Kevin Bacon on never being Oscar-nominated: ‘What am I doing wrong?’


Kevin Bacon has a new interview with Haute Living Magazine. He’s promoting his Fox show, The Following, which I HATED. I watched the first season and while there were some interesting moments, the show is a mess and I thought it was sort of beneath Bacon’s talents as an actor. I have high expectations for both Kevin and his wife Kyra Sedgwick. Kyra’s amazing turn on The Closer ranks as one of my favorite female-driven shows in recent memory (Bacon directed several episodes too). Anyway, Bacon’s interview is worth a read because he rarely does in-depth interviews like this and because he’s actually got a lot of interesting stuff to say about life, Hollywood, money and fame. Some highlights:

Being afraid of television work: “People would say, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to have a steady gig?’ and I’d say, ‘I don’t want a f****ng steady gig! I want to do this and go here, and play this guy, and this guy, and this guy. [Kyra and I] are road warriors; our kids are road warriors. It’s part of why I was always a little afraid of television. When I started being an actor, the last thing I wanted to do was a TV series. It might be hard for people to remember, but in the 1970s when I started, there were TV actors and movie actors; they weren’t the same. You’d be in television until you’d be able to get a career in movies, and then you’d never look back. I wanted to do stage and movies, but I really didn’t want to do television.”

He loves TV now: “This is the golden age of TV. I love TV. It’s shifting in a really remarkable way. Creatively, it’s gotten better and better….Great writing makes great television. I wanted a good, complicated part—and that’s what television was offering.”

When he decided to do TV, he wanted a cable show: “With my snobbery, I was like, ‘The show has to be on HBO or Showtime.’ Over the course of the years, it could have been AMC or FX, but it definitely couldn’t be network.”

He’s in ‘Black Mass’, the Whitey Bulger film: “I have a supporting part with a really great cast, [including] Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch and Joel Edgerton. Black Mass was an interesting part for me, because I play the boss. Again, I’m an FBI agent—in this case, running the Boston field office. I’m the guy that’s pissed off at the younger agents. I’ve never played this guy before—I’m always the guy that’s getting yelled at by the boss. It was kind of fun, but also kind of a realization that ‘OK, I’m old enough to play the boss.’”

Losing millions in Bernie Madoff’s 2008 Ponzi scheme: “It was a bad day, an absolutely horrible feeling, but you roll up your sleeves and get back to work. There was nothing that I had at that point that my wife and I hadn’t worked very hard for. We kind of said though, ‘Well, our families are OK, the kids are healthy, and we’re healthy; we’ll get back to work.’ What else are you going to do? There are a lot of people who had it a lot worse than we did.”

Learning to really love LA: “For my wife and I, for so many years, a lot of our identity was based on being Hollywood haters. We were like, ‘We’re east coast. We’re New Yorkers. This is just a place that we have to come to, but not by choice’…We had a giant shift in our lives. We were about to leave for the last time—Kyra was done with the show and we were packing up to go… We were having a conversation and Kyra said, ‘I’m really going to miss this.’ I said, ‘I’m really going to miss this too.’ So I called up a real estate broker and found a little house that was literally steps away from the last place we were renting, and now we’re truly bi-coastal. We have realized that we love [Los Angeles] and have really embraced it.”

He’s never been Oscar-nominated: “I go back and forth on it. I kind of feel like, ‘What am I doing wrong?’ Sometimes I think, ‘You’ve just got to let yourself off the hook about it.’ I’m still able to make a living being an actor, and that is a tough thing to do for as many years as I’ve done it; I feel good about that. As much as I would love to have any kind of statue that I could, when people tell me they love the show [it’s enough]. If you could bottle that or put that on your mantle…The awards do afford you opportunities, and that would be something that would be nice to crack. When studios are putting together financing for a movie, they would love nothing better than something that says, ‘Oscar-nominated’ or ‘Oscar-winning.’ Those kind of things open up more doors, and that’s really what you want to do as you get to be my age—you want to keep doors open.”

