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Sutherland Reveals "Dark City" Character as Favorite Role


Kiefer Sutherland may be open to a 24 return, but people often forget he's had some pretty impressive roles that have showed his range beyond playing a tough guy. In fact, in a recent interview with GQ where he broke down some of his most iconic characters, Sutherland went on record to reveal his favorite movie role was the opposite of his Jack Bauer persona. Namely, his scarred and weaker villain role of Dr. Daniel P. Schreber in director Alex Proyas cult 1998 neo-noir sci-fi thriller Dark City.

The film focused on John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell), an amnesiac who wakes up and finds himself the prime suspect in a murder, going on a run from the police in the hopes of finding the truth, all the while dealing with the mysterious group known as the Strangers who seemingly have supernatural abilities and control the titular Dark City. Sutherland's character served as a scientist who worked for the Strangers but also aids Murdoch. Speaking on the role, Sutherland explained how he got the part and why he loved it so much:

Dark City, which was directed by Alex Proyas, was one of my most favorite experiences that I’ve ever had, as a person and as an actor. Alex Proyas is a real visionary, he wrote the cartoon version of Dark City when he was 15 years old. I did that movie at a time when maybe I wasn’t the hottest ticket on the street. My career was in a questionable state, at best. I met with him in a hotel and I remember acting out the part for him in the lobby. He just wanted to have a drink with me, but I wasn’t going to let it go, I was walking out of there with that job, because I really, really wanted it."

He went on to note how he approached the part:

All I wanted to do in creating the voice was a stutter of someone who is so scared ’t-t-t-that couldn’t get everything out because they were scared because they were terribly beaten and terribly abused and yet somehow still have a spark and a wit. Trying to convey that in a hotel bar is maybe not the easiest thing to do, or maybe the brightest call, but I think what he got from it was that I’d do anything. [Laughs] I loved that character. One of the worst hairstyles of all time and I wore that hairstyle for four months with pride for the right to do that part.”

Perhaps the truest test of an actor is the ability to not play the commanding role. Everyone wants that and Sutherland has more than aptly shown his abilities in that department. So, yes, the ability to play a frail and intelligent part with many motivations is indeed one to be proud of. Stay tuned!

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