On the heels of the latest trailer for 24: Legacy, new lead Corey Hawkins spoke at length yesterday at the Television Critics Association about what audiences can expect from the reboot, and how his character Eric Carter will differ from original series hero Jack Bauer, played by Kiefer Sutherland.
While he is not appearing in the series, Sutherland remains an executive producer on Legacy and reached out to Hawkins to offer his advice on such a demanding show.
“We actually talked extensively,” Hawkins said. “I won’t say everything we talked about, but the gist of it is that he’s super pumped. He was almost more pumped than I was about it! And he’s really excited about this new idea and Kiefer gave me a lot of great advice in terms of going through this as an actor. It is really challenging. It’s different than any kind of television show because every single second is captured on film. Every single second of the day. His sort of insight, and we talked a lot, but one of the main things was to just let it surprise you and let it continue to evolve and not to have so much control over it in that collaboration with your writers and producers, because you get the opportunity for the character to surprise you.”
Carter will be a different kind of hero for 24: Legacy than Bauer was as well, Hawkins explained. Though he has experience in the world of terrorism, Carter starts the series as an ex-Army Ranger after having had a career as a solider with no experience in espionage.
“Carter is going to do things that are completely counter intuitive. He an Army Ranger. He’s not a counter terrorism agent. There’s certain things, certain training that he specifically has that Jack didn’t have. Certain things that he can do and there are certain things that he really can’t do and might not be comfortable doing. He gets to reckon with that. When you’re taking out people sometimes you have to take out the good people too. And he may have a problem with that.”
Even the idea of 24: Legacy is a daunting one; the original 24 still has a fairly large fanbase and a 24 series without Jack Bauer should mean a high amount of expectations on the new team. This wasn’t lost on Hawkins, but it was also one of the reasons he joined the series to begin with: “I think that’s the point of doing it. That’s the thing that appealed to me. This is where I get the chance to kind of stretch my wings and do something different. It’s really different from the role I was doing in Kong: Skull Island right before I started shooting. That’s the goal. I mean, it’s just to keep surprising myself. Not just everybody else, but myself mostly.”
Speaking on the series’ action scenes, Hawkins also described how they will have an effect on Carter’s mindset as the season progresses, saying “there’s a lot of running. He doesn’t have a chance to breath. Especially because you guys know it’s 12 episodes for this season. There is no time for filler, and I think that’s going to affect him in an emotional way. We didn’t want it to just be about action, blowing stuff up. That’s all cool. We have to have that as part of 24, but especially in your first season you have to get to know who this guy is and who these characters are.”
Even Carter’s fighting style is different from others throughout 24, that is moves “are not karate, kung fu, jumping up in the air, that sort of thing. It’s very messy. He’s just trying to get to the next moment. He’s literally trying every moment to get to the next thing and that’s a huge part of the connectivity of the show.”
Its obvious just how demanding and stressful this type of role can be, which was another bit of advice Sutherland imparted on Hawkins. “I try to make my work ethic as hard as I can. I’m learning, as number 1 on the call sheet on a TV show, you have to set the tone. And everybody is working their asses off to make this show as great as it can be. All I can do is eat healthy, stay healthy, I made a lot of lifestyle changes just to do this. Kiefer sort of harped on that too. You have to take care of yourself emotionally, physically, so it’s been a journey. I’m still learning too. And that’s the thing, when I look tired on that show, I’m fucking tired! I’m trying to get through the day just like he’s trying to get through the day. Everybody is. That’s what keeps me going, knowing, just like Eric, that everybody is trying to get through this day.”
24: Legacy premieres February 5th after the Super Bowl.