[From Haute Living]

You know what I love? He mentions “Kyra” or “my wife” about a million times in the interview. They’ve been married for 26 YEARS. And they’ve been good years too, years of raising their children and working on good projects and it’s a life they’ve spent wholly together, as true partners. And after all of that, you can just feel the love between them still.

As for the Oscar stuff… I feel like if someone gives him a really great supporting film role, he will end up getting an Oscar nomination and maybe even winning it, like a lifetime achievement for decades of good work (which is what just happened with JK Simmons).

Bacon also goes on at length about fame and how it’s “99.9% good” to be famous, that famous people are treated differently (better) but that yeah, in some smaller ways it’s sucks. He also drops this quote: “I’ve always said before that there are two kinds of actors: actors that want to be famous, and liars.” Word.


Photos courtesy of Randall Slavin/Haute Living.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

73 Responses to “Kevin Bacon on never being Oscar-nominated: ‘What am I doing wrong?’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. original kay says:


    well, Tremors remains one of my all time favourite movies (truth).

    It was interesting enough to read how he changed his attitude about TV. Read: I lost a lot of money and TV seemed a good way to make it back, quickly.

    • Lb says:

      I’d say it’s the money issue and also the fact that TV has become a way more interesting medium than movies over the past two decades. It’s probably great for actors to really dig deep into characters that are being written in remarkable ways.

      Tony Soprano, Olivia Pope, Walter White, Skylar White, Claire Underwood, Raylan Givens, Don Draper, Tyrion Lannister, David Fosher, the list goes on and on…any actor should be so lucky to play these parts, among others. I can also see why he thought cable was better – the characters and writing are usually edgier there, but network TV is trying lately in that regard.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        And the show he is doing doesn’t get a full season, barely a half season, so he is free to pursue other projects.

      • Deering says:

        Hey, don’t forget Cookie Lyon. Taraij is gonna take home an Emmy for sure for that. 🙂

      • Mispronounced Name Dropper says:

        HBO has surpassed Hollywood. But there’re plenty of great films being made outside of Hollywood.

    • bettyrose says:

      LOL @ Tremors. Why isn’t there an Oscar for kitsch??

    • chaine says:

      Tremors is a fantastic movie. Not kidding, I watch it every time I see it on the guide, probably at least 20 times. There is nothing not to like about that movie.

  2. Little Darling says:

    Hmmm, let’s play 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon to see exactly what he is doing wrong.

  3. CharlotteCharlotte says:

    The Bacon is my forever dong. Him and Kira forever.
    Tremors has been one of my favourite movies for.. 20 years? Longer? Oh man.

    Viva la Bacon.

  4. bammer says:

    Refreshing. I really like him. Had to stop watching The Following. Interesting premise but it’s terrible.

  5. Lilacflowers says:

    It’s a weird world in which the likes of Jonah Hill has two Oscar nominations and people like Kevin Bacon and Alan Rickman have none.

    • GlimmerBunny says:

      Yeah, this.

      And I don’t even dislike Jonah (he was very good in TWOWS). But he is NOT a better actor than Alan Rickman, Gary Oldman and many more.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        Well, Oldman does have a nomination but only one, which still puts him behind Jonah Hill.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      It’s a f*cking travesty. But Oscar nominations and wins are always massively influenced by timing and – possibly – whether or not the members of the Academy are taking their meds on schedule. Except if your name is Meryl Streep or Daniel Day-Lewis.

    • Snazzy says:

      Good grief when you put it that way …

    • Pandy says:

      Jonah Hill has two nominations? Oh God. That is a weird world indeed. Kevin just hasn’t hit the right movie yet. I must say, I found The Following way too sick for my tastes – and I’m a huge horror fan. I couldn’t watch it.

    • Anne tommy says:

      John Cusack is a stunning omission. Take a look at the guy’s filmography. Great performances. No nomination.

  6. Miss M says:

    He never got nominated for murder in the first?

