You’ve probably heard of the game. With Kevin Bacon’s vast and varied career, supposedly he is linked to every other actor in less than six steps. And yes, I am aware that it was preceded by a larger more philosophical theory that everyone in the world is connected within 6 steps, but back to the Bacon and his six degrees. For the record, I am technically two degrees away. I went to acting school with a girl that was in a movie with his beautiful wife, Kyra Sedgwick. But those are not the degrees of which I speak.
No, I’m talking about my six degrees of his films.
I first fell in love with him at the age of 13 when my parents took me to see “Footloose”. Bacon’s yellow Beetle-driving, warehouse-flipping, outlawed dance-planning Ren McCormack stole my heart. I so wanted to be Lori Singer in her red boots and tight jeans looking up at KB with those bedroom eyes.
This began my first post John Travolta as Danny Zuko crush. It continued with Jack Casey, a failed stock trader turned bike messenger in “Quicksilver”. He kept his dancing shoes, he just used them on his bike. I call this his on-the-edge heartthrob degree. It is a degree he has flirted with on-and-off in later films like “Picture Perfect” and “Crazy, Stupid, Love”. He remains heartthrob material to me!
Next came the late-eighties fantasy film degree including “She’s Having a Baby” and “The Big Picture”. These films had straight story lines that would diverge into fantasy, mid-scene. These were cute films, if not stellar, and he revisited this genre in 1991 with “He Said/She Said”. (“He Said/She Said” is currently playing on Netflix and has become my go-to film to help me sleep.)
Another degree has had him returning to dip his foot into the horror/thriller genre where his career began (remember the original “Friday the 13th”?) . This includes the moody, green-lit “Flatliners” and the comic-horror flick “Tremors”. Both were date films for my husband and I before we were married. So I can say that I had a 3-way date with my husband and Kevin. (Hey, it’s my blog, I can say whatever I want!) There was also “Stir of Echoes” (an under-rated film, if you’ve not seen it, it’s a good chiller) and “Hollow Man” (the title really sums up the film,)
In the early nineties, he entered his strongest degree which he has moved in and out of throughout his career. This is the “Serious Actor” degree. In the early to mid 90’s, KB started to be recognized as the strong actor he was with films like “A Few Good Men”, “JFK”, “Apollo 13”, and “Murder in the First”. More recently, we’ve seen this with “Mystic River” and “Taking Chance”. Not one to be limited to action or romantic comedy, he has gone toe-to-toe with the best and really held his own.
The degree I have liked least is Kevin Bacon as bad guy. I don’t mind him as bad boy (see above) but I have trouble with him in films like “The River Wild” and “X-Men: First Class”. To be honest, I think this has more to do with me than his acting. I just don’t want him to be the bad guy.
Which brings me to my sixth degree: Kevin Bacon as himself. My favorite all-time moment for KB was when he played an inflated version of himself in “Will and Grace”. The phone call to Kyra alone made the show worthwhile! And here is a great reminder of KB egging Will on to doing the famous footloose dance.
My two favorite Kevins battle it out here in this YouTube Video:
So that is the long and short (okay, the long) of my almost 30 year long affair with all six degrees of Kevin Bacon. Do you have a star that has been a part of your life for a long time? Who is your six degree obsession?