Table of Contents
- What did you love about your new film, The Contractor?
- And did you tell them?
- The Contractor is on Prime Video. Is streaming where it’s at these days?
- In the film you’re a private military contractor sporting a lot of tattoos. Were they yours or given by the make-up team?
- Given you were born in England, does that make you a bit of an Anglophile?
- Have you worked much here over the years?
- Will you revisit 24’s Jack Bauer?
- You spent the late ’90s on the rodeo circuit. How good were you?
- When are you happiest?
- Your dad, Donald Sutherland, is 86 and still working. Are you amazed at what’s he’s achieved?
- Are you still enjoying making music with your band?
Kiefer’s back playing an action hero in new movie The Contractor (Picture: Getty)
What did you love about your new film, The Contractor?
I loved the script. And I was grateful that I did because I really wanted to work with Chris Pine and Ben Foster. Their work in Hell Or High Water was extraordinary and I just think they have an extraordinary chemistry.
I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them, just to tell them I think they’re both really good.
And did you tell them?
I did! Out of the gate. They thought, ‘Wow, he’s pretty grovelly!’
Kiefer was keen to tell co-star Chris Pine how talented he is (Picture: Phillip Faraone/Getty Images)
The Contractor is on Prime Video. Is streaming where it’s at these days?
It’s all an evolution and there’s nothing you can do about it. I definitely do not want to be the Muppet on the balcony going, ‘Oh, it was so much better in the old days!’
I don’t want to be that guy, though sometimes I really feel like that guy. But the truth is, it’s all in evolution. And what is really exciting for actors is that content is king, right? So they can’t make enough film and television to supply the demand with the streaming services.
So it is exciting in the sense that a lot of actors will work and that there are more opportunities.
In the film you’re a private military contractor sporting a lot of tattoos. Were they yours or given by the make-up team?
They’re mine. A couple of them really made sense. I have a Mickey Mouse… I had a friend who was raised in East Germany and he had got this tattoo but Mickey was holding a Kalashnikov.
I was born in England so I got Mickey Mouse holding a tommy gun. And I found it uniquely appropriate for this film and so I tried to get them to highlight it.
I don’t know if they did but, yeah, the tattoos are mine.
Given you were born in England, does that make you a bit of an Anglophile?
It certainly did as far as immigration was concerned. When I was about 17 or 18 years old, I was going to do press in England for a film I had just finished. I was standing in a rather long queue and the immigration officer said, ‘Can I see your passport?’ and I showed him my Canadian passport.
And it said ‘Born London, England’ and he said, ‘Oh, son, you’re one of us’, and put me in a much shorter line. I was very grateful for that. And I got my English passport about as quickly as I could.
The explosive last series of 24 aired in 2014 (Picture: Fox TV)
Have you worked much here over the years?
We did the final season of 24 in London. That was a wonderful experience. Unlike a film that takes a few months, that was nine months of the year. I got to stay in London for a long time.
Will you revisit 24’s Jack Bauer?
I’ve always said I love playing the character and I love the show. And if someone were to write something that I thought was really exciting, I would jump at the opportunity to do that.
If someone’s gonna write it, they’d better write it quick, otherwise Jack Bauer is gonna have a cane and a bad back and all kinds of other crap.
You spent the late ’90s on the rodeo circuit. How good were you?
I made it to the national finals in ’94 and ’96. I won a bunch of rodeos from Los Angeles to Phoenix, New Mexico. I was all right – I mean, I certainly wasn’t the best.
But when I started rodeoing, they used to all sit behind the box and kind of yell out ‘Hollywood!’ and maybe some not so nice things. And after a couple of rodeos, those same people were going, ‘Hey, if you need another partner down the road, give me a call.’ I was good enough to stay in it for about ten years without getting beaten up at the bar.
When are you happiest?
Before I go to sleep. I’ve never been through a whole day where I haven’t been happy and I’ve never been through a whole day where I haven’t been frustrated. I go up and down.
Your dad, Donald Sutherland, is 86 and still working. Are you amazed at what’s he’s achieved?
Kiefer’s dad Donald Sutherland is a total legend (Picture: Manuel Romano/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
He’s one of the most prolific actors in the English language.
And then take a look at the variety of things that he’s done – in one day, you can sit down and watch Fellini’s Casanova, Nic Roeg’s Don’t Look Now and Bertolucci’s 1900. That’s a career.
And I haven’t talked about M*A*S*H, The Dirty Dozen, Kelly’s Heroes, Ordinary People. The list goes on and on. So yeah, I’m very proud of him.
Are you still enjoying making music with your band?
Yeah. We just released a record in January but we had to cancel a tour as well because of the pandemic.
Our European tour got pushed all the way to October so hopefully that’s going to be safe and go well – and by that I mean that the audiences are safe, that the people who work at the venues are safe, that Covid is in fact in decline.
But I, like everybody else on the planet, is waiting for everything to kind of get back to what we perceive as normal.
The Contractor is available on Prime Video now.