The sooner America puts a woman president in the White House the better, according to veteran actor Donald Sutherland, who plays the Machiavellian Nathan Templeton struggling against Geena Davis' President Mackenzie Allen in Commander in Chief. Sutherland (below) has never been afraid to speak his mind, and says that most of the world's ills today can be attributed to the fact that the leadership of the US is male. 'It's just so much better with a woman, don't you think?' he says. 'It's essential. 'I believe this country is going to be saved from the debauch, the problems that we're encountering with respect to everything about the future of our children. We have to have a woman president. We cannot do it with a man. They are not capable of understanding the welfare and future of our children. 'You have to birth them, to love them sufficiently to sacrifice political gain for the future to recognise that capitalism is not all that it's cracked up to be ... if we're going to save ourselves, we have to have a woman.' Sutherland says he believes, from personal experience, that women were better decision-makers than men. 'It's not as simplistic as war or not war, but just the reaction process. If I look at my relationship, if I were to trust either my wife or myself as a reaction to whatever happens in reality, I'd go 100 per cent with my wife because her natural instinctive reactions would just embarrass me,' says Sutherland, who's been married three times. 'Men haven't done well - it's time to give somebody else a chance.' The 70-year-old Canadian refuses to be drawn on which female politician he might support, however. 'I wouldn't even put my foot anywhere near that question,' he says, when Hillary Clinton's name is mentioned. Now at home in Los Angeles, Sutherland admits to being surprised by the affection in which he is held by the public. 'I have been around for such a long time and people are really lovely to me, really lovely. I was in Ikea this morning and everybody was just lovely. They treat me like I'm kind of a failed poet.' A failure he certainly isn't. Born in St John, New Brunswick, Canada, Sutherland began his career as a disc jockey at the age of 14. A turn in a University of Toronto production of The Tempest caught the eye of theatre critic Herbert Whitaker, who urged him to pursue acting full-time. He moved to London to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. He performed in the West End and took on a variety of film roles before rising to international prominence in Robert Altman's M*A*S*H. Despite more than 40 years in film and television, he has no plans to retire any time soon. 'If anyone has any suggestion as to how I might answer that, I'd be thrilled. I think the word 'death' is the operative answer. That's the retirement that I'm thinking of. 'At the moment, we work hard, but three times a week I get up at 3.30am. I go to my Pilates class at 4.30am. The main problem with my working life is that I end up having two breakfasts. I said to my wife the other day, 'Do I look tired?' And she said, 'No. You look fat. You have to lose weight.' So that's my major concern at the moment.'