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Kiefer Sutherland: 'I have my mum to thank for my first acting job'

The actor released his debut album last year (16).

Kiefer Sutherland credits his childhood violin lessons for his first role.

The 24 star began playing violin at the age of four and the instrument turned him onto the guitar.

At seven he asked his mum, actress Shirley Douglas, if he could play the guitar, and she agreed if he practised the violin until he was 10.

But the following year, Kiefer put his violin skills to test in a play.

"When I was about 11 years old a friend of hers (mum) was directing a play about the Holocaust and he needed a young actor... who could play the violin at the opening of the first act...," he told U.S. chat show The Talk on Thursday (27Apr17). "So I need to thank my mom for making me play violin 'til I was 10, because I have been one of the most fortunate people I know. The last 30 years of being able to work as a professional actor has been the gift of a lifetime."

Kiefer's instrumental talents have also served him well in the music industry and last year (16) he released his debut studio album Down in a Hole.

"It was not a conscious effort," he said. "I had been writing a lot (of music) and always had. I started to get a little bit more prolific with it over the last 10 years when I was kind of surrounded by a lot of other musicians... and so I had a bunch of songs that I liked and my partner in music, a guy named Jude Cole, who's been my best friend forever... I took a bunch of songs to him and said, 'I'd like to record these and maybe see if another artist would like to do them.' He said, 'Why don't we record an album and see where it goes?'

"I said, 'Absolutely not, no way'. And Jude knows me pretty well and he took me to a bar... and all of a sudden it sounded like a better idea."

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