You and Kiefer Sutherland are very similar…
Kiefer and I are of similar build, similar actors. It was like I had an older brother. They planned on my character starting out as one thing but then I became Jack’s ally. If they like the actor then they adapt.
Did you have to any special anti-terrorist training?
No, but I’m pretty comfortable with firearms. We did a couple of car sequences and gunfights, nothing that can’t be picked up on set. They have a great stunt coordinator who can make you look really good. The most intimidating thing I had to do was carjack somebody by jumping out onto the freeway and trust the stunt drivers were going to stop the cars that were going 40 miles an hour.
The show’s pretty intense – does the set mirror that?
It’s a very intense atmosphere. It’s had work, long hours, with high expectations from everyone involved. Kiefer’s really driven and focused, so prepared for every scene. There are a few laughs but it’s a very intense environment.
Are you a method actor?
I switch it on and off. I’ve got to - I have four kids! You can’t think of the humanity when you have to pretend that this person has information that’s going to result in the death of tens of thousands of innocent human beings.
What did you make of last season’s controversy over the torture scenes?
There was some controversy about the way Muslims were portrayed and the methods used to extract information from them. I wasn’t really involved because Jack is the guy who usually pulls people’s fingernails. I’m grateful that there are people who can do that in real life, but what a terrible situation to be in! Trying to get information from somebody you know is guilty and has the information you need…
What’s next for you?
I finished The Andromeda Strain a few weeks ago. At the moment I’m filming Journey To The Centre Of The Earth in Vancouver, based on the Jules Verne classic. Then, I’m in dialogue with MGM about directing a remake of The Champ. I’ll have to recast myself! You’re the first to hear about that. The script is going very well. My first movie as director, Black Cloud was about a Native American boxer, so I guess I’m fond of the ring!