Tele­vi­sion: Fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of Kevin Ba­con .....

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - CONTENTS -

WHEN Shawn Ash­more was cast along­side Kevin Ba­con in crime se­ries The Fol­low­ing the first thing he did was find his ‘‘Ba­con num­ber’’. Us­ing a Google search engine, Ash­more dis­cov­ered there was only two de­grees of sep­a­ra­tion be­tween him­self and the Hol­ly­wood star.

It’s not un­com­mon for ac­tors to find their ‘‘Ba­con num­ber’’, which is based on the party game Six De­grees of Kevin Ba­con, be­fore start­ing work with him.

The pop-cul­ture craze started when Ba­con once com­mented he’d worked with al­most ev­ery­one in Hol­ly­wood.

Google de­signed a search engine around the game – all you need to do is type in an ac­tor’s name and the words ‘‘ba­con num­ber’’ and the fig­ure ap­pears.

‘‘I did the maths as soon I fig­ured out I got the show,’’ says Ash­more on phone from Canada.

‘‘I worked with Jonathan Tucker and he worked in movie ( Sleep­ers) with Kevin, so I was two de­grees be­fore, and now I am one.

‘‘Ev­ery­body who works with Kevin does the math to work out where they were be­fore­hand.’’

The Fol­low­ing, an in­tense crime se­ries about an FBI agent track­ing down a se­rial killer, is Ash­more’s big­gest break in tele­vi­sion.

Ba­con plays Ryan Hardy, a for­mer FBI agent who is re­called to ser­vice to act as a con­sul­tant for the agency while Ash­more plays young FBI agent Mike We­ston.

Ash­more says the se­ries was a turn­ing point in his own ca­reer as he grad­u­ated from fresh-faced, younger roles to a more gritty and ma­ture char­ac­ter.

‘‘I feel like a real man now, they’ve given me a badge and gun,’’ says Ash­more, tongue in cheek.

‘‘I know I’m jok­ing, but there is an ex­pec­ta­tion of ma­tu­rity and re­spon­si­bil­ity when you play some­one in a pro­fes­sion as se­ri­ous as this, who puts their life on line each day.’’

While The Fol­low­ing is Ash­more’s big­gest break in TV, play­ing Ice­man in the lat­est in­stal­ment of the X-Men movie fran­chise is the big­gest film pro­duc­tion he has been as­so­ci­ated with.

He reprises his role as Ice­man in the X-Men: Days Of The Fu­ture Past, which is be­ing filmed in Canada.

He first played Ice Man in the orig­i­nal X-Men, then again in X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand.

‘‘ The Fol­low­ing is the big­gest break purely from the ex­po­sure it gets,’’ Ash­more says.

‘‘My big break in films was get­ting asked to come back in X2.

‘‘That’s what lifted me and gave me con­fi­dence . . . from strug­gling and to give act­ing a go but X-Men: Fu­ture Past is the big­gest in bud­get and scale wise that I have ever worked on.’’

The Fol­low­ing: Wed­nes­day (June 12), 9.30pm, Nine, NBN.

Shawn Ash­more

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