Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer saved the world in eight seasons of 24, the landmark Fox action-drama that defined the actor’s career. As much as the character was beloved by fans, the entire cast and crew are the ones who endeared themselves to Sutherland.
The veteran actor, star of ABC’s Designated Survivor, opened up about working on the series during The Jess Cagle Interview on the People/Entertainment Weekly Network. Though it was a trying experience — six-day work weeks, long production days, shooting for nine months out of the year — it fostered a familial camaraderie.
“I think we had 30 some-odd weddings, marriages. Some people both on the show or another. I think some 40 some-odd children were born,” he tells Cagle. “The get-togethers were amazing. … We were known as the show that: if you invited us to the Emmys, or you invited us to the Golden Globes, or the Screen Actors Guild awards, we were the last to leave.”
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The one memory Sutherland distinctly recalls came at the very end of filming. A long-time handheld camera operator was picking up final coverage. When Sutherland extended his hand for a handshake, he tried to thank the cameraman, but was too emotional to eek words out.
“That’s the thing that I really remember was how much those people meant to me,” he adds. “And I probably didn’t let them know enough how much they did, but they did. It was the thing that I miss the most. We all spent eight years trying to finish this thing and we finally did. … I was lost for about a year. It was like the worst breakup I have ever had. It was very bizarre.”
Designated Survivor airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT on ABC. Watch the full Sutherland interview on PEN. Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the free app on your Smart TV, mobile and web devices.