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Kevin Bacon Spent a Day as a Regular Person: “I Was Like, This Sucks”

You grew up with a famous father, though he wasn’t an actor. He was an important urban planner in Philadelphia who was on the cover of Time. Was fame something that you consciously wanted for yourself growing up?

A hundred percent. In terms of giving credit to my parents, and course I give all the credit to them, my mother was very much on the artistic side and really encouraged acting. My brother was a musician, but in general, amongst the six of us [children], they both encouraged as much creativity as possible in everything—dance, music, theater, painting, sculpture, whatever.

My father was famous in Philadelphia, which in some ways is a small pond, but for me it was a big pond. I saw him get recognized by people when he would walk down the street and seeing that was definitely a big driving force in my life. Frankly, I wanted to be more famous than him. And you can lay me down on the shrink’s couch. We could talk about that for a while. But it was definitely a motivator.

Your wife, Kyra Sedgwick, is also an actor, and your daughter Sosie is one as well. She asked you for help on her Philadelphia accent ahead of filming Mare of Easttown. Does she ask you for advice?

Interestingly, for many years, because she wasn’t an actress, she really did not ask for advice. Neither one of our kids really has asked us for advice about much of anything. Our son is a musician and a composer, and he’s actually getting into some filmmaking now.

When our daughter went into movies, that changed. Not about everything, but now we can have exchanges and conversations about the process of acting, and the process of career and agents and managers and auditions and deals, and all the other junk that we go through. She will send auditions [to us], and my wife is very much a director. She can be extremely helpful. Usually, my first response is, “If they don’t give you this part, they’re fucking idiots.” I always think that every audition that she does is like a swish.

Actors usually leave the horror genre behind after getting to a certain place in their careers but, four decades after your role in Friday the 13th, you’re still here. What keeps you coming back?

I’m a consumer of horror. I think that it’s always been discounted as a serious genre. You’re never going to see people—or maybe it’s starting to change—go up and accept an award for a horror movie. There was a moment in the seventies, with Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist, The Shining, and Don’t Look Now where it was starting to go in that direction. I think people were appreciating those.

And then, in the eighties—and I had something to do with this—you had the birth of the slasher movie. And all of a sudden they were thought of as cheap pieces of junk. Once you got out of horror, you’d never get back into it. Now, I love them. I don’t love ’em all. . .The other thing about it, as an actor, is a lot of times it’s a life and death situation. The stakes are very high, so you get great stuff to play.



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