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"This Sucks": Kevin Bacon Explains What It's Like to Be Non-Famous for a Day

Kevin Bacon wanted to know what it was like to not be famous, so he put on a disguise and found out.

By Matthew Jackson
Kevin Bacon wears black glasses and poses.

Veteran actor Kevin Bacon has been famous for a very long time. It's been four decades since Footloose hit theaters and catapulted him to stardom, and before that other roles in films like Friday the 13th and Animal House ensured that even if everyone didn't know his name, he'd at least get recognized on the street. 

So recently, Bacon decided to see what it might be like if such recognition wasn't the case.

In a recent interview with Vanity Fair to promote his roles in new releases Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F. and MaXXXine, Bacon explained that it's hard for him to make his way through the world without recognition, no matter what kind of glasses and hats he uses to cover his "pretty recognizable" face. After 40 years of near-constant notice from the public, he thought about what it might be like to just go out for a day and be anonymous. So, ironically, he used a little Hollywood trickery to make his dream come true.

For More on Kevin Bacon:
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Kevin Bacon Goes Undercover to Become Un-Famous


“I went to a special effects makeup artist, had consultations, and asked him to make me a prosthetic disguise,” Bacon said. 

To disappear into a crowd, Bacon was fitted with prosthetics for his face, including a fake nose, a new set of teeth, and a pair of glasses, all of which disguised him enough that he thought the scheme might work. To test it, he went to Los Angeles' The Grove shopping center, a perpetually crowded spot where tourists eager to spot movie stars can be found in abundance. The trick worked.

"Nobody recognized me," Bacon said, adding: "People were kind of pushing past me, not being nice. Nobody said, ‘I love you.’ I had to wait in line to, I don’t know, buy a f--king coffee or whatever. I was like, 'This sucks. I want to go back to being famous.'”

Bacon's fame has certainly come with privileges over the years, but according to him, one of the greatest is not his ability to pretend he isn't famous for a day, but his ability to play a wide variety of roles. Both of his recent films offer very different characters for Bacon to play with, and his recent track record, including the Peacock original They/Them, proves that he's still both eager to try new things and unafraid of shifting perspectives in his work. 

“I honestly feel very grateful for where I happen to be,” Bacon said. “That I can have two totally different movies coming out within a couple of days of each other, and completely different roles. The fact they would both come my way is the thing that I feel the most gratitude for. I’ve fought really long and hard for it.”

Want more Kevin Bacon? Catch him in the horror films They/Them and You Should Have Left, now streaming on Peacock.

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