Sutherland says that before 24, most respected actors, like Robert De Niro, did one or two films every three years, which was the gold standard he looked up to. 24 changed all that. He states: “So when I got to do 24, I got to work every day. And so, the training for me, as an actor, really began there because we’re working at such a fast pace compared to that of making a film. I feel that my knowledge of the craft of acting grew exponentially during that time period. So, 24′s what I would maybe recommend [to] someone if they wanted to see me mature, at least as an actor.”
24 was created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran and is a dramatic action series that ran for eight seasons on Fox. It has a unique style of storytelling because every season covers a consecutive 24 hours making each episode feel like real-time narration. Sutherland plays protagonist Jack Bauer, a highly intelligent but rogue Counter Terrorist Unit agent who works tirelessly to prevent incidents such as presidential assassinations from occurring. 24 was critically acclaimed, nominated for 68 Emmy Awards, and won 20 Emmy Awards, including an Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series in 2006 for Sutherland. 24 inspired a stand-alone television movie, 24: Redemption, a limited series, 24: Live Another Day, and a spin-off series, 24: Legacy. It also, according to Sutherland, made him the actor he is today.