    • Lilacflowers says:

      No. He has several SAG nominations but no Oscar nominations.

    • manta says:

      Murder in the first left me a total wreck. To this day , I can’t understand why he wasn’t nominated for this one.
      He was brilliant in The Woodsman, but this picture was never meant to be mainstream.
      I also loved his movie Loverboy. I wish he would direct another one for the big screen.

      And the music he plays with his brother is pretty good too. See, Johnny Depp, there are actors doing music on the side that aren’t the least annoying!

      • stormyshay says:

        He was so good in the Woodsman. He took a vile character and subject and somehow made you feel the internal struggle. At times I found myself almost sympathetic. And then I would get mad at myself for rooting for redemption of a child molester.

        And does he age?

    • Granger says:

      It’s always bugged that he wasn’t nominated for JFK, either. He was BRILLIANT in that.

  7. Jayna says:

    Kevin is an excellent actor. I didn’t know he had a show on TV. I hope it’s a success for him. I love that these two are still married and are a team in life together and clearly are “in love” with each other still. It’s so rare to see.

    Maybe this will be his decade making a bigger comeback in roles. Ethan Hawke really seems to be on the upswing again .

  8. Lucy2 says:

    I love him, and Kyra. TV is excellent right now, but The Following was awful- I too watched the first season and was so mad I wasted my time on it. Just awful. He deserves much better!

    • Tiffany says:

      I am still committed to the show (I love Bacon and it is a 13 ep season).
      I think it is better now that they got away from the Carroll angle for awhile.

  9. mike says:

    He is the likable/more PG version of Ethan Hawke.

    • Anne tommy says:

      Hawke is an underrated actor, great in the linklater films. Bacon is incredibly annoying in adverts for some mobile phone in the UK, they are so bad it’s kinda embarrassing. He was vg in mystic river btw. Penn and Robbins got noms I think, not bacon.

  10. Lilacflowers says:

    Saw his band a few years ago. A fun evening. And he is fun to look at.

  11. Jayna says:

    There’s still time.

    Who would have thought someone not even known for his acting skills anymore could make a career comeback and win an Oscar and go on to do great work in other projects?

    The rom-com king who was phoning in parts, Matthew McConaughey, that’s who.

    Kevin will get there, I hope, with good parts he loves and get some recognition during awards season. He’s a strong actor and deserves the chance for roles that he’s probably not up for first or even second

  12. INeedANap says:

    He seems to have actually learned a lot from life, something we don’t see from everyone who has spent so long entrenched in Hollywood.

    And if he and Kyra break up, I’m going to need a sick day.

    • Esmom says:

      Yes and yes. I was thinking how refreshingly grounded he seems, including about losing millions of their hard earned dollars.

  13. Incognito says:

    I love Kevin Bacon. He’s such a good actor. And I love when he talks about his wife. You can really tell he loves her and that what they have is a true partnership. It’s so refreshing to see.

    I’m in the minority on one thing though. I really like the Following. The first season got me hooked. James Purfoy was excellent and the show creeped the hell out of me. The second season wasn’t as good but I stuck with it. This third season is pretty good so far, but the whole tone of the show is different. The actor who plays Mark is really excellent and plays Crazy really well.

    I think TV is offering a lot of meatier roles now. It’s much better than it was 20 years ago and I like seeing movie stars on the small screen too. Plus, Lilacflowers brings up a good point. He’s not on a show that is running a full season. The Following is a half season show so that gives him a little freedom to do some other things.

  14. SamiHami says:

    I love The Following. And Bacon is great as Ryan Hardy. Not sure how I’ll like the current season since the Purefoy character is in prison. There’s no more of that tension between the two characters. But we’ll see where it goes.

  15. Imo says:

    I remember his hilarious guest spots on Will & Grace playing himself. He was aware that Jack was an obsessed fan and would give him pointers on how to stalk him and grill him for compliments. Bacon had great comedic timing and was so likeable. I felt even then he was comfortable on the small screen.

