Over the weekend at San Diego Comic-Con, Freddie Prinze Jr called '24' action star, Kiefer Sutherland, "unprofessional" while putting the man on blast for being short. Sutherland, Fox officials, and former 24 actors respond.
Freddie Prinze Jr.'s got serious beef with 24 star Kiefer Sutherland and made that clear over the weekend at San Diego Comic-Con. The two actors worked side-by-side a lot, so there has to be a strong basis for the dislike, right?
Prinze described the miserable experience to Jason Nathanson of ABC News, who asked about previous jobs and sets-the usual questions. What came out was entirely unexpected. "I just wanted to quit the business after that. So, I just sort of stopped." But what was so terrible, exactly?
"I did '24,' it was terrible. I hated every moment of it." The 38-year-old continued, slamming his former co-star. "Kiefer was the most unprofessional dude in the world. That's not me talking trash, I'd say it to his face, I think everyone that's worked with him has said that."
Former 24 actors Sara Gilbert and Aisha Tyler defended the actor on CBS's The Talk on Monday, July 28. Gilbert mused if it was a difference of experience based on gender, while Tyler pointed out that not many actors will come in for readings on their days off like Kiefer. Or the possibility of a bad start that just can't quite work itself out.
Adding to the mystery machine is while Sutherland has problems, especially legal and alcohol, Prinze offered nothing but praise for the English actor during the press tour for the series' eighth season. So, why now? Is it because The Lost Boy and Brat Packer's all over the news right now?
And Sutherland may have issues with co-stars, but an open secret in Hollywood doesn't necessarily translate to common knowledge. Which is a fact the Scooby Doo star should know quite well, given his own family history and professional background.
Not to mention implying the other actor caused him to go work for the WWE's Vince McMahon instead. That's a little bit of an exaggeration, right? Apparently, the job was "crazier than working with Kiefer, but he [McMahon] was at least cool." The WWE owner was apparently the right height, too.
Turns out Kiefer's shorter stature created drama for the younger actor. In reference to McMahon, the Head Over Heels actor proclaimed, "I didn't have to take my shoes off to do scenes with him." At over 6 feet tall, Prinze found having to make concessions to be a problem. "Put the guy on an apple box, or just don't hire me next time." Ouch, sounds a bit raw there.
Kiefer's rep told the network, "Kiefer worked with Freddie Prinze, Jr. more than 5 years ago, and this is the first he has heard of Freddie's grievances." And added, "Kiefer enjoyed working with Freddie and wishes him the best."
A Fox official told TMZ that Kiefer was "nothing but professional during the run of the show and is beloved by cast and crew." The source claims the questions on professionalism are "so out of left field, 5 years later."
Nathanson reports Prinze was at the comic convention to promote his Disney XD series Star Wars Rebels. Was this an attempt at creating some press for the series, or a legitimate complaint? No one knows since the She's All That star's remained silent since the story broke.
In the meantime, Sutherland is preparing to work with 24 co-star Stephen Fry, who played British Prime Minister Alastair Davies, in a Sky Arts drama Playhouse Presents…Marked. According to The Independent, the one-off will feature the action hero playing a man named James, "who agree[s] to do a hit for his neighbour in order to pay off debts."
Fry's appearance at the critical moment spirals the story out. The British actor will also be executive producing the project with Gina Carter and Jo McClellan. Greg Ellis will be writing and directing Marked.
And the Stand By Me actor next film will be staring alongside his father, Donald Sutherland (The Hunger Games, Buffy The Vampire Slayer), in a western titled Forsaken. Currently, Forsaken's in post-production.
Donald will play Reverend Clayton, father to Keifer's gun slinging character, John Henry Clayton. John Henry'll be looking to making a connection with the reverend and to mend fences. The western'll be a first time the pair've worked together.
Earlier this year, Kiefer told Jonathan Ross the filming experience was something he'd been "looking forward to and nervous about for 25 years."
Sounds like he's not worried too much about Prinze has to say.