going through the building and waiting for something to happen is scary to me. Believe me, I’m the easiest person to make this movie for.

Tell me about the Mayflower department store. Where was that shot?

We shot the film primarily in Bucharest, Romania. The former Communist leader Ceausescu had built this Academy of Sciences building that was never finished by the time he died in 1989. The building was really a testament to his ego so it hasn’t been used and there was a sense of abandonment you could really feel.

It’s a cold war building and you could feel the weight of that and there was a musky quality to them. It was great to shoot in a real building rather than a set, because we could do 360 degree shooting. 

What was the most demanding scene to film?

The whole breakdown in front of the mirror, because it’s really easy to be really trite with something like that and the  fact that I was looking straight into a mirror which really made the whole experience really weird.

How much did your father’s (Donald Sutherland) work influence you to make a film in this genre?

I think he made one of the greatest pieces of cinema ever made with 'Don’t Look Now' by Nicolas Roeg. That to me was an enlightened movie, and one of the scariest films I ever saw. I was way too young when I first saw that, about 16 or 17.

But my father has done so many great films. I also thought the remake of 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' was also fantastic. My interest in doing a film like this is when you have characters that you are invested in and then the horror elements come in. I felt Alexandre balanced that beautifully in this script for 'Mirrors'.

You’ve seen the highs and lows in this business. What keeps you going?

I love working. The only times I’ve had to stop is cause I couldn’t get a job. I wouldn’t call myself an artist; I feel more like a carpenter when I go to work. I love acting and creating a character is one of the most exciting things for me.

24 has been one of the greatest educations for me as an actor, because I really started to realize how much I didn’t know about the work. For the first time in my life I have gotten to work for seven years straight day in and day out. Acting is a muscle and to be able to train like that, making something that people are enjoying has been an unbelievable gift.

What has the seven years on 24 taught you?

I have an understanding to work with a camera, in a way I didn’t before, so there are some technical things that I didn’t know before, but more importantly there is the emotional quotient you just can’t put a price tag on confidence.

It’s hard to do anything right if your confidence is low or your self esteem is low. That was one of the things that attracted me to this character in Mirrors.

He is at an all time low. He lost his wife and he can’t see his kids and takes a job he really doesn’t want to take but then he has to pull himself up by the bootstraps.

Do you ever go back and watch your movies on DVD?

No. I have a hard time looking at myself. I have one mirror in my house. I remember seeing Stand By Me for the first time and thought my career was over.

In my head I wanted the character to be different, so I was disappointed when I saw myself and then the movie was so successful, and people liked my character, so it became very clear to me that I’m the last person that should be watching my own work. I only watch 24 when we have to sort out a problem; otherwise I try to avoid it.

‘Mirrors is available on Blu-ray and DVD from 4th May’

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