    • lucy2 says:

      I loved that too, especially that he did the Footloose dance. He doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously and has fun with stuff like that.

      • Esmom says:

        The Footloose dance was amazing! I’m old enough to remember the original very clearly, I thought he was so hot/cool back then!

      • supposedtobeworking says:

        There is a town in Canada that just made swearing illegal – the best thing about this is the campaign the get Kevin Bacon there for the protest party. The campaign is called “Save us Bacon”. That would be super cool if he did!

    • Mrs. Darcy says:

      Those episodes were that show at its best, Kevin was hilarious! Did you see him re-create the Footloose dance for Jimmy Fallon last year? He is insanely athletic still!

    • Jess says:

      I came to mention that episode, one of the best ever, I was crying from laughing so hard!

  16. Alex says:

    YOU do nothing wrong, Bacon! It’s the Oscars and Academy who are wrong most of the times (like seriously, if they do something right, it’s an achievement).

  17. bettyrose says:

    Does he need an Oscar? He’s the most prolific and memorable alive. And I think he might be immortal? Seriously look at him in Animal House and here. He’s like 5 minutes older.

  18. Lori says:

    I just stood next to Kyra on the subway at 6pm on Tuesday and I once saw Kevin waiting to be seated at a restaurant. They both strike me as very down to earth people. Humility is always impressive, no matter wealth or status.

  19. A.Key says:

    He’s amazing.

  20. anniefannie says:

    The answer to that question is ” absolutely nothing,”
    I think Bacon is an actor that is highly respected and rightfully so…I think it’s just a matter of time!

  21. bella says:

    what about his supporting roles in Mystic River and A Few Good Men?
    those were major hits and he nailed each of the characters he played.
    he’s a superb actor and i’m shocked that he was never nominated.
    but alot of who gets nominated is a schmooz fest and game playing in hollywood.
    what – it’s not about the acting?!

  22. Amy says:

    God that man just does it for me.

    Love Kevin, love his show, and yes it’s a cruel world we live in that someone as consistently talented and skilled as him hasn’t been rewarded with an Oscar.

  23. Mean Hannah says:

    Kevin, you are doing absolutely nothing wrong. I mean, you could schmooze more; it would definitely help, but whatever you’ve been doing has served you well so why change it now? It would be inauthentic and we’ve got enough if those actors already.

    This is mean, but I always thought it’s his looks that have prevented true stardom for him. He’s not conventionally handsome enough and not interestingly ugly enough to truly carry a movie on his own. He also plays skeevy characters too well that I’m always surprised to find out he’s nice in real life.

  24. marjiscott says:

    A Few Good Men wasn’t a nomination? Geesh!
    They are using those scenes in acting classes around the country!

    • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

      He was amazing in A Few Good Men. That movie is the only thing I’ll watch Tom Cruise in–that and “Far And Away”–movie he did with Nicole.

  25. Sofia says:

    “I’ve always said before that there are two kinds of actors: actors that want to be famous, and liars.”

    I get what he is saying but there are many different levels of fame. It seems to me that many who love what they do like to have their work recognized which is something seen as prestigious. That’s not the same as being recognized around the world for much more than their work and being photographed eating a burger or walking kids to school. You can say that some encourage it, but not all of them. Again, there are different levels of fame it seems a bit unfair to say that they all want to be famous, considering what that usually means.

  26. FingerBinger says:

    I’m surprised Kevin Bacon has never been nominated. I think he should have gotten a nod for the Woodsman and a supporting nod for Mystic River. I hate the Following. I made it through 3 episodes of the first season. He’s so much better than that show.

  27. MAC says:

    “I’ve always said before that there are two kinds of actors: actors that want to be famous, and liars.”

    First thought Daniel Day-Lewis.

  28. lila fowler says:

    I like him but I also think that it seems like he plays the same character a lot of the time.

