Monday, March 12, 2007

Jack Bauer Live And In Person

Is a really skinny dude. Seriously. His legs are like sticks. Highly coincidental of my constant recent musings on how 24 is hurting America suddenly I was thrust into a room with Kiefer Sutherland. Or rather I volunteered for a week at the DC International Film Festival with the prospect of just such a meeting.

Okay I didn’t actually tell Kiefer that his show is hurting America. Mostly because I didn’t want to piss off the people I was working for. But really, I also got the sense that this guy is not a deep thinker. Of course it's possible it just wasn’t his night. Or maybe my impression was partially formed from the movie he was there to promote, “I Trust You To Kill Me”. But even at age 40, Kiefer Sutherland is still quite the male adolescent.

Personally pleasant to be sure. Book him for your event, y’all. He doesn’t disappoint or get grumpy. As a professional hire, I see no room for complaint. But as an added psychological observation; at age 40 he doesn’t give off a sense of someone who knows what it’s like to be an adult and not an overripe 20-something. (The best approximation is that he’s like’s Paul Giamatti’s actor friend in Sideways, only not desperate because Kiefer actually has professional success. Charming, but shallow and somewhat self-destructive.)

I Trust You To Kill Me is ostensibly a “band road trip” documentary but really its all about Kiefer rather than about the band, Rocco DeLuca (which every time I heard his name I kept recalling Rocco of The Restaurant). I give Rocco DeLuca and the Burden credit for actually being really, really good. Good enough I’m going to try to find their CD. But in a way they are diminished by their association with Kiefer. His stardom blocks their talent. Basically Kiefer is more interesting to watch than Rocco.

Update: Okay after finding stuff like this I feel a little bit shitty calling the guy shallow. I stand my evaluation of his nature, but that doesn't mean he can't be a perfectly decent person. Some adolescents are.


Susie said...

You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

We've met Kiefer, too, and, yes, he was smaller in person than we anticipated and softer spoken, but he was pleasant and polite which, given the stories you read of other star sightings, is unusual from someone in the Hollywood set.

Did you know he's extremely shy? Did you take into consideration that he might not have been well (he had a cold the night we met him, and he was very tired) or might have had more on his mind than socializing with people he didn't know and/or care to know? Sure, he's a public figure, but he's still human, with human interests. It has to get old never getting to "let your hair down" without criticism.

As for intelligence, I've read that he's an avid chess player and thoroughly researches all of his characters to be sure to play them as authentically as possible...two signs of someone of more than average intellect. Do you think you could act for 14-16 hours a day and do it as well as he does?

Rocco is doing very well on his own. We've seen him in five concerts, and people like him for his music and ability. If we discovered him through an interest in Kiefer, so what? Often we discover new interests through old ones.

You should be careful how you judge could come back to bite you.

NewsCat said...

I agree with you that making judgments about people is karmically dangerous. Maybe someone will write a blog about me how I suck based on a 5-second meeting. On the other hand is that really going to hurt me if I'm as famous as Kiefer?

Actually what I wrote was less based on my meeting with him...and he was totally pleasant and friendly...than based on observations from people who got to hang out with him longer and my interpretation of his personality based on the documentary.

Now if everything I personally observed and found out about him was pleasant and nice did I write what I did? In hindsight I probably should have been a little more effusive about the fact he *is* a nice guy, at least based on surface personal observation.

But I was trying to write something that was more about his beneath the surface character. I think if you allow yourself to be filmed in a documentary on some level you are opening yourself up to being deconstructed as *character* rather than as a human being. I was engaging in arm-chair psychoanalyzing the same way I might deconstruct Harry Potter or Tony Soprano's character motivation.

It's different though because Kiefer is a real person. Karmicly, is justifiable? Probably not. I'm engaging in a little (unearned) judging of a person. He doesn't affect my life and yet I felt free to write what I did. I'm sure someday in the future I will read a blog post that says I suck. That's how karma works.