Star of '24' sequel welcomes chance to create black heroJanuary 11, 2017 9:12pm

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — The clock is ticking and the nation's fate again is at stake in "24: Legacy," a sequel to Fox's white-knuckle drama series. But this time the hero is African-American and that matters, says the show's star and producers.

"In television, to be a hero and look like I look, that really stuck with me," said Corey Hawkins, who plays Eric Carter, an ex-Army Ranger who's drawn into a fierce new battle at home.

Now that he's helping create a character that's not typically black, the actor said, Carter's ethnicity will be more than skin deep.

We have to honor "where he comes from, not just his skin color but where's he's from," the southeast area of Washington, D.C., said Hawkins, who's also a native of the city. "That's the authenticity."

There's pressure in taking over the lead from longtime "24" franchise lead Kiefer Sutherland, who played U.S. counter-terrorism agent Jack Bauer, Hawkins acknowledged during a Q&A session with TV critics Wednesday.

"Uh, yeah. I'd be crazy to say there wasn't any pressure," he said. "If the challenge wasn't there, there's no reason to say 'yes' to the role."

The series' two-night debut is set for Feb. 5, following the Super Bowl, and Feb. 6.

The first edition of "24" was more than a groundbreaker in format when it arrived in 2001. It featured black actor Dennis Haysbert as the U.S. president, well before Barack Obama was elected in 2008.

"If you show it's possible, it can become possible," said Brian Grazer, among the executive producers of "24: Legacy."

Anna Diop, who plays Carter's wife, said all viewers should find the couple familiar, race notwithstanding.

"I'm hoping people see this and see themselves in these characters and it transcends us being black," Diop said, adding that her character, Nicole, is trying to support her husband and remain true to her own beliefs.

Other cast members include Jimmy Smits as a U.S. senator and presidential hopeful, Miranda Otto as a former counter-terrorism unit head and Ashley Thomas as Carter's drug-dealer brother.

The familiar elements, including episodes that play out by the clock, are there for good reason, the show's producers said. The approach remains "a brilliant propulsive engine," said series creator Evan Katz.

"24: Legacy" also is bringing back the character of Tony Almeida, played by Carlos Bernard.

Katz said that reflects what a "dynamic" actor and presence Bernard is and his character's compelling nature. When he asked himself which of the former characters he wanted to see again, Katz said, "it was Tony."

___

Lynn Elber can be reached at lelber@ap.org and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber .

More Stories Like This

In this Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, photo, Erica Larsen-Dockray speaks during the Animated Women symposium at California Institute of the Arts, in Valencia, Calif. The California Institute of the Arts was created partly by Walt Disney's desire to bring more top-flight animators into the profession. And it has during its 47 years, though for a long time almost all were men. Now, nearly three-quarters of CalArts' more than 250 animation students are women, and there's a new goal: Ensure that when they land jobs, they get to draw female characters reflective of the real world and not just the nerds, sex bombs, tomboys or ugly villains who proliferate now. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
No more nerds, sex bombs: Female animators draw away clichés
President Donald Trump, accompanied by CIA Director-designate Mike Pompeo, left, waits to speak at the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Va., Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Trump's 'war with the media' raises questions of trust
In this May 25, 2002 photo provided by Stephen Dyrgas, the marquee sign, "The Whisky" adorns the legendary West Hollywood rock 'n' roll club, Whisky a Go Go, in Los Angeles. The sign that hung outside the club during the heyday of punk, new wave and grunge in the 1980s and '90s, will go up for auction on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017 at Saco River Auction Co., in Biddeford, Maine. (Stephen Dyrgas via AP)
Neon piece of rock 'n' roll history going up for auction
Donald Trump,Melania Trump
FILE - In this Oct. 21, 2012 file photo, Crystal Gayle performs at the Country Music Hall of Fame Inductions in Nashville, Tenn. Country music legend Gayle is being inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, nearly a half-century after she first walked onto its stage to perform as a teenager. Gayle's sister, country luminary Loretta Lynn, will induct her into the country music institution during a Saturday night, Jan. 21, 2017, ceremony at the Ryman Auditorium, the Grand Ole Opry announced. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP, File)
Country star Crystal Gayle inducted in Grand Ole Opry
2 convicted in shooting that paralyzed "Hoop Dreams" playerTwo men have been convicted of attempted murder and aggravated battery for a shooting that paralyzed a Chicago high school basketball coach who played on one of the teams featured in the 1994 documentary "Hoop Dreams."
AdChoices

Related Searches

Related Searches

AdChoices