The cool thing about Kevin Bacon is that he doesn't really seem like a movie star. He seems like, you know, a guy. The kind of guy it would be fun to hang out and shoot the shit with.
He's good looking, but not George Clooney good looking. He's been married to the same woman, Kyra Sedgwick, for 23 years. He doesn't pretend to hate the perks of celebrity. He was uncomfortable with that whole Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon thing, until he decided to use it for good with a website for charitable giving.
He's serious about his craft and always has something interesting going on. His most recent projects are Jayne Mansfield's Car, an independent film written and directed by Billy Bob Thornton; and a splashy comic-book film, R.I.P.D., with Jeff Bridges. Both are due out in 2013. His death in X-Men: First Class was cited by Entertainment Weekly as the summer's best movie death; the movie is out on DVD and Blu-ray today.
Bacon seemed a little awkward at first last night, as the featured speaker at the Nasher Salon. Entertainment reporter Sandie Newton, who conducted the interview, started with a bunch of typical needy-Dallas tell-us-you-love-us questions.
Yes, the Nasher is "stunning," he said. The art is "breathtaking." Yes, he visited Dallas before, when his wife was shooting Born on the Fourth of July but he doesn't really remember it. Yes, he thinks Booker T., where he'd spoken to about 400 students and dropped in on classrooms earlier in the day, is wonderful. "I wish I'd had that as a kid," he said. (OK, we're cool with heaping praise on Booker T.)
Newton gushed about Bacon's youthful looks. "I have the finest plastic surgeon working around the clock," he said. And he squirmed a little when she asked for marriage tips. "We like each other, we hang out," he said, adding, "My tip is when it comes to successful marriages, don't look to movie star tips."
You're a cool dude, Kevin. Let's talk about other stuff. (He did. It's after the jump.)
On his childhood: "My parents put any kind of creativity on a pedestal. They didn't care if we made good grades or money. As a result, most of us did neither." On music: "I never had the discipline to learn an instrument. I wanted the rock stardom without all the work." On his breakthrough role in Footloose: "When I got the part, I took my work extremely seriously. It doesn't matter how goofy the project is, I have to take it seriously. You have to be invested in the character...I didn't really know we were making a dance movie." On the enduring popularity of Footloose: "If something has hang time, if it stays with people and people are affected by it, then it has something to say." On director Craig Brewer's upcoming remake of Footloose: "They wrote a part for me, it just wasn't that great a part. For me to be in the movie would be doing the movie a disservice. You'd be going along, getting into it, and then there I'd be." On acting: "The thing I really love is the time between 'action' and 'cut.' I can't stand sitting in the trailer, the make-up thing, sometimes the director is an idiot...:" On directing: "You have to really, really have a story you want to tell because it's going to take so much time." On one thing he knows about the movie business: "It's in a state of flux because of file sharing." On today's movies: "Sydney Lumet, for example, consistently made amazing films, they weren't effects driven ...That kind of movie has sort of disappeared from the studio system. It's harder and harder, from an acting standpoint, to make a living." On the inspiration for his new charitable venture: "Six Degrees seemed to not be going away. I was hoping it would but it just had this amazing hang time. Then one day I opened the refrigerator and there was Paul Newman staring at me..." On taking tango lessons with Sedgwick in Buenos Aires: "It was probably the worst two hours of my life. We sucked so bad. We tried to laugh about it, but we're not people that are really great at not being good." On Ron Howard, who directed him in Apollo 13 and Frost/Nixon: "There's a very small club of directors who have actually hired me twice ... He's very, very energetic and extremely enthusiastic about movie making." On Colin Firth, with whom he did a threesome sex scene in Where the Truth Lies: "When you go through something like that with an actor, you form a lifelong bond. We're good friends."
Oh boy. Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon hanging out? How much fun does that sound like?