  29. hogtowngooner says:

    Wow, I could have sworn he was nominated for BSA for Mystic River. Maybe he’ll have a Michael Keaton-style tour de force opportunity and they’ll gift him a “body-of-work” nom/win. He’s certainly got the talent for it.

  30. DogMom says:

    I’m probably 100% wrong about this but I always found the NY-based actors have a harder fight for the big awards. It seems that being LA based and ‘one of us’ goes pretty far.

    Just my opinion. Nothing concrete.

  31. I Choose Me says:

    And my love for Kevin Bacon continues unabated.

  32. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    He always stands out, even when his role is small (like in “A Few Good Men”). I guess that’s because he was charisma, or “presence,” or talent, or whatever makes certain actors stand out. He was also great in the X-men reboot movie, and the best scenes were him and Michael Fassbender together. Too bad his character died.

    • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

      I think he has loads of charisma. That’s what I look for in my favorite actors–an actor who may not be the best, but can always elevate the film…..if I can watch a “meh” film, and not take my eyes away from the actor, then I watch out for them. I’m interested in Margot Robie’s career. She was the only good part in “Wolf of Wall Street”…….

  33. Mispronounced Name Dropper says:

    The best films of the year rarely win the Best Picture Oscar. So not being nominated doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing something wrong.

  34. venus velvet says:

    He just gets better with age, and I always enjoy hearing about him and Kyra. You just know their kids are cool and not full of themselves. Refreshing to hear a celebrity putting a serious setback in perspective, after so many others go on about their “incarcerating” marriages, paparazzi “rape,” etc.

  35. Becky says:

    Interesting interview. I like how honest he is. It’s good to hear a celebrity admit that being famous is for the most part a really positive thing.

  36. Mrs. Darcy says:

    Kaiser, it’s refreshing to read I’m not the only one who thought The Following was a big old turkey! I get it for free on Amazon but not sure I’ll bother with season 2 when/if they add it. I do like Kevin though, and he is v. good in it. Wasn’t there some Oscar buzz around him for The Woodsman? I always thought maybe the material was too sensitive for them to go near (I never saw it, I admit because I thought it might be upsetting). Maybe his day will come, maybe it won’t, but truthfully so many great actors never won Oscars, its as much luck as anything – Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole, so many true greats. Maybe he’ll get a great leading role now that The Following has raised his profile again.

  37. Hautie says:

    I can think of a few movies that I really liked of Kevin’s… that every time I come across them on TV… I will stop and watch.

    Diner, Wild Things, My dog Skip, Flatliners and Picture Perfect. (He was a great scoundrel in Picture Perfect!)

    But I would feel remiss… if I did not mention Footloose. Because, my gawd! It is Footloose!

    One of my favorite movie memories from High School.

    Me, the heathen of the Baptist Prep School.
    With a truck pack full of girls from school.

    Having to drive all the way into Dallas, to see Footloose, one Wednesday afternoon.

    So no one’s Mother/nosy neighbor would accidentally see us going to see it!
    No joke.

    Because the Mothers were all convinced, it was “mocking” their fine Christian values.
    Well, except my Mother.
    She was never part of the uppity bible thumpers. haha!

  38. ¡mire usted! says:

    Kevin Bacon is a brilliant actor. He just doesn’t like to “play the game” or “run the campaign.” He will win an Oscar. More importantly, he’s a brilliant man. He’s one of the few men in his 50s who will cruise through “manopause” with his loving wife. Kevin and Kyra forever!

  39. Jess says:

    I didn’t know about them losing money, I searched around and some say it was 50 million?! Jesus, I hope that’s not true. He seems to have a great attitude about it though. I will always love him and have no doubt he’ll get an Oscar eventually. Also love that he mentions his wife so much, very rare couple in Hollywood.

  40. Neil says:

    “Murder in the First”.

  41. Granger says:

    Kevin Bacon and Rob Lowe. Two of the coolest Hollywood dudes ever, with their long, happy marriages to amazing women, and their grounded children. Love them.