Kevin Bacon seemed to become an icon overnight in the ’80s. Of course, that’s rarely actually the case; Kevin Bacon made a few of the best ’80s movies before his career took off, and he wasn’t altogether impressed by a particular break.
During a SAG-AFTRA interview, Bacon recalled making Diner, a 1982 film that helped establish him among the press. He states not much changed, and even though it’s lowkey one of the best comedy movies of the decade, he didn’t love the picture overall. “It didn’t seem like that big a deal,” he says. “Diner was this unbelievable critical success, but it was like a big movie.”
Really, home media was where the Barry Levinson production, now considered one of the best drama movies of the time, found its audience. Bacon wasn’t the biggest fan. “I remember going to the premiere of Diner, and I was really disappointed,” he remembers. “I’d heard that it was good but the first time that I saw it was the premiere. I was like, ‘Wow, it’s so dark, and can you really tell the difference between any of the characters?'”
But that was a lesson in humility and helped Bacon to understand that really, the star doesn’t think much of any of his work. “It was a great lesson in how my own perception of things that I’m in is just totally, totally skewed,” he adds.
Bacon has had a long, fortuitous career since then. He was in Tremors, one of the best monster movies ever, and Footloose, one of the best romance movies of all time, and became a household name. He’s been in so many new movies that there’s an entire genre of Hollywood trivia based around him, where you can take any filmmaker, and link back to Kevin Bacon in six moves or less.
So even if he’s not the biggest fan of what he’s in, the masses definitely are. Still putting out work, Bacon played the villain in They/Them, one of the best slasher movies of 2022, and he became canon to the MCU in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. Check out our guides to Marvel Phase 5 and The Marvels to see if he’s due to show up once again.