Sunday With Willie Geist - Season 35 (NBC / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank)

Kevin Bacon Talks About Longevity Of ‘Footloose’ In Sunday Sitdown Interview With TODAY’s Willie Geist

Kevin Bacon made his Hollywood debut as a young actor between 1978 and 1983 in a series of films including “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” “Friday the 13th,” and “Diner.”

However, in 1984, his ninth acting credit changed everything. Bacon was cast to play Rain McCormack in “Footloose,” making the Chicago native a small-town rebel. The film became a box office hit and remains in the pop culture arena 40 years later.

The 64-year-old actor recently spoke with TODAY’s Willie Geist about the longevity of “Footloose” during a Sunday sitdown, reflecting on his feelings about the film and the public’s reception to the film.

“I love it,” Bacon told Willie. “I think it’s great. It’s like all those things that make you think ‘Oh my god, is this ever going away?’ At a certain point, you have to embrace the animal.”

“I think it was a great gift to be a part of that film,” Bacon explained. “I definitely took it very seriously when I was doing it and I love that people will still come and say they showed it to their kids.”

Sunday With Willie Geist - Season 35 (NBC / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank)

Sunday With Willie Geist – Season 35 (NBC / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank)

When it comes to the film’s success today, Bacon credits his second wind for the 1998 Broadway musical based on the film, saying that it “ruled out the entire response” to “Footloose”.

“After the Broadway show (ends), it becomes available to do in every single high school,” he said. “And there’s not a lot of drama, certainly musicals, where you can have a musical and a bunch of high school kids.”

Due to the popularity of the musical in high schools, Bacon says that he now hears constantly from fans that his child has played a part in his version of the school play.

“A kid… came up to me and said, ‘I have something to tell you,'” Bacon said to Willie. “He was probably about 23 years old, something like that. They say, ‘I was in ‘Footloose’ and I thought, This is great. I thought he played my role, or Chris Penn’s.”

However, the person played the role of Reverend Shaw (John Lithgow), who banned dancing in the small town and was the closest thing to a villain in the film. All Bacon could say to the fan in response was, “Oh yeah, I could see you as Reverend Shaw.”

Sunday With Willie Geist - Season 35 (NBC / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank)

Sunday With Willie Geist – Season 35 (NBC / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank)

In June, “Footloose” hit the headlines again after the “Footloose Drop” challenge went viral on TikTok. The trend set for the iconic song by Kenny Loggins has one partner holding the other hand and foot horizontally. Then, the partner leads the other toward the floor, grabbing them before falling.

Bacon and his wife of nearly 34 years, Kyra Sedgwick, tested the trend at home and totally nailed down the faux fall in an Instagram video shared by Bacon.

The actor captioned the video, “I can’t remember if this was part of the original #Footloose choreography but figured we’d give it a spin.”

This wasn’t the first time Bacon has busted his dance moves since the film’s premiere. He recreated some of his famous moves during a 2014 segment on “The Tonight Show” to celebrate the film’s 30th anniversary. In March 2015, Bacon reflected on the moment, telling TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie, “It was a challenge, but it was so much fun to do and we all had gas.”

During an interview on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” in April 2021, Bacon also admitted to the host that the dance scenes weren’t even the most nerve-wracking scenes to film. In fact, there was a pivotal moment in the film that made him break out in hives.

“The thing that intrigued me the most was this scene where I go before the city council to file my case for being allowed to dance,” Bacon said. “Dancing, at first, I trained really, really hard, and it was definitely physically. But acting is my stuff and I wanted this scene to really work.”


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