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

  • Dustin Hoffman accused of new incidents of sexual misconduct

    Entertainment CBC News
    More women are accusing Dustin Hoffman of sexual misconduct, including an incident in which a playwright says the actor exposed himself to her in a New York hotel room when she was 16 years old. Playwright Cori Thomas described the 1980 incident in a story published Thursday by the trade outlet Variety. Source
  • Russell Simmons vows to defend himself following rape claims from 3 women

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Music mogul Russell Simmons said on Instagram that he plans to defend himself a day after a New York Times story published claims by three women saying he raped them. The allegations in the Times' Wednesday report stem from the 1980s and 1990s. Source
  • 5 Disney-Fox crossovers we'd love to see

    Entertainment CBC News
    Sure, Disney buying the lion's share of 21st Century Fox represents an unprecedented and, for some, worrying consolidation of blockbuster brands under a single entity. The gloved hand of Mickey Mouse will soon hold everything from Avatar to The X-Files. Source
  • Cineplex tests $1 reserved seating surcharge at some Star Wars screenings

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- Cineplex Inc. is giving Star Wars fans a surprise twist at the box office by charging an extra dollar for assigned seating at some showings. The country's biggest exhibitor has tacked on a surcharge at select regular screenings of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" across Canada in hopes moviegoers will be willing to pay more for not waiting in line. Source
  • Tavis Smiley, suspended by PBS, vows to fight back

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- PBS has suspended radio and TV host Tavis Smiley after finding what it called "troubling allegations" of sexual misconduct, making him the second high-profile star to be ousted from a network known for its high-brow, genteel programming. Source
  • Walmart distances itself from talk show host Tavis Smiley

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Retail giant Walmart distanced itself from Tavis Smiley on Thursday after an investigation prompted by PBS found "troubling allegations" of sexual misconduct by the radio and TV host. The move came a day after PBS said it was suspending Smiley following an independent investigation by a law firm which uncovered "multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS. Source
  • Singer SZA is sizzling in music industry

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Yes, SZA is easily in the running for best new act of 2017. But her uber-successful year really puts her in the running for female artist of the year: She's had multiple songs chart in the Top 40 in a year when male acts overwhelming dominated, and she's the most nominated woman at the upcoming Grammy Awards with five. Source
  • What stays, what goes: Disney and Murdoch after the sale

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Disney is buying a large part of Fox , but Fox News Channel and other U.S. television businesses are staying with the Murdoch family. Here's a look at what the Disney and Murdoch empires will look like under The Walt Disney Co. Source
  • Spurlock on sexual harassment: 'I am part of the problem'

    Entertainment CTV News
    ATLANTA -- Declaring "I am part of the problem," documentarian Morgan Spurlock confessed in an online post to sexual harassment and infidelity, and said a woman accused him of rape in college. In the post, which he linked to from his verified Twitter account, Spurlock wrote that as he watches other influential men brought down by allegations of sexual misconduct, "I don't sit by and wonder 'who will be next?' I wonder, 'when will they come for Spurlock on sexual harassment: 'I am part of the…
  • 'I am part of the problem,' Morgan Spurlock says of sexual harassment

    Entertainment CBC News
    Declaring "I am part of the problem," documentarian Morgan Spurlock confessed in an online post to sexual harassment and infidelity, and said a woman accused him of rape in college. In the post, which he linked to from his verified Twitter account, Spurlock wrote that as he watches other influential men brought down by allegations of sexual misconduct, "I don't sit by and wonder 'who will be next?' I wonder, 'when will they come for me?'" Source