Even Kevin Bacon—a decades-long zeitgeist so ubiquitous that he spawned a party-turned-board game of the same name—can be delighted to be unexpectedly referenced.
It happened in the summer of 2014, when the veteran actor went to the opening weekend of the hit Marvel team-up Guardians of the Galaxy in a movie theater in New York. Even quite alone, because that’s how he rolls.
“On the one hand, it looked great,” Bacon tells Yahoo Entertainment. He worked for another Guardians writer-director James Gunn (which shouldn’t surprise anyone who starred in Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon) in the 2010 indie comedy Great. “So I wanted to see what he was going to do with this crazy kind of franchise.”
That’s when Bacon did a double-take to hear one of the film’s most memorable discussions, an entirely on-brand, nostalgia-soaked name from pop culture connoisseur Gunn.
“On my planet, we have the legend of people like you. It is called Free“, Chris Pratt’s Earth-born Peter Quill (aka Star-Lord) teases future love interest Gamora (Zoe Saldaña) after he declares that he is. not really dance. “And in it, a great hero named Kevin Bacon teaches a whole town full of people with sticks that dancing is the greatest thing there is.”
Later, after one particularly heroic moment, they landed their ship MilanoGamora turns to co-pilot Peter and says, “We’re like Kevin Bacon.”
Bacon says: “I was there all by myself in the theater and suddenly they are talking about me. So you can imagine, it’s quite an out-of-body experience. … It’s one thing if it was a drama or just a comedy, but they’re in a whole ‘nother universe, a whole ‘nother world.
The actor immediately called his wife, actress Kyra Sedgwick, after the film was over.
“I said, ‘You’re not going to believe what just happened. But I won’t tell you that, I want to go back to this movie with you. I’m telling you, it’s a great movie, you’re going to get a kick out of it. ‘ So I took her back and didn’t tell her what was going to happen. And she had the same experience as me.”
Now Bacon is part of it Guardians the universe also in the body. In spirit being John Malkovich a The unbearable weight of enormous talent with Nicolas Cage starring Bacon… Kevin Bacon… v Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.
Clearly influenced by the infamous 1978 Star Wars holiday specialThe 44-minute Disney+ installment finds Guardians Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Drax (Dave Bautista) desperately trying to cheer up Peter, who is still reeling from Gamora’s death. So for Christmas the pair head to Hollywood to bring Peter one of his favorite things in the world… Kevin Bacon.
The 64-year-old actor, whose more than 60 film credits include Friday the 13th, Tremors, JFK, A Few Good Men, Apollo 13 a Mystical river, plays a heightened version of himself, with Gunn and company smartly shooting at his profession. Drax and Mantis believe that Bacon is a true hero, not someone who simply portrays heroes, and are repulsed when they discover that he is only an artist. “The actors are disgusting,” Drax laments at one point.
“It’s not like I think I’m playing myself. So it has to stay very, very authentic to who I am.” It’s kind of the other way around. … It’s the idea that is the life of a movie star. And that to me is ridiculous and stupid.
“And I like to make fun of myself. Really. Part of it comes down to how actors engage with each other and how out of control egos are. And I think it’s just a fun thing to explore.”
Klementieff loved the opportunity to move within a degree of separation from Bacon, whom she often calls “Hollywood legend Kevin Bacon” in the special.
“I’m proud of it,” she says. “I guess that’s a success, right? I said his name as Mantis so many times and rehearsed and rehearsed the lines and all. I feel very close to him now.
“I think he enjoyed it. He told us it was different for him because he hasn’t done a lot of comedies in his career. So I think he really enjoyed this ride with us.”
Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special premiering on Disney+ on November 25.
Watch the trailer: