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Kiefer Sutherland: Here’s Why Jack Bauer Would Like My New Show

Star says real-life terrorism news won’t ”push back“ the ABC thriller

Kiefer Sutherland knows what Jack Bauer would think of Sutherland’s latest hero.

“Good-looking guy,” the former “24” star told reporters Thursday in Beverly Hills, sparking laughter from the crowd. “Needs to lose the glasses.”

In his latest series, ABC’s thriller “Designated Survivor,” Sutherland plays Tom Kirkman, a Cabinet secretary who is suddenly vaulted into the presidency after a terrorist attack kills the president and other senior U.S. leaders. In the pilot, he’s wearing glasses, creating a more studious look than the the rough-and-tumble swagger Sutherland practiced as a counter-terrorism action hero on “24.” Sutherland told reporters that the “24” role was the greatest experience of his career.

But Sutherland finds a commonality in the characters. “I have to believe he would trust him,” Sutherland told reporters at the Television Critics Association TV press tour in Beverly Hills, when asked what he believed Bauer would think of Kirkman.

Sutherland said he was not worried that the relentless drumbeat of terrorism news would somehow pre-empt “Designated Survivor.”

“Even after terrible days of 9/11 we did not push back” “24,” he said. “We cannot imagine circumstances … that would lead us to not push this show forward.”

The star said his ultimate role model for Kirkman is another U.S. president: Franklin D. Roosevelt.

“He was a very common-sense president and approached things in a human way,” Sutherland said.  “That was the first president that popped to mind of where I’d like to get to.”

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