https://www.theguardian.com-As told to Rich Pelley
Kevin Bacon … ‘I love comedy, but it’s a club to which you have to have a membership, and I’ve never been able to crack that.’ Photograph: Getty Images/Getty Images for the Critics Choice Association
The actor answers your questions on filming in zero gravity, what happens if they play Footloose at a wedding he’s attending, and that scene in A Few Good Men
Top tips for the perfect bacon sandwich? TopTramp
Since the 80s, I’ve owned a farm with miniature horses and alpacas. We recently got a couple of pigs, June and Jonny, who I adore, so I don’t eat bacon any more. I don’t want to eat things that I have, so I don’t eat dog, horse, goat or pig.
What was it like filming Apollo 13 in reduced gravity? BellaTheCook
Incredible. We went up in an aircraft called the KC-135 that Nasa uses to simulate zero gravity. You fly over the Gulf of Mexico, the airplane dives, and as you come over the top of what they call the parabola, the centrifugal force and gravitational pull balance and you get to float for 24 seconds. Floating is relatively easy on film now with computers, but back in those days, trying to remove harnesses in post-production was really hard. I got to experience zero gravity with Bill Paxton, Tom Hanks and Ron Howard, with a level of terror and excitement like nothing else.
Tremors is a near-perfect B-movie. Did it feel a cut above most popcorn pictures at the time (1990)? How difficult was pole vaulting from rock to rock in super-tight jeans? JumpingSpider and SimonLegg
It did feel like a B-movie. When I took the part, I wasn’t really that excited. My career was in a slump, my first child was on the way and I felt overwhelmed at the prospect of fatherhood, so I took the job because we needed the money. I felt like I had slipped and things were really going south, doing a silly movie about underground worms. But once I say yes and I commit to something, I’m all in, and I loved making it.
We had a really fun, magical time up in the high desert in northern California. When the movie was released, it was not a hit. The studio didn’t know how to market funny and scary, so it was a disaster at the box office. But Blockbuster and VHS were big at the time, so it became this video hit that sparked five sequels and a TV series. I don’t remember the pole vaulting. My guess is that it was probably a stuntman, but I’ll have to look and see if it was me. It wasn’t the first or last time I’ve been in those kinds of tight jeans!
Could you still beat Steve Martin in a foot race for a taxi? Sagarmatha1953
I don’t know. We’d have to try it again! I heard they might be remaking Planes, Trains and Automobiles and was thinking it would be fun to reprise my role. I was in a movie called She’s Having a Baby that John Hughes directed after Pretty in Pink and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but before Planes, Trains and Automobiles. I had so much fun working on that, and when we wrapped, I said: “Hey, John, if you have got anything for me in Planes, Trains and Automobiles, put me in, I’ll do anything.” So he put me in that little bit in the beginning with Steve.
What was it like filming A Few Good Men – especially the “you can’t handle the truth” scene? Kloppofthepops, Prestonian79 and ArthurThistlewood
It was amazing. What people don’t understand about shooting films is that not only do you do multiple takes, but you also do many different angles, for example on Jack [Nicholson], the jury, Tom [Cruise] and me. They kept delivering that scene with so much power and enthusiasm, it was amazing to see two such great actors at work.
Did you have any doubts playing such a controversial character as Walter, the conflicted paedophile in your 2004 film The Woodsman? Would it still be made today? Howlinpete, fandango87 and TeeDubyaBee
Did I doubt it? No. When it comes to the roles I get the opportunities to play, nothing scares me. I might be scared in the sense of “Am I going to be able to handle this?” or “Am I going to do a good job?” But when it comes to “Am I worried that it’ll affect my image?” – I just don’t think about it. Good guy, bad guy: if it’s a great part, I’ll play it. I’ve played parts who have done terrible things to people and this was no exception. Would it be made today? Maybe. I think I underestimated how difficult it was for people to watch.
What would a man have if he had a visible bruising near the upper part of his zygomatic arch? BerengerH
I don’t know. Gills? When we were filming that scene [from 1982’s Diner] I didn’t get why it was going to work. But then I realised my character is very understated and comes across as a bit of a dummy. So it’s surprising [while watching a University Challenge-style quizshow] when he knows the answers to these pretty complicated questions. But, no, I can’t remember that zygomatic bruising would be a black eye and the sun never rises or sets on Mercury.
As a trans person unable to transition until my 30s, I’m curious as to what you’ve learned through your new film, They/Them? TheEvergreens
We’ve talked about being in the desert with Tremors and zero gravity in Apollo 13. One of the great things about film-making is that you get to explore things you wouldn’t normally get an inside look at. That applies to the people you get to work with. The casting in They/Them was very authentic. It was such a great experience to act with these incredibly inspirational young people, to think about their lives and point of view in the world, and talk about a subject that wouldn’t have been made a few years ago.
You’re in a band, the Bacon Brothers, with your brother Michael. What’s the nearest you’ve come to a Noel/Liam bust-up? Catupatree
It’s come to an arm-wrestle, but that’s probably the closest. There’s enough of an age gap between us [Kevin is 64, Michael 72] that we didn’t grow up trying to beat the hell out of each other. My brother was out of the house by the time I was six, and we didn’t get close until I was a teenager and started playing with him in a band. Let’s face it, most brother bands don’t last. I’m glad we haven’t had our Noel and Liam moment yet.
If you go to a wedding, do you really have to bribe the DJ not to play Footloose by Kenny Loggins? Kevcoe
That’s true: if they put on Footloose and I start jumping around, it becomes about me, and I don’t want to make the wedding about me. I’m not the star in that situation: the bride and the groom are.
You always come across as an affable chap, but play sleazy brilliantly, most recently as crooked ex-FBI agent Jackie Rohr in City on a Hill. Do you enjoy playing a well-written baddie? Vammyp, onlykidding, and Quicknstraight
I enjoy playing a well-written bad or good guy. They’re always writing good stuff for me in City on a Hill, so it’s always fun to play Jackie. People say: “Is it more fun to be bad?” I say: “No. It’s fun when the parts are well written. It’s no fun playing cookie-cutter bad guys or heroes with no depth or complication.”
Are peanut M&Ms banned in your house? Nicolawitters
No. I love peanut M&Ms, although my wife [the actor Kyra Sedgwick] is the chocoholic and sweet eater. I’m more of a salty, crunchy kind of guy. But it is true that I had to turn down dancing to Footloose dressed as a giant peanut M&M for a commercial, because my wife doesn’t like it when food talks. It’s just a thing she has. If she sees a talking grape, it freaks her out. When there was the possibility I might be a talking M&M, she just said: “No, that’s too far.”
Could you have done more comedy? You come across so laid back in person but so much of your filmography looks so bleak! OttoMaddox
I’ve been doing the EE stuff for over a decade. One of the initial things I responded to was that the spots were funny and that I had an opportunity to make fun of myself. I love comedy, but in our industry, comedy is a club to which you have a membership, and I’ve never been able to crack that membership. It’s never too late. If I had my druthers [choice], I think I would rather be known as a dramatic actor who occasionally wants to do comedy rather than a famous comedic actor who wants to be taken seriously as a dramatic actor. Our industry makes that transition a lot harder.
Kevin Bacon stars in EE’s latest advert, announcing the arrival of the iPhone 14 on EE