Jack Of All Trades

MF: Jack Bauer has saved the world five times. Is it frustrating that no one gives him the benefit of the doubt?

KS: Yes. You'd think they would pay attention! [Laughs] Why aren't they listening to him a little more?

MF: Your character isn't a muscle-bound superhero; he's a regular joe, er, Jack. Is that part of his appeal?

KS: He's a real guy who's not perfect. And there's a serious effort that he makes to do the right things. Sometimes he's wrong; sometimes he fails. I think it's that balance mixed with his successes that an audience has identified with.

MF: Which are harder to do-physical scenes or the emotional ones?

KS: It's always harder to do the emotional scenes. They're coming from a place that, in many cases, you don't want to visit. Although I am noticing as I get older that some of the physical stuff is not as easy. Screaming, specifically-I used to be able to do that 12 hours a day, no problem, and my voice would be fine. And now it goes a little quicker.

MF: Do you know at the beginning of the season where it will wind up?

KS: Every year [the writers] have a very rough idea of where they want the story to go. And every year we've never come close to hitting that mark. It's a very loose target that they aim for. And then it becomes "what will be." So there's an improv in motion here.

MF: Have you played the 24 video game?

KS: No, but my kids love it. And they purposefully lose so that I get blown up and shot. They think that's really funny.

MF: What is the status of the 24 movie?

KS: We've been trying to do it. But it's impossible to ask the writers to work as hard as they do on the show and then come up with an amazing film so that we can go shoot that on the break-which isn't long enough, either. It's going to probably happen when the show's finished. It would be the first thing that we'd do that would not be in real time. The two hours would be a representation of the 24-hour time period.

MF: Is it cool having an action figure?

KS: I had one for Three Musketeers, but it was much smaller. It only had a sword. Jack's got a cell phone and a gun. Funny story-the reason why it's taken so long for it to come out is they had sent me the prototype about a year and a half ago, when I was doing a film called The Sentinel. We took him out one night and lit him on fire in the parking lot. Got a call the next day, "Well, did you like the action figure?" I said, "Yeah, I approved it." And they said, "Well, you need to send it back." Oh. . . . So it took another year to actually make it.

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