Kiefer Sutherland loves talking politics, but he can't vote

TORONTO -- Kiefer Sutherland seems to love talking politics.

Too bad the Canadian can't vote.

The veteran TV star shifts easily from touting his upcoming series "Designated Survivor" to chatting about Donald Trump's success in the U.S.

See Full Article

Republican primary race, bemoaning a deep political divide in his adopted homeland.

"If you've watched the political cycle that's happening in the United States right now, I think it's one of the most extraordinary -- and I do not mean that in a positive way -- (campaigns) that I think I've seen in a very long time," the Toronto-bred actor says in a recent interview from Los Angeles.

"And I think our show, certainly, will deal with the fact that voters are really disenfranchised from what has become the political process here."

In "Designated Survivor," Sutherland plays a U.S. congressman suddenly called on to serve as president when disaster wipes out everyone else in line. The ABC conspiracy thriller is expected to debut in the fall.

Sutherland admits the premise shares "some similar characteristics" with his last big TV drama, "24," but says this time around, his character is more of an everyman than a Jack Bauer-type superhero.

"In a very kind of working-man's way he uses common sense and his own sense of right and wrong to do what he thinks is best for the country. And the way he approaches that, I think, is very human. And I think that that's something that we sometimes lose -- whether it be in Canada or the United States -- we have a feeling that we have lost that in the political process."

Sutherland's interests in politics come naturally.

He is the grandson of socialist icon Tommy Douglas, the former federal NDP leader credited with launching Canada's public health-care system.

His mother, esteemed actress Shirley Douglas, is an activist herself who infamously was arrested for her involvement with the Black Panthers in the '60s. Meanwhile, his celebrity father, Donald Sutherland, is an outspoken critic whose targets have included former prime minister Stephen Harper.

Nevertheless, Kiefer Sutherland says he doesn't vote. He can't in the United States because he is not a citizen, and he can't in Canada because he is not a resident.

But there's no question which party he would have supported in last year's federal election.

"I grew up in an NDP household, to say the least, and that's where I would have laid my hat," says Sutherland, nevertheless expressing optimism that the federal Liberals will bolster his pet cause.

"The value of health care to the average Canadian has been deeply undervalued by the Conservative party for 16 years and I do not believe in a two-tier health-care system in Canada.

"The fact that the Liberal party is going to do much more to try and protect health care in Canada is something that I find encouraging."

And he would not consider getting U.S. citizenship so he could vote.

"No, I'm a Canadian," says Sutherland, who adds he gets back to Toronto as much as he can to visit his mother.

"I have had a fantastic time down here but I've been down in the States primarily because this is where the work that I wanted to do was and my daughters were born here, so that's made that more complicated. But I've always felt I was Canadian and that's who I am and I have no interest in changing that."

Sutherland is set to discuss his lengthy career -- from his breakout role in the 1984 Canadian film "The Bay Boy," to his award-winning work on "24," to his latest film "Forsaken" opposite his father -- at Canada's Top Ten Film Festival in Toronto on Saturday.

The Hollywood star says the one job that gave him "the most confidence as an actor" was "24."

"When I started working as a younger actor, the hope was maybe to do one or two films every three or four years (but) my career never got to that place," he says.

"So when I got an opportunity like '24', it was extraordinary for me.... The best thing was I was working everyday. And I found new ways and quicker ways to interpret the material. I found better ways for myself to physically enact that material."



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Jewish family battles Spain museum over art looted by Nazis

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- The latest step in a Jewish family's 16-year battle to reclaim a priceless painting their heirs surrendered in exchange for safe passage out of Nazi Germany moves to a Southern California courtroom on Monday. Source
  • 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' preview footage: 5 things we've learned

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    SAN FRANCISCO — If the special preview journalists saw this weekend is any indication, Rogue One is going to be a different kind of Star Wars story — and that’s shaping up to be a great thing. Source
  • Leftovers 'Moana,' 'Fantastic Beasts' rule box office again

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Audiences came back for a second helping of "Moana" and "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" this weekend. Both family-friendly films topped the post-Thanksgiving box office charts with "Moana" bringing in $28.4 million and "Fantastic Beasts" earning $18.5 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. Source
  • Donald Trump tweets 'SNL' 'unwatchable' after Alec Baldwin plays him again in sketch making fun of his retweets

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    There's an emerging theory that Donald Trump distracts us all with his tweets. But on Saturday Night Live this weekend, it was Trump getting distracted by his own tweets. In the cold open, Alec Baldwin returns as the retweeter-in-chief, shrugging off important policy briefings to pass along the social media musings of 16-year-olds and other random Twitter users. Source
  • Hairspray Live!, Mariah's World and MasterChef Canada top this week's TV must-sees

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    1. Hairspray Live! Live Another one of those big, bright, bold productions that have become a mini-trend. Stars include Ariana Grande, Maddie Baillio, Jennifer Hudson, Kristin Chenoweth, Martin Short, Andrea Martin, Derek Hough, Dove Cameron, Harvey Fierstein, Billy Eichner, Sean Hayes and Rosie O'Donnell (don't tell Donald Trump). Source
  • Trevor Noah defends controversial Tomi Lahren interview

    Entertainment CBC News
    Trevor Noah said he invited right-wing pundit Tomi Lahren on his show because he believes Americans with different worldviews need to break out of their ideological bubbles and have conversations with each other. The South African comedian who took the reins of Comedy Central's news parody powerhouse The Daily Show when Jon Stewart retired last year has garnered both praise and scorn for his recent interview with Lahren, a hard-line commentator on The Blaze who has come under fire for comparing…
  • Baby Groot the star of 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' trailer

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    While Chris Pratt will undeniably be the star of the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, it's Baby Groot that takes centre stage in the new teaser trailer for the film. Released Saturday, the trailer starts with a visual of a giant space octopus-like creature with a fangy serpentine mouth screaming as we hear Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) say in voiceover, "the fate of the universe lies on your shoulders. Source
  • 'Ghostbusters' librarian Alice Drummond dead at 88

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Actress Alice Drummond, famous for her role as the librarian in Ghostbusters, has died at the age of 88. The character actress, who also starred in several U.S. soap operas and was a regular on Broadway during the 1960s and 1970s, died on Wednesday, her friend confirmed to The New York Times. Source
  • Jennifer Lawrence admits her butt almost killed a man once

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Jennifer Lawrence confessed to almost killing a sound guy with her bottom on the set of The Hunger Games. The 26-year-old shared the unusual story while on The Graham Norton Show on Friday, alongside her Passengers co-star Chris Pratt and British chef Jamie Oliver. Source
  • Is Harry Potter set to play on Broadway?

    Entertainment CTV News
    The Lyric theatre (formerly known as the Foxwoods Theatre) has been identified as the best venue on Broadway for the play that is set in the world of Harry Potter but nearly two decades after the final Harry Potter novel ends. Source