Kevin Bacon originally rejected Footloose fame because he wanted to be seen as a serious actor

The famous 80s high school dance film haunted the actor all his career and didn’t want to have “pop star” fame.

Last Updated on October 3, 2023

footloose, kevin bacon

Kevin Bacon is someone who has had such a great career packed with roles that you can connect many actors to him in six degrees or less. And that’s even without any kind of lengthy franchises tied to his name. However, one film is forever synonymous with him and that’s 1984’s Footloose. The 80s icon has a number of interesting projects coming up, including appearing in the Toxic Avenger remake which stars Peter Dinklage, and Ti West’s sequel to X and Pearl, MaXXXine.

It seems, though, that no matter how many movies he’s in, he just can’t escape Footloose. The actor has playfully joked about the countless times Kenny Loggins’ theme song was played at a wedding or party he’s attending, complete with people looking to him for some dancing. Variety reports that Bacon initially rejected the recognition for his high school drama as an up-and-coming star. According to Insider, he appeared on the Podcrushed podcast recounting that early era of his career.

He reflected on shunning the “pop star” fame, “When I became a pop star, the last thing I wanted to be was a pop star. I had already moved into, ‘I want to be Dustin Hoffman or Meryl or John Cazale or De Niro. I want to work with Scorsese. I want to do Chekhov.’ You know what I mean? I was so into what my idea of a serious actor was, and all of a sudden I was given this thing that was completely not a serious actor. So I rejected it, full on. I tried to self-sabotage that piece of myself and my popularity.” He adds, “I was very, very uncomfortable with photo shoots and magazines, and all these things that I dreamed of as a kid. Everything that I had dreamed of gave me a tremendous amount of self-doubt and anxiety.”

Bacon also revealed that when he auditioned for Footloose, he was not aware he was going out for a “dance movie” in the first place. “When I did the dance movie, I was not a dancer. I wasn’t trained as a dancer. If I’m being honest, I didn’t even really understand that it was a dance movie. I thought it was just a movie, and then, where they would indicate that there was dancing, I would just get up.” He continued, “They said something about a choreographer and I said, ‘You don’t really need a choreographer. I’ll just get up and dance. It’s not a big deal. Just play the record for me and I’ll jump around.’ So I was definitely not trained by any stretch of the imagination.”

Source: Variety, Insider

About the Author

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E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.