Compiled by: Jack Foley
James Badge Dale is interviewed by the press.
Q. How do you go from construction work to the cast of
A: [Laughs] Very carefully. It’s been a good transition.
The last construction company I worked for in New York was for
two brothers, the Fahey Brothers, who come from a family of about
nine brothers. Five of them were grips and one of them was an
actor here in LA, Jeff Fahey.
The other two who I worked for, one was a playwright and the other
one used to build sets in LA. He was married to a producer. So
my agent hooked me up with the job. And they would let me go to
any audition I wanted, if I got an acting job, they let me go
off for four or five weeks and then come back. I set my own schedules.
It was actually a very acting friendly construction site.
Q. What kind of a construction site can be cool and easy
with guys going to auditions?
A: [Laughs] Some would laugh at me and then some were
supportive. It changes from site to site, job to job.
Q. Have they been asking you for jobs on 24 now?
A: No, [laughs]. Maybe one day.
Q. When you got on the show, were you following it?
A: I didn't follow any television shows. I still really
don’t. I’d seen the show and I knew it was a very
good show. I’d watched the show and I was impressed by it.
Q. Did you understand the craze for it?
A: I don't know if I understood the craze. But I knew
the craze. I knew a lot of people who would just stay at home
every Tuesday nights. People wouldn't leave the house. My girlfriend’s
parents especially. I mean, they were fanatical. So that was pretty
much my introduction to it.
Q. What did they tell you about your character when you
A: They told me that I was Jack Bauer’s partner.
That I was dating his daughter and he didn't know about it. And
that was pretty much it. I was concerned for him, because the
guy has a little bit of an attitude problem, I guess he’s
a little hot-headed. That he was really an open book.
Q. Is he sort of like a younger Jack? So we're kind of
interested to see what might develop, or what you might want to
A: I’d definitely like to see him develop a darker
side. But I think right now, we’re keeping it away from
Q. Would you like to describe your character?
A: There are many faces of my character.
Q. Bauer is very supportive to you?
A: I guess the best way is to say it, is he’s Jack’s
protégé. Jack’s his mentor. He wants to be
Q. Speaking of mentors, didn’t you get help from
your parents, with ski trips and such?
A: Yeah, I grew up running around in orchestra pits and
backstage in theatres in New York and out here in LA. Sets that
my mom and my dad were working on. I lived in a very free and
open environment when I was younger. I think it was just kind
of catered towards that. I mean, they never pushed me towards
I got attracted to it when I was about ten-years-old. Professionally.
My parents, I don't think they wanted me to do it. They’d
drop me off outside and say, ‘go, do whatever you're going
to do and come back’.
Q. Is there one piece of advice your parents gave to
you that always stuck with you?
A: Have fun! My dad gives me a lot of advice now. Enjoy
it when it comes, you know what I mean? And work hard. My mother
passed away when I was 15. And I’d love to know what she
would have to say, now that I’m following in her footsteps.
One of my construction bosses, the playwright, gave me some great
advice. I remember it was my first job. Law and Order: Special
Victims Unit. I was leaving to do the job, and he said, "Don’t
believe the shit they talk about you and don’t believe the
smoke they blow up your ass."
And that makes so much sense to me. At the end of the day, you’ve
got to live with the way you feel about yourself and the way you
feel about your work. And your work is all that you really have.
None of the other stuff matters.
Q. Did you do any special
preparation for your part?
A: I really didn't have much time to prep. I just read
the script as much as I possibly could, so I could have some sort
of understanding of the character. I went to the firing range
to learn how to shoot a gun. It’s been a very ‘learn
as you go’ kind of situation. I was lucky, the first few
days I had of work here, I had no dialogue. And I spent the entire
three days just following Kiefer around. Just listening and watching,
watching the tone of the show. What the actors do and what Kiefer
does. What works and what doesn't. But also watch the way the
whole set works as a whole, like a machine. And those three days
Q. What’s been the relationship with Kiefer?
A: He’s really been great. I’ve had an amazing
time working with him, and he’s a very hard-working actor.
He’s very serious. He shows up to work every day. He does
his homework, he’s ready to go. He’s taught me a lot,
as an actor. How to deal with people, too. I watch him and he’s
Q. When he had his bar fight a few weeks ago, he apologized
A: Yeah. That’s all I’m going to say about
Q. As a new member of the cast, do you have any pressures
A: When you're coming into something that’s been
working for two years already, and it’s worked very well,
there’s pressure. You come in, as the new guy. You hope
you don’t mess up the chemistry. You know? But that pressure’s
gone. I feel very at home and very blessed to be working here.
Q. Has it crossed your mind that your character is being
groomed to take over a few years down the line if Kiefer decides
to move onto another project?
A: I have no idea where this is going. Some days I wake
up and I think, I’m going to be on for a while. I woke up
one day last week and I had an anxiety attack. I thought I was
going to be bad in the next two weeks. You just don’t know.
Q. Do you read the last page of the script for the week
when it comes then?
A: [laughter] I’d be lying if I said I didn't do
that a couple times, yeah.
Q. Do you like LA or New York?
A: I definitely prefer New York. LA is a great city.
I enjoy being here and I enjoy working here. But New York? People
from every walk of life are doing every possible job. You see
it in the subways, it’s a great equalizer. You sit with
businessmen, and homeless people, and construction workers, and
artists and writers and just everybody you can imagine. And you're
all together. You're forced to deal with each other and you're
forced to co-exist and interact. In LA, you can spend days in
your car and not have to talk to anybody. Other than the people
you're going to meetings with.
Q. When was the last time you did something you were
A. The last time I did something I was afraid of? About
45 minutes ago when I walked into this room. [laughter]
Q. What are you most afraid of? Us?
A: Yeah, yeah.
A: It’s always a little nerve-wracking when you
have to sit and - talk.
Q. Among the things your dad might have told you was
never read the press once you've done the interview…
A. Yeah. And don’t read the reviews until the show
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Season 3 - Kiefer Sutherland
Season 2 - review
Season 1 - review