Jack Bauer isn’t having a cigarette, the cigarette is having a Jack Bauer.
Video: Jack Bauer
24 co-creator Joel Surnow commented that they did not have any actors in mind for the part; “We didn’t really know who it was. We were casting a lot of people and then we heard Kiefer Sutherland’s name and thought, that’s Jack Bauer.”
In 2000, Sutherland was contacted by his friend, director Stephen Hopkins, who was working on the pilot for the experimental real-time TV show and offered him the lead.
Initially Sutherland had reservations about playing Bauer, stating, “I thought, ‘This is really clever and different, so there’s no way they’re going to pick it up. But I could use the money, and no one will ever see it’.”
Sutherland must produce around 24 hours of film each season, “which is like making 12 movies, so there are going to be mistakes along the way, but I am incredibly surprised by how many things work well as a result of working at that pace.”
In 2006, Sutherland signed a contract to play the role of Bauer for three seasons following season five. The contract was reported to be worth $40 million.
Sutherland is also an executive producer of 24.