Kevin Bacon on Why He Likes to “Lose” Himself in a Role and the Difference Between and Actor and Celebrity

“I want to lose myself in it. I want the time between action and cut not to feel like I’m me. I want to feel like I’m in someone else’s shoes.” – Kevin Bacon

Kevin Bacon may be the center of the universe when it comes to six degrees of separation, but is he a movie star? If you ask Bacon, he says he isn’t. In an interview with IndieWire, he speaks about his role as FBI Agent Jackie Rohr on the Showtime series City on a Hill (also starring Aldis Hodge), based on the crime wave in mid-1990s Boston, and why the crooked character he plays is not a pleasant person to relate to — but he thinks it’s better than playing “Kevin Bacon.”

When asked how he approaches a role, Bacon explains:

“I want to lose myself in it. I want the time between action and cut not to feel like I’m me. I want to feel like I’m in someone else’s shoes. That’s the difference between an actor and a celebrity. A celebrity tries to put across an image — you gotta hold onto the image of this star, or this movie, or this brand, or all those kind of things. I’ve tried that in the past, or had my flirtations with it, and it doesn’t work. It’s just not who I am. I just have to be true to the character.”

While Bacon strives to be “true to the character,” in this case he is portraying a corrupt, flawed FBI agent — someone whose personality he wouldn’t want to take on too much. On the other hand, Rohr is a character of substance that he enjoys portraying. On that, he says, “There is that risk. On the other hand, what really would be hard for me to live in was a shitty part in a show that means nothing to me — where I’m Dr. Whatever, you know what I mean? That would eat away at me in a big way. I don’t care how big the paycheck was — that would be frightening.”

With that said, Bacon  has portrayed “himself” on screen several times on television series like Will & Grace and SMILF and movies like We Married Margo. While Bacon has done that several times in his career, he admits that it’s not something he’s keen on doing because he doesn’t find himself particularly interesting. He says, “I can’t really just be a version of Kevin because, to me, Kevin’s not really interesting. And I’m not interested in being Kevin — not for work.”

More: Kevin Bacon on Why He Doesn’t Want to Face Surprises in Scripts

About Author

In college, overachiever Christopher McKittrick double-majored in Film and English because he loves to read, write, and watch movies. Since then Chris – who was born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently lives in Queens – has become a published author of fiction and non-fiction, a contributor to entertainment websites, and has spoken about literature, film, and comic books at various conferences across the country when he’s not getting into trouble in New York City (apparently it’s illegal to sleep on street corners...) For more information about Chris, visit his website here!

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