Kevin Bacon: Back In Action
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In 1995, a year that found him at the height of his fame with starring roles in Apollo 13 and Murder in the First, The Bacon Brothers were born. At first Bacon was reluctant to return to his musical roots, but once he and Michael started playing shows—beginning at small clubs in upstate New York and Philadelphia—he relished the thrill of live performance. “Anything can happen,” he says. “Forget a lyric, break a string or knock something over... there’s no second take. It got me those butterflies back.” Singing and songwriting also allowed Bacon to showcase his hometown pride in a way he couldn’t through his acting. “Even though I don’t get back that often, I kind of feel like I’m always pulling for Philly,” he says. “I don’t really think it gets its props, you know?”
Near the end of 2009, it was obvious, as much as he loved being able to focus on making music, Bacon was jonesing for an acting job. “Acting is very therapeutic, sometimes even cathartic,” he told me the morning after the B.B. King show. “I love doing it. I love the time between ‘action’ and ‘cut.’ The rest of the stuff can get a little old, you know—waiting for the phone to ring, sitting in a makeup chair. But the time that I’m actually acting, which is a minuscule part of my life, is extremely satisfying.” At that point, more than a year had passed since he’d filmed Taking Chance, an HBO historical drama about bringing home a fallen soldier from Iraq (which thus far hadn’t garnered much recognition for its leading man). And earlier in 2009, after rumors swirled that he and Sedgwick lost a significant amount of their savings in Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, Bacon had publicly stated that he needed work. It suddenly seemed possible, as he pulled down a woolen cap to shield himself against the cold October morning, that being Hollywood’s known quantity might not be enough anymore.
This makes it all the more satisfying to report that just 12 months later, Bacon seems to be back at the top of his game. “It’s been a great year,” he tells me cheerfully by phone from London, where he’s staying while filming the latest installment in the X-Men franchise. “It’s almost embarrassing to say that it’s been such a great year when I think about how so many people in this country and the rest of the world have struggled. But I’ve had work, and the work has been really satisfying and fun, and I’ve really enjoyed acting.”
He has no doubt been bolstered by the Golden Globe and the SAG Award he picked up in January. At both ceremonies, Bacon took home the prize for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television for Taking Chance—a career milestone he didn’t see coming. “The response was certainly beyond anything that I had expected,” he says. “It was great. I mean, I can’t say that you walk away from it and you get the statues and the phone’s ringing off the hook the next day. I wish I could say that that’s the way it happens.”
NEW YEAR, NEW ROLES
Bacon's dance card for 2011 is filling up fast: Bacon has a bit role in a comedy with Steve Carell and Julianne Moore (tentatively titled Crazy, Stupid, Love) and stars alongside Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page in Super, an offbeat caper about a regular guy who decides to don a superhero costume and fight evil.
photograph by tim white
Grooming by April Barton’s Suite 303
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