Kevin Bacon reckons he can still fit into those actual jeans from Footloose.
actor “There was a time when I was like, ‘All right, enough with Footloose.’ But it’s hung in there”
When an actor has a truly seminal hit like Footloose, fans still want to talk about it more than 30 years later. Is that something you’ve had to learn to be gracious about? You’ve hit the nail on the head. You have to show gratitude for anything that is positive in this career, because you’re going to have a lot of ups and downs. There was a time in my life when I was kind of like, “All right, enough with Footloose.” But it’s hung in there for so long that I’ve come back around to it. What am I going to do? You can’t fight city hall. And it was a great, life-changing experience for me, so if people like it, awesome. If push came to shove, at 58, do you think you could still fit into those epic high-waisted jeans from the dance sequence? Could I fit into those actual jeans? I think I could. I remember shooting one of the dance moves in the warehouse and the director, he could not get them tight enough. There was a point when they took big metal clamps and stuck ’em in the arse of the jeans to pull the fabric back as tight as they could. You’ve made so many movies we got wrist-cramp scrolling through your IMDB profile. Does it feel like you’ve been at this a long time, or are you just getting started? There’s plenty more to do. I like to keep looking down the road. I feel like stopping, looking back and reminiscing can sort of take the wind out of your sails. I tend to think forward. You’ve also done some TV in your time – including a singularly perfect cameo in Will & Grace. Are you excited to be part of a new series? I am. [TV] is where a lot of the good writing is; I’ve gone from a mainstream network to Amazon and doing something really outside the box. Your new show is called I Love Dick. Were you nervous about that title? No, I love the title. I love to make people say it. So you didn’t suggest that maybe they could all love Richard instead? Oh my god no, I think it’s one of the greatest titles ever. New York magazine summarised it this way: “The show stars Kathryn Hahn as Chris, Griffin Dunne as her husband, and Kevin Bacon as the Dick in question.” Are you braced for a decade of being dragged into these kind of jokes? Absolutely. Although it’s interesting because I actually told myself when we get on set, I’m not going to be able to avoid making dick jokes, one after another. But then I started thinking, “Well, I don’t want to create an unsafe working environment for anybody here, so maybe I need to refrain.” And frankly, I’ve hardly made any at all. I love that description though: “the Dick in question”. I also like “the titular Dick”. Since it is an Amazon series, does that mean you qualify for a staff discount? We’ve heard it’s 20 per cent off paperbacks and Kevin Bacon box sets. I’ve got to talk to someone about that. They don’t give
me anything. As far as I know, I don’t even get a T-shirt or a tote bag. You’ve been married to fellow actor Kyra Sedgwick for nearly 30 years, which is 29 years longer than the average Hollywood marriage. Do you get asked a lot for the secrets to a happy marriage? I do. I get asked so much, I’ve stopped answering. You’re also a dad to two adult children, one of whom has followed you into acting. Did you give her some kind of sit-down talk before letting her get on the Greyhound to Hollywood? My son, he’s 28, and a musician, and my daughter is an actress. [She] recently came to acting, about three or four years ago, when she decided to leave college. She’s interested in how things unfolded for me and my wife [but] I’ll always remind her that she’ll have her own process and way of doing things in her career. She can’t do it the way I did it, or the way my wife did it. I just love the fact my kids are at an age now that they’re willing to spend time with us. Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon was a major moment in pop culture. Even if it was a little frustrating at the time, you’ve since turned it into a charity, sixdegrees.org, so you must have a fondness for the concept? When it first came around, I didn’t know what it was and thought it must be kind of a joke at my expense. But I’ve grown to accept it, and I really believe that if you take me out of it, it’s a cool idea, that we are all connected. It would actually be nice to keep in mind in a global way. Right now, we’re one degree from Kevin Bacon. Do we get to keep that status forever, or is it only for the duration of this conversation? I’ll leave that to you to decide.