• Golden Globe Awards

Oral History: Kevin Bacon on Meryl Streep and “Apollo 13”

Kevin Bacon is currently playing a corrupt FBI agent in the TV series City on a Hill. In 1994 he spoke to HFPA journalists in Montana about The River Wild, where he played the villain opposite Meryl Streep, and Apollo 13 directed by Ron Howard.
“The reason I became an actor was so that I could put on a bunch of different hats, and try to be as many different people in my lifetime as I could be. That’s exciting to me.”
“Much more than the issue of good guy vs. bad guy, it’s nice to play a character that has a dark side. Even if he happens to be a hero, I always try to find something that’s slightly off-center about him, because I believe that all human beings have that darker side in them. I always find it therapeutic, it’s my version of lying down on the couch and talking to a shrink, because I get to do something really bad, like beat the hell out of somebody.” 
“I was not only impressed by Meryl Streep, I was thrilled to be working with her. From when I started out as an actor, I had always admired her work and her persona, she is the actor in my life that I most hoped to model my career after, more so than any male actor. She’s a national treasure, so to get a chance to actually be there playing scenes with her was a tremendous honor, and not a disappointment in any way, shape or form. She’s a great person and really fun to work with.”
“In Apollo 13 I play astronaut Jack Swigert, who was on the back-up crew and replaced Ken Mattingly (Gary Sinise) after he had become exposed to the German measles. I’m sure you all remember Apollo 11 when they first walked on the moon and Apollo 12 when they went up and played golf. On Apollo 13 in 1970, they blew an oxygen tank and they were almost lost in space, so basically had to circle the moon, but through the ingenuity of NASA and the astronauts themselves, they were able to come back alive. We’re sticking very closely to the real story and it’s one of the most exciting cliffhangers I’ve ever read, a really amazing story.”
“There’s nothing like working on a movie and doing the research, to renew your interest in space exploration and realize how fascinating it is to see the kind of experimentation and