Kiefer Sutherland started acting professionally when he was just 15 years old. Now, at age 48, he has built up a significant body of work — one that has led him to be named a Trailblazer in Acting at this year’s Whistler Film Festival.

“To be acknowledged for that here in Canada obviously is very, very special,”; the actor reveals to ET Canada. “I try to treat that kind of an accolade, like being honoured here at the festival, with as much humility as possible.”;

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Sutherland, a Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner, tells us he feels lucky to be able to do what he does for a living: “I think I was very fortunate when I started that I really didn’t know anything and kind of blindly went from job, to job, to job… I just assumed that this was going to be my life and it wasn’t till later that I realized, “Oh no, this could all go away very fast.'”;

His big break came in 1986 when he nabbed the role of Ace, the local bully, in Rob Reiner’s Stand By Me. “I don’t think anybody anticipated the level of success that film would end up achieving, but it certainly changed my life,”; he says. “I mean, my life changed overnight… that film just got bigger and bigger and bigger and that film started my career.”;

And now, for the first time in his career he is working with his father — Donald Sutherland. While the two have appeared in the same movies in the past, it’s in the upcoming film Forsaken that they actually get to act alongside each other.

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“I gave [the script] to my father and asked if he’d be interested in doing it and I was just so grateful and relieved by his response,”; he admits. “; He seemed to be as excited as I was.”;

In the movie, Kiefer and Donald play a father and son who have a strained relationship. And Kiefer tells us some of the emotional scenes meant something more while acting opposite his dad: “When I looked at my father, it kicked in, in a way I’ve never experienced with another actor… it was very profound for me and very grateful to have the opportunity to do it.”;

Forsaken is set to hit movie theatres in the New Year.