Freddie Prinze Jr.If you were a sentient teen in America in the late 1990s and early 2000s, you remember Freddie Prinze Jr., he of the boy-next-door good looks, the dewy-faced star of seminal adolescent fare like She's All That, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and, of course, Summer Catch. He was a big man on the nation's campus, beloved and admired and perhaps even a little bit feared. But as happens with most teen idols, his career faded as he and his fan base got older. So you would think that in 2010, nearly a decade after the height of his fame and power, Prinze would have been grateful to get a season-long role on the popular jingoism melodrama 24. And yet, in a new interview with Good Morning America, Prinze says that the case was anything but.
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He had a miserable time! He almost quit the biz because of it. Why? Because of the show's star, Kiefer Sutherland. Prinze candidly said, "It was terrible. I hated every moment of it. 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." Yikes! What was so bad about working with Sutherland? It's not entirely clear, but when comparing working for WWE's Vince McMahon (a thing Freddie Prinze Jr. did recently) with working with Sutherland, Prinze said, "I didn't have to take my shoes off to do scenes with him, which they made me do. Just put the guy on an apple box or don't hire me next time. You know I'm six feet and he's five foot four." The "him" there is McMahon, the "they" is, I'm assuming, the staff at 24. So it sounds like maybe Sutherland was just kind of a diva?
Whatever Sutherland was doing, Prinze says the experience was so bad that it drove him to nearly quit acting. "I just wanted to quit the business after that. So, I just sort of stopped," Prinze said. Which. Hm. How fascinating! So that's the reason Freddie Prinze Jr. hasn't been working much recently. It had nothing to do with talent or the terrible creep of time. It was all about Kiefer Sutherland. If you've been missing Freddie Prinze, don't blame anyone or anything other than Kiefer Sutherland. Freddie Prinze Jr. totally would have been acting up a storm in the past few years, had Kiefer Sutherland only stood on a damn apple box. But he didn't, and so we were all denied the Freddie we so desperately wanted. Maybe even needed.
And who would ever question Prinze about this? We've all heard stories about Sutherland, whispers and murmurs about various things he's done. So it doesn't come as much of a shock to hear that he made someone miserable on set. Which really makes it the perfect excuse if a career has taken a bit of a downturn. "Oh, uh, it was Kiefer! That's why. Kiefer. I got Kief'd." "Ah, say no more." It's unimpeachable. Obviously, in Prinze's case it's one hundred percent true, but I'm just saying that if someone else, maybe a Jason Patric or someone like that, wanted a good explanation for why things lagged at various points, Kiefer's right there waiting for them.
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