Corey Hawkins takes on the character of Eric Carter in “24: Legacy”, which will be premiering on Fox, Sunday, February 5th.
The Knockturnal was at the New York City premiere and talked to members of the cast, producers, and even caught up with David Mazouz from “Gotham.”
Check it out!
Well congratulations. I’m so excited. I want to know, are you a little nervous because of Kiefer Sutherland? Did you get his permission [laughs]? Do you have his blessing?
Corey Hawkins: [Laughs] Of course I was nervous. I think if I didn’t have any nerves then maybe something would be wrong you know [laughs]. But I am feeling really, really good about this opportunity because Kiefer sort of gave me his blessing and he is an executive producer on the show. We’ve talked and he’s like, he’s very gung-ho about it and he’s given me a lot of advice—much needed advice because he is one of the only people who knows what it’s like to do a show like this. And so yeah! He’s just been an amazing sounding board and I’ve been a fan of his for years—and even before the show. And so it’s just a blessing.
Did you look to him when you went preparing for the role? Did you ask him for more advice to get really into character or did you just do it yourself?
Corey Hawkins: No, yeah mostly for myself because it was a different guy than Jack Bauer, and so I know how to do that work. And so it was getting into the show; once we were in the making of it you know, we talked and we talked about how to get through the day and how to be a leader and how to be a leader on set and what it takes to sort of step into that role and you know he’s been more than gracious about it. He doesn’t have to do that. He really doesn’t. And so for him it take that time, it really meant a lot to me. And I know he’s excited about it and I’m excited about it, too.
Can you relate your character on any levels?
Corey Hawkins: Yeah, you know, a lot. I mean I think you have to kind of find the commonalities between/with your characters. With Eric— he is constantly on the go. You know, I am kind of that same way of little bit. When it comes to it he’s a doer, he’s a fixer, he wants to make sure everything is okay, and that’s kind of how I am to like, I want to make to cross the T’s, Dot the I’s. He’s at his best when there is a lot of stuff happening, you know. It’s kind of great to have that in common with him. He is more of a badass than I am [Laughs], you know. I’m clumsy as heck but he can do things I can’t.
What can we expect to see this season and what are you most excited for fans to see?
Corey Hawkins: I’m just excited for fans to watch the pilot and see where it takes you. I think it will surprise a lot of people. I have talked to a lot of fans of the original who were nervous about it, obviously! I remember I watched the pilot and you know we would screen it and we would sneak a few of the cast into the screenings just to see their reactions and they would come out and they’d be like “ Oh my god! it’s back! It’s back! [laughs].” And so that excitement—because I was so excited about it—But you know just that. I’m just excited for them to to experience “24” all over again.
How hard was it to keep it secret that it’s coming back?
Corey Hawkins: Hmmm [laughs]. I don’t know! It kind of got out pretty quickly. But Umm, you know—-
Was it because of you [laughs]?
Corey Hawkins: It was probably because of me [laughs]?
We’ll keep it on the down down low. We’ll keep it in between us.
Corey Hawkins: Yeah. It’s probably because of me. Never tell your mama anything. Never tell you mama anything [Laughs].
One more question: What was it like working with this cast?
Corey Hawkins: Amazing! You hope that you get the opportunity to work with people that you like, people that you can work with on the weekend, when you’re off. Like we call each other and we’re like ‘ya’ll let’s go get dinner, but let’s make sure we discuss the work,’ and we do. We have fun and we party and you know we work hard but we also play hard, but we’re really, really close. And we all like keep in touch and not just texting and stuff but check in on each other and make sure people are doing okay, making sure sure people are able to do their work. We come in on days off. I’ll fly back just to do off camera dialogues— so will other people. That’s how we work and it’s something that hopefully we’ll keep for season two [laughs]. But you know, when you get tired you do what you got to do. But you know I love this cast and I love this crew in Atlanta, they’re amazing— and yeah it’s all good.
ANNA DIOP AND ASHLEY THOMAS
Hi- you look so beautiful!
Ana Diop: Thank you so much!
Who are you wearing tonight?
Ana Diop: ASOS!
Wow, I love it!
Ana Diop: Thank you!
What are you guys most excited about? What do you want the fans to be excited about? What can we expect see?
Ana Diop: I’m excited to bring back “24” for the fans! And I’m exciting to introduce it to new fans that have never seen it because it’s like hella exciting so yeah.
Can you describe your characters and their personalities?
Anna Diop: Yeah, so I play Nicole Carter. I’m Eric Carter’s wife. And we find her in the pilot episode and she’s trying to start a new life with her husband. They’ve been living under witness protection for the past six months. And she’s, you know—they’re just trying to start over and start new and build a life together and then this thing happens where this trauma happens and they’re off to the races.
Ashley Thomas: I’m at a point where you meet ‘Isaac.’ I keep saying that he’s one of the people that Eric can trust. Eric can trust his wife, he can trust Rebecca Ingram, and he can trust his brother—
Ashley Thomas: and yeah well—you’re just going to count me out just like that wow [laughs]
I know from the trailer that he said that the only person he can trust is himself.
Ashley Thomas: Okay, cool. So I’m going to expand that to four people, himself and then Isaac Carter as well. So he turns to people that are going to have his back and that are essentially not really going to lie to him—just tell him the truth. So where we meet, it’s like we’ve been, we’ve been at odds with each other and it’s it just opens a can of worms when we run into each other next.
You know you guys have a really diverse cast and a lot of the cast that we’ve interviewed have a lot of things to say about the ban and like what “24” can really teach the viewers. What do you guys think the viewers can take away from this series?
Ashley Thomas: “24” has always been in precursor to real life. Like I’ve said it before, in the original President Palmer was an African American, never been seen before. People have said there would never be an African American president, “24″ had one before it actually happened with Barack Obama. So I just think that life imitates art in that way and just actors and producers of content and tv and that stuff, we have a responsibility to make sure that what reflects in real life, we can change can change people’s perceptions. Because if you don’t see it, you’re never going to think that’s possible.
Anna Diop: And as far as the ban, I love that it portrays the antithesis of what the ban is all about, which is keeping out people that are oppressed. We have a female former head of CTU and we have a Latino man running for president, and we have a black hero, so I just think that it’s important for the media and our show in particular, the way that it portrays 1) what America looks like and 2) what we should be moving towards versus where we’re at now.
Were you a huge fan of “24” before this?
Raphael Acloque: I was. Yeah I’ve watched it like for years, since I was a teenager, so it was an honor to be in this new season.
Can you describe your character and your role on the show?
Raphael Acloque: Well I play Jidalla Bin Khalid, who’s kind of the villain of this season. He’s a young guy. So basically before the series starts some massive international terrorist dies and I’m playing his son. So Jidalla has run away from his father, he didn’t want to follow in his footsteps. But after he died, he decided to embrace his cause to avenge him.
So what can fans expect to see this season?
Raphael Acloque: Loads of things. So it’s still the same concept. One episode in a hour, it’s in real-time. So they can expect loads of cliff-hangers and it just simply never stops. The villains are very unconventional in this season. I think they’ll be surprised. Yeah.
How did you prepare for your role?
Raphael Acloque: There’s a book from Franz Kafka called “Letter to His Father,” because they didn’t have a good relationship. So I worked a lot with this book and I mean I worked on it as if my character had written this book to his father. So it helped me a lot and I based my character on a video— don’t know if you’ve seen it— it was on the web everywhere. This lady from the CIA, Ex-Interrogator, was talking about when she interrogated a guy from Al-Qaeda. She described loads of things about him and I used this interview a lot to base my character on it.
Well this I know this season and the show itself is surrounding terrorism and we’re obviously going through a very hard time in the US regarding the whole ban and everything. Do you have any say on that and what do you think fans can take away and learn from the show regarding that?
Raphael Acloque: I think it couldn’t be more accurate. I mean what’s happening at the moment is crazy. I’m myself a foreigner so I could be facing this thing probably in two months, I don’t know. My mom is a Muslim, my dad is a Catholic. I was born and raised in France. I live in London now. I work in America. So that’s how the world should be today, you know. And I think this show is very accurate about what’s happening and the good thing is that they—sometimes you watch a show about this and there’s loads of blatant Islamophobia, which is not the case here. It was very important for me that wouldn’t be the case. And I think the show runners have been very, very serious about it, which I’m very happy about.
What was it like working with the cast?
Raphael Acloque: It was awesome. They all knew each other before, because they did the pilot together and I arrived in September so I was a bit nervous. You never know what kind of people you’re going to start working with. But we all get along really well. We’re all more or less from the same generation. We have different heritage, which is really, really good.
And when you read the script did you know right away that you wanted to play this role and that you were made for it?
Raphael Acloque: Oh yeah. What happened is that they offered me the part because I had done a show previously with the same producers and with Fox, so when they offered me the part they just pitched the character. And on the basis of this I said “okay, yeah. Let’s go for it.” And then when I read the script it was just awesome.
EVAN KATZ & MANNY COTO (Producers)
What are you most excited about and what can fans expect to see?
Evan Katz: We are most excited about seeing this come alive with our new lead Corey Hawkins and we’ve been with this for probably a year and a half, so we can’t wait to let people see the baby basically. It’s a long gestation.
Is it going to be really similar to the last “24”?
Manny Coto: Well you know, the real time format is back. It’s going to be the same kind of breathtaking, fast-paced format of the original series. But there’s a whole new character at the core of this series and that’s Corey Hawkins; he’s an individual who comes from the military, who’s not Jack Bauer, who doesn’t know this world at all, and who is seeing the CTU world of “24” for the first time through his eyes. In many ways it’s different because we’re seeing it through a different perspective. In other ways there are things there that we’ve seen before but that are hopefully turned into a fresh perspective.
Are we going to see Kiefer make a guest appearance?
Evan Katz: This season Kiefer has his own show which is doing very well. I think he’s busy as President right now.
DAVID MAZOUZ (“GOTHAM”)
What are you most excited about for “24” ?
David Mazouz: Everything! I mean I just can’t wait to see if I had to pick one thing, probably the plot. I can’t wait to see what they do with this world of “24” after “Live Another Day” and the first eight seasons. I mean I’ve been a fan from the second I was old enough to watch, because I think it started the year I was born [laughs]. But the second I was old enough, I was a huge fan and I love this franchise and I can’t wait to see everything. Honestly, I don’t think I pick from a specific thing, but I couldn’t be more excited.
So I know you’re on “Gotham”, what can we expect to see on “Gotham?”
David Mazouz: Crazy things! It’s actually the Winter finale and Jerome is in town. He’s you know an illusion you can say to the joker. And he’s wreaking havoc on the city. I don’t want to give away too much but it’s really great episode. And of course I would want to watch “24,” that’s why I’m here, but you guys should really watch it– And some really, really cool stuff is happening next season. I don’t want to give too much away but the ‘Court of Owls’ is going to come in in a big way, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.