SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Actors and fans alike lined up outside of Trustees Theatre to hear Golden Globe Award-winning actor Kevin Bacon at the SCAD Savannah Film Festival.
He opened with a statement about the global climate and the struggle to find purpose as an actor mentioning his reason for his career path.
“I became an actor because I wanted to be seen, that was it, the hunger the motivation was not to make the world a better place, the motivation was me,” said Bacon receiving laughter.
He goes on to embrace the pleasure of being an artist that makes people feel something. Having the ability to make people laugh or cry became his great honor.
As a child of six, Bacon always wanted to be seen in his family so his mother enrolled him in an acting class at 12.
“I grew up in a place of toughness and wanting to have a tough exterior,” said Bacon.
“Being in acting class I could let it all go and let it all down and all of a sudden I was like this is a really great place for me to be someone other than the tough kid.”
Aware that he looked like the boy next door he had the drive not to feed into the typecasting and play “just one kinda guy.”
Although he wanted to stay clear of soap operas, he starred in two ‘Search of Tomorrow’ and ‘Guiding Light’.
“It was a great training ground for professionalism,” said Bacon. “But it wasn’t the greatest training ground for me from an acting standpoint because the material was so dreadful.
When he got the main role in Footloose he skyrocketed to the level of fame he had been looking for his whole career, reaching stardom he says “I really didn’t like it.”
His mixed reaction to the “fish bowl” of fame, came from a deep sense of wanting to be seen as a serious actor.
“You can’t really explain what it is,” he goes on to say, “99% great, people give you free things, they give you statues.”
Bacon shares a funny theater horror story of his when he was in a play in the seventies where he comes out on stage in the second act to see a popular film critic asleep throughout the show.
Shocking after the show the critic writes a terrible review of the show he slept through. The night after getting drinks at a local bar, Bacon sees the critic and confronts him at the bar.
“His reaction was so sad and sort of pathetic and he engaged me and I just felt compassion for the guy,” said Bacon.
After the critic explained the hardships in his career and the pressure of being a critic, Bacon says they end up having three drinks later, sparking the comment.
“I haven’t read my own reviews in 30 years,” said Bacon. “But I read others reviews.”
Bacon explains his stance on criticism and how he deals with negative comments.
“When they’re bad they’re really rough and when they’re good they are not good enough,” said Bacon.
“It’s not like you can really go back and fix it certainly not with a movie, but I don’t know I just decided that it just wasn’t having any value for me.”