Kiefer Sutherland is still recognized by fans for spending nearly a decade protecting the president on the hit series “24,” but these days, he’s putting his non-stop action-packed days behind him for the ever-traveling life of a singer/songwriter — and he’s not afraid to open up to his fans.
The 50-year-old actor, who made his music debut with his country album, “Down in a Hole,” admitted to Fox News that he initially didn’t intend on getting so personal with his lyrics, or even releasing them to the public for that matter.
“I think at the heart of it, the songs that I was writing were for myself and then I ultimately played them for a couple people,” explained Sutherland. “And those people were the ones that really said, ‘No, you should record that song and you should actually try to put it out.’ And that was its own kind of discussion down the line.”
Sutherland also revealed: "But when I sat down to write the songs, I think there was a lot of stuff kind of in my 40s that I was trying to come to terms with and stuff that I kind of maybe not dealt with from my early 20s."
There is one track from Sutherland’s collection of 11 songs that details one of the greatest pains of his youth.
“You know, there’s one song on the record called ‘Calling Out Your Name,’ which was about a personal breakup and I think probably the first time in my life where my heart really got broken,” he said.
“And over time, you realize how young you were and how young the other person was and I guess I was just trying to put it to rest," he added. "It ended up coming out in that song. And I realized, looking back, that there were so many factors… but going to write that song actually forced me to look at it in a different way. It helped me put that experience to bed, if you will.”
While Sutherland never names the mystery woman, one clue points to his past relationship with America’s Sweetheart. At age 24, Sutherland was involved with Julia Roberts, then 23, for more than a year when they decided to get married in 1991.
The pair, who met on the set of the 1990 film “Flatliners,” were set to tie the knot, but just two days before she was slated to walk down the aisle and say “I do,” Roberts called off the high-profiled wedding, taking Hollywood by surprise and immediately stirring headlines.
The New York Daily News reported that on the day of her ceremony, the “Pretty Woman” star reportedly spent the day with Sutherland’s friend, actor Jason Patric, which caused controversy by sparking romance rumors immediately after she pulled the plug on her wedding to Sutherland.
About 25 years later, Sutherland said he was glad that Roberts called off the wedding.
“We were young, and we were both very much in love, and we had decided that we wanted to get married. But then this other thing kind of took over,” he explained in 2016 during an appearance on “The Jess Cagle Interview.” “She was arguably the most famous woman in the world, and this wedding that was supposed to be something between the two of us, became something so big.”
Sutherland added that the growing pressures of Hollywood and Roberts’ growing fame as an A-lister proved too much for the couple to endure.
“Then, in the middle of that, I think she had the courage — it wasn’t what she wanted to do in the end,” he said. “I think it took a lot of courage, even amongst all of that other stuff, to be able to say, ‘I can’t do this.’ I think she was being realistic for herself. I think that’s much better.”
Whether Sutherland is seeking closure from the public breakup through music is unknown. But as he gears up for his American and European tours, he assures us that he’s in a much better, happier place, both personally and professionally.
“[And] I think all of the songs were kind of poignant moments in my life where I had to figure out something in order to move forward,” he said. “And writing these songs was very helpful for me to do that.”