Sunday, 9 December 2007

Life imitating art (imitating life)

The previous post reminds me --- fans will understand --- of Kiefer Sutherland's impending stint in jail for a repeat drink-driving offence. Quite a serious offence, it seems, from the description.

A lot of the credibility of the Jack Bauer character in 24 comes from the sense of damage about him: the feeling that the haunted look, and the troubled backstory, are not just window-dressing. Mr Sutherland's rather public excesses and disappointments --- and the plain fact that he struggles with them, not always successfully --- are thus one of the key things he brings to the role. As well, of course, as physical believability (if one can call anything in 24 believable), acting ability, and that wonderful, wonderful voice. Someone described it as velvet, wrapped around a brick. It's as like, and as unlike his father's, as the two are like and unlike each other, but it's when Kiefer is playing Jack calm, and the innate courtliness and respectfulness of the man comes out, and yet he still has to be menacing, that one says "Yes, he is his father's son".

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