Kiefer Sutherland TOUCHed by New Series for Fox
There is a red thread loosely wrapped around the ankles of certain people to connect them through the course of this lifetime, according to the Chinese fable “The Red Thread.”
Fox’s new series, Touch, is based on that fable.
What It’s All About
Touch stars Kiefer Sutherland as Martin Bohm, and David Mazouz as his eleven year-old son, Jake, who is misdiagnosed with autism.
Speaking from a press appearance at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, Sutherland describes it best, “Jake is actually just a truly, truly evolved human being that is years and years beyond where my character is and our society is.”
He continues, “According to the Chinese fable, the red thread can stretch and bend, but it cannot break. Somehow in our society, we have broken this thread. In Touch, my son is taking me on a journey to try and put it back together.”
“But,” Sutherland says, “The heart of the show will always be about the journey of a father trying to connect with his son and trying to have as normal a relationship as he can under the circumstances.”
This father and son connection is what Touch is all about.
Communication A Good Thing
Sutherland continues in a melancholy voice, “But, Martin is never going to have the quintessential relationship of a father and a son.”
“I don’t want people feeling sorry for him, though. I want them to understand that the further he is able to communicate with his son, the more enlightened and enriched his life will be, and he might be able to move past some of the pain that he’s experienced from the loss of his wife (on 9/11) and his son’s condition.”
Where It All Begins
Touch, executive produced by Carol Barbee, Tim Kring, Francis Lawrence, and Katherine Pope, as well as Sutherland, is meant to be an uplifting story. Sutherland discovers his son has the ability to see hidden patterns that connect people all over the world. And, in each episode, he uses messages from his son to help people in all walks of life.
He says, “In an effort to communicate with my son, I discover that he has this unbelievable skill set that allows him to interpret numbers and symbols in a way that kind of explains our past and to some degree, predicts our future. That’s where the show starts.”
From Stage to Screen
The role of Martin is not an easy one for Sutherland, and he does not take it lightly. In fact, he very nearly turned it down. He says, “I don’t think I was completely ready to go back to television. I was enjoying some of the different opportunities that I had. I was doing a play in New York on Broadway. I had a film that I knew I was going to do. So, I read Touch almost reluctantly. But, by around page 30, I was falling in love with it. By the time I finished, I knew that I would be very disappointed with myself if I found myself on the couch come September, and I was just watching the show as opposed to being a part of it.”
He continues, “Then, I read it again. The first pass I read showed me this unbelievable opportunity to play a very different character (than in 24). But I had to read it a second time to make sure that all of the things that were affecting me were doing so on a personal level as opposed to trying to manage a career. I believe the reason I chose to do this piece was because of the way that it profoundly affected me. Does it happen to also be a nice diversion from 24? Yes. But I believe honestly that the choice, and the reason that I made the choice, was because it spoke to me. If there was anything I wanted to be a part of saying, it was kind of this beautiful idea of interconnectivity and this responsibly that we have to each other as people, as a race, and to this planet.”
No Regrets Allowed
“We’re just finishing up the first season, and it’s been an unbelievably rewarding experience. I love it. I’m very proud of the show, and I think other people are going to love it too.”
Sutherland also has kind remarks about his co-star. “David was the first boy that I worked with out of about 40 children, and I had an unbelievable visceral immediate reaction to him. There is something about when he gets into that disconnected mode that breaks my heart. He works very hard and is a constant source of joy on the set. Everybody on the crew loves him. He has an unbelievable, uncanny focus for a young person that age. He gets what we’re trying to do.”
Full Steam Ahead
Next for Sutherland is, hopefully, the making of a 24 movie, which he plans to film following the shooting of the current set of episodes for Touch. “But,” he says, “100% of my attention is on Touch, and I have been having just an amazing time over the last eight months working on it.”
Touch airs on Thursday nights on Fox.
Cheryl has been a freelance TV/film writer for more than 10 years. Simultaneously, she has worked in PR for Bon Jovi Productions in NYC, PolyGram Records (also in NYC), and Rogers & Cowan Public Relations. Cheryl has published articles at suite101.com, “Sci-Fi Entertainment” magazine, and “Soap Opera Weekly.” She was also a credited researcher for English author Denis Meikle’s JOHNNY DEPP: A KIND OF ILLUSION. Cheryl enjoys writing for the entertainment industry and meeting new people. She is also an animal lover.
This article originally appeared at suite101.com.