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Gugu Mbatha-Raw Teams Up with Kiefer Sutherland in 'Touch'
Kiefer Sutherland is back on the small screen in the highly anticipated new series, Touch, which revolves around widowed father Martin Bohm (Sutherland) who discovers that his 11-year-old autistic son Jake, who has never spoken and refuses to let anyone touch him, can predict events through patterns in numbers.
British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Undercovers, Larry Crowne) co-stars as Clea Hopkins — a social worker who is assigned to Jake's case.
Viewers can watch a special sneak peek of the show's first episode on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 9pm on FOX. The show will begin its regular run Monday, March 19 at 9pm.
Mbatha-Raw talked to Parade.com about her take on the unique series.
"On paper, Jake's case appears to be a complete mess. He's getting into dangerous situations and going missing and my character's concern is that his father is not adequate and perhaps the state needs to intervene for the boy's well-being. Martin is very fixed on these special numbers and the abilities his son may have. Clea is pretty skeptical about that to begin with until she has a moment where Jake is able to use the numbers to connect to her on a personal level."
On what drew her to the role.
"I always knew that Kiefer Sutherland was attached to the show, so I was thinking, 'ok, this is going to be something special.' I read the script and was blown away by the emotional element. It really has a global scope in addition to the emotional journey of a father wanting to connect to his son. I really liked the message that it sent across. It's soulful and about the idea that we're all connected in life"
On co-star Kiefer Sutherland.
"Kiefer is such a pro. He's incredibly smart and very experienced and so well-loved. You really feel that energy around him. People really do respect him. He's also very passionate and committed to telling the story as best he can. I'm learning a lot from working with him. He's a very inspiring guy."
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On what's ahead for their two characters.
"Their relationship starts to develop on many levels. Initially, Jake is the priority for both of them and Martin is still grieving the loss of his wife, who passed away on 9/11, so there are a lot of issues there. Clea is also struggling with her own demons, which will be revealed a little later in the season."
On her role in the short-lived series Undercovers.
"It was a great experience to do that show and I'm forever grateful to J.J. Abrams [Lost] for giving me the opportunity. It was great to do the action and something a little lighter with comedic elements. Touch, however, is 100% drama, which is really nice for me having come from a theater background. To return to more of a heavyweight drama is a really nice evolution."
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On the shows she makes sure to DVR.
"It sounds crazy, but I don't always have a lot of time to commit to watching a TV show. But being a Brit, I have to stand up for my British shows. When I was home recently, I really got into watching Downton Abbey, which is quite a different style. It's always refreshing for me to watch something that's period. There's an escapist element in that."
On her early acting ambitions.
"I've always been drawn to performing and acting ever since I was a little girl. I loved dancing as well, but I've always been very creative. I think if I weren't an actor, I would probably be a painter or some kind of artist. Although, I think the reason I chose acting was because you get to interact with people. If I was an artist, I'd probably turn into a hermit!"