Thanks to BennyBlog for the Mirrors photoIt's no secret that I'm a huge Kiefer Sutherland fan. I've enjoyed following his career in recent years, after rediscovering my former interest in him.
So it's been interesting to watch the "finale" of his DUI/jailtime unfold and hear his reflection on it all.
A little background for those who don't know/follow Kiefer: Last September, the 24 star was arrested for DUI, following being stopped for an illegal U-turn. He was subsequently sentenced to 48 days in jail which had to be completed by March 2008 -- with no chance of early release. He chose to serve his time in December and January -- presumably during the show's Christmas break -- so as not to disturb production on the show. Before that could happen though, the Hollywood writers' strike began and the importance of that was voided. Still, to jail he went in early December, serving his time during his birthday, Christmas, and New Year's. He left the prison, which was a 24/7 indoor county facility, a thinner, paler version of himself. It was actually sad to watch.
But he did it...as he should have.
Unlike many of his Hollywood contemporaries/cohorts, though, he didn't complain or blame society for what happened. He didn't negotiate for less time or use his status as a top-grossing movie star to get special treatment. He said from the start that he made bad choices and had to pay the consequences.
It was an interesting time in our household since it provided us as parents with (sadly) a good example of what happens when we make bad choices. My kids know how much I admire this actor so their eyes and ears were wide open to see how he chose to handle it.
So getting back to the story.
Kiefer seemed to stay out of the limelight for the last 7 months, opting to keep away from the talkshows and interviewers. We still got photos of him and little snippets of news stating what he was doing career-wise...but nothing really more personal than that.
But he is human after all. He needed time to heal and reflect, I'm sure.
Fast forward to now. With the upcoming opening of his newest movie Mirrors (which isn't being shown locally to me!!!! Grrrrr!! UPDATE: Yes, it is!! Whoo-Hoo!!), he finally made some appearances, chatting quite openly and frankly about his time in jail with David Letterman and admitting to several of the others that he made some bad choices and had to deal with that. He reflected on the fact that if you don't learn and grow from bad experiences/choices then you have a serious problem and the experience was for nothing.
I find it all very interesting.
While he's not perfect and still lives with the morals of the world, he provides a different reflection to the Hollywood image. Despite being in a constant limelight, he still shows us his human side and his respect for his fan base in general. He's humble enough to admit when he's done something very wrong and even humbler to accept without reservation the consequences that follow.
And that's a definitely refreshing change.
How many of us would do that in our little sphere of the world?