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Kiefer Talks Pompeii Villain & Finally Acting with His Father

While Kiefer Sutherland was promoting the new 24: Live Another Day miniseries with the Television Critics Association, I asked him about the movies he filmed before returning to his trademark role of Jack Bauer. Sutherland shot the historical disaster movie Pompeii and the western Forsaken.

Pompeii of course tells the story of the famed city buried under a volcanic eruption. The film is an adventure story build around the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. “I play Senator Corvis, a Roman senator who goes to Pompeii to close a business deal and secure a wife,” Sutherland said. “Kit Harrington plays the character of Milo who is in love with the woman that I am going to take. My character’s kind of a fantastically not nice guy.”

Paul W.S. Anderson brings the spectacle of Mount Vesuvius to life. “It’s huge,” Sutherland said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve done something that had $100 million film. Paul Anderson is a phenomenal director and has kind of the most finite understanding of technological possibilities for film and 3D film of anyone I’ve ever seen. He is so current that literally in the course of the five months that we were making the film, things were changing and he was on top of that. So that gives you an unbelievable sense of security when you’re working with half a set, half a green screen and all of those other things that it’s going to look fantastic.”

Forsaken is the first time Sutherland has shared scenes with his real life father, Donald Sutherland in a movie. They had appeared separately in A Time to Kill. “It’s about a gun fighter who a terrible things happens,” Kiefer said. “In a gunfight he accidentally kills a child and decides it’s time for him to go home. When he gets home, he finds out that his mother has passed and he is now stuck in a house with a father that he is very estranged from.”

The Sutherlands were actually quite nervous about working together, and in fact playing father and son in Forsaken. “One of the sweetest things was I had called him the night before and I said, ‘I hope you have a great sleep, I’ll see you in the morning.’ There was a long beat and I said, ‘Just so you know, I’m really nervous.’ And he went, ‘Oh my God, thank God, me too.’ So we got to have that laugh and get that out of the way. He’s a craftsman. He has such a strong understanding of the material, writes such great backstory for his character and why his character is coming from the place that he is, such command over his voice and physicality, just all of it. I had to catch myself a lot of times because it was like going to school, and I found myself oh no, I’ve got to stop watching and actually have to partake in this though.”

Pompeii is out February 12 and Forsaken later this year.

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