Corey Hawkins Interview: ’24: Legacy’ and Stepping Into Big Shoes

24 Legacy star Corey Hawkins
Corey Hawkins from ’24: Legacy’ at Comic Con 2016 (Photo © Richard Chavez)

Fox is bringing back the 24 premise of 24 episodes representing one hour each in a day in the life of Jack Bauer (played in eight seasons by Kiefer Sutherland) with the upcoming limited series, 24: Legacy. However, instead of 24 one-hour episodes, the 24 sequel/spin-off will consist of 12 one-hour real-time episodes. Taking over the lead role in the new limited series is Corey Hawkins, with Jimmy Smits and Miranda Otto in supporting roles. Fox has given 24: Legacy the prime spot following the 2017 Super Bowl on Sunday, February 5, 2017 as the launch date for the limited series.

Hawkins, Smits, and Otto made the trek to San Diego for the sold-out 2016 Comic Con to take part in a Q&A with fans. They also sat down for interviews in which series star Hawkins told us how he became involved in 24: Legacy after being a fan of the original 24 series for years.

The Plot: The series chronicles an adrenaline-fueled race against the clock to stop a devastating terrorist attack on United States soil – in the same real-time format that has propelled this genre-defining series.

Corey Hawkins Interview:

How did you get involved in 24: Legacy?

Corey Hawkins: “To my knowledge, and they could just be lying, but it was offered to me. I was in Vietnam shooting King Kong and we got a call from the Fox camp. I remember Skyping with Howard [Gordon] and with Manny [Coto]. They had asked if I was interested in playing the character. I’m sitting there and I’m like, ‘Am I being punked right now? What’s going on?’ You know what I mean? Because it felt surreal because I’m such a 24 fan and always was a 24 fan, grew up watching it and with the DVD box sets and all that stuff. Then I read the script. They sent me the script and they were like, ‘Do you want to do it?’ They didn’t think I’d say yes for whatever reason.

I read the script and I started getting goosebumps because that first episode, his life just goes like this, it just gets turned on its head. It gave me goosebumps. It felt like the original 24 but just with new characters. It didn’t feel like a reboot. It felt like a new edition of it and it was cool. I had to say yes. I literally got off the plane from Vietnam and went straight into the read through for it at Fox. Everybody, from the first line, ‘The following…’ it was great.”

Were you worried at all taking on this project that is so beloved and filling those big shoes?

Corey Hawkins: “It is a huge franchise to step into but I kind of like being an underdog, man. That’s kind of like when I said yes to playing Dr. Dre, it was kind of like should I do this? These are huge shoes to fill. But I like when people underestimate me a little bit so I can show what I can do, I guess. It’s definitely overwhelming, but I’m working with a great team and I’m working with a great group of guys. It feels right.”

24 was great for diversity in the supporting characters, but did it mean a lot to you that they were going in a diverse direction for the protagonist of 24: Legacy?

Corey Hawkins: “Personally, obviously it means a lot to me. Growing up, for me personally, I didn’t really get the opportunity to see an American hero that looked like me on screen, a full complex character with a beautiful family. I never got to see that, and a character with flaws. That’s the thing that meant a lot stepping into this because he’s such a well-rounded guy. It’s not all bad, it’s not all good. There’s so many things about this young man that will come to bear and come to light over the course of this season…his demons, his good qualities. Obviously being African-American and speaking to that was something that’s important to me.”

Watch the Corey Hawkins interview: