Kevin Bacon bought a $500 disguise to protect himself from the public


With the impending arrival of X-Men: First Class, there has definitely been an influx of Kevin Bacon-related publicity that we haven’t seen since the days of Footloose. Interpret that however you will, but it can never be a bad thing to hear more about an actor who doesn’t suffer from the disease of specialness. This particular story, however, is both amusing and bittersweet; it seems that, once upon a time, Bacon had enough of the trappings of fame and made arrangements to disappear for a while or, at least, for a few hours at a time behind a disguise. Fortunately, the results were not to his liking:

A couple of years ago, Kevin Bacon needed a few degrees of separation from his fame. He daydreamed of a crowded place where people didn’t tug at his sleeve to gush about Footloose or quote Diner. Finally, he went to a Hollywood makeup specialist and invested in a custom-made disguise that was weirdly simple but completely effective. He paid the $500 and then, with an anxious glee, he took his new rubber face to the Grove shopping center to experience an afternoon without autographs.

“You wouldn’t have recognized me if I was standing next to you,” Bacon said with a faraway expression. “It was really bizarre and I didn’t really like it. I didn’t like it at all. People cut in front of you and when you’re at a check-out counter it’s just … different. People weren’t all that nice to me. I’m just not used to it.”

Sitting in a quiet corner of a Brentwood restaurant, the actor shook his head, perhaps surprised at his own candor and then laughed at himself. “I can’t imagine life without it,” he added, referring to fame, which started to come his way after he left moved to New York at age 18 to pursue theater. On screen he found foothold roles in Animal House in 1978 and on “The Guiding Light” in the early 1980s and, eventually, so many movies that they invented a game about it.

[James] McAvoy said the presence of Bacon on the set added a crackle to the production. “I don’t use this term but it just seems right — Kevin Bacon is just a cool cat. For me, as a moviegoer, if you tell me Kevin Bacon is playing a villain in a summer superhero movie, I’m there man. I’’ be excited, too, to see a film that is bold enough to go with that unexpected choice.”

For an actor with credits such as Mystic River, Apollo 13, The Woodsman, Frost/Nixon and A Few Good Men, stepping into a superhero film wasn’t going to happen unless there was a compelling reason. He cited the presence of producer Bryan Singer and director Matthew Vaughn and the chance to play a dark character who wants the world to burn but rarely raises his voice as his reasons for joining the mutant franchise.

“I haven’t been this guy before,” said Bacon, who studied years of comic books after taking on the role. “He’s a little bit Ted Turner, a little bit Hugh Hefner, a little bit Donald Trump. That’s how I see him. I wasn’t interested in him as scary evil. It was more about control. His power is a metaphor for who he is; he can be different things to different people and he also takes whatever energy you have and throws it back at you.”

[From Hero Complex]

The Bacon nearly left us! For some reason, I’m dying to know what this disguise looked like, but I guess we’ll never know unless Bacon decides to cart it along during his next visit to the Late Show with David Letterman. Bacon’s description of the Sebastian Shaw character only makes me want to see this movie more than I already did, which is really kind of embarrassing since I didn’t enjoy the other X-Men movies at all.

It’s also rather interesting that McAvoy popped into this interview as well; while he had nothing but insightful things to say about Bacon, he’s really doing a lot of the talking on this publicity tour, but I always figured him as the socially-awkward and retiring type instead of, you know, poor, shy Michael Fassbender.






Photos courtesy of WENN and AllMoviePhoto

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20 Responses to “Kevin Bacon bought a $500 disguise to protect himself from the public”

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  1. Rose says:

    I love Kevin Bacon. I walked passed him once in Covent Garden, London, he was smoking outside of a pub. I don’t know if we react differently to celebs in the UK but noone recognised him really and no one was pestering him. i walked passed and realised a pace later it was him. I would never go up and ‘tug at’ a celeb though. He’s nice. I hope no Arnie type stories come out about him, surely there’s one happy marriage in Hollywood?!

  2. SallyJay says:

    I saw him in a London restaurant a few months ago. I couldn’t believe it was him, he was sitting in corner by the window with another guy, just having some dinner, minding his own business. One of the staff said he goes there every time he’s in London. (I’m going to stake out the joint, hee!). Anyway of course I freaked out because I LOVE him. Totally wanted to go speak to him, bug him for an autograph, whatever. But there was something so unassuming about him that I just couldn’t disturb him. Having read this, so glad I didn’t. What a great guy, and a great actor.

    ETA – Rose, I just saw your comment. London’s the place to be for Kevin Bacon sightings, huh?!

  3. mia girl says:

    This guy just totally ninja mind f**ked me. A celebrity admitting that when they actually got real anonymity it sucked and that he much rather have his fame… this guy is the best!

  4. Eve says:

    He was so nice on Letterman. He talked about having his blackberry stolen, that he tried to chase the guy but as a 52 year old man he just couldn’t do catch up with him (and that was a stupid thing to do).

  5. Praise St. Angie! says:

    love this guy too.

    he’s so unpretentious…the DirectTV ads where he’s “Bacon’s biggest fan” and the Will & Grace where he hired Jack as an assistant (and made so much fun of himself) just show what a “cool cat” he really is.

  6. lilred says:

    He and Kira are delish.

  7. lucy2 says:

    I know, Praise, I think that W&G episode where he did the Footloose dance and had the music set to a Clapper made me completely love him – few others would have that sense of humor about themselves. He just seems like an honest, awesome guy.

  8. Solveig says:

    The way he describes what happened to him while in disguise and his feelings about being famous is so sincere and sweet that it’s hard not to like him as a person too.
    I love that dress on Kira.

  9. Stephie says:

    Enjoyed this article…. he seems like such a great guy, (and his wife is awesome too). I hope they’re all doing well.

  10. sapphire says:

    Love the Baconman and Kyra. Love even more that they will not talk about her family.

  11. bluhare says:

    He and Kyra are one couple that I hope is real, and not just Hollywood publicity hype. They seem much more together than most.

  12. Ari says:

    OoooOOoooh is he the black king? INTERESTING! I am an avid comic fan but I have not been following this movie one bit because well…Jones annoyed me to be honest lol

    I actually would have expected someone buffer to be honest but I am sure he will be great!

  13. Mary Jane says:

    OMG… I love him e’en more for admitting that he didn’t like the anonymity of the disguise! Yes, James, he is a “cool cat!”
    I’m not a huge fan of comic book flicks, but I cannot wait to see X-Men: First Class!

  14. TQB says:

    I love this publicity blitz! Daily coverage of Bacon and/or Kyra on a permanent basis would be delightful, thanks.

  15. gg says:

    I saw The Bacon Brothers in Nashville at a gig and they were great.

  16. couldnthelpit says:

    I used to live on the upper west side in NYC 4 yrs ago. This one time I was standing at the corner texting before jumping on the subway when I see this guy talking on his cell, walking his dog. From 20 ft away, I can hear him loudly say “yea, it’s kevin bacon…” Naturally I look up, but then looked back down at my cell. I swear to god, when we crossed pathes, he said loudly again “Yea, it’s Kevin Bacon..” like for my benefit. =P It was just us 2 on this street corner, haha.

  17. Birdix says:

    I saw him walking down the street in hells kitchen 10 years ago with a flock of paps clustering around him–looked pretty miserable.

  18. Liana says:

    I’ve had the pleasure of working as a PA assigned to him a few years back, when I was still really new in the business. What a nice man. And so refreshing that he admits to enjoy the certain trappings of fame.

  19. Mikunda says:

    He is a really good actor, and seems like a normal person too. That’s definitely rare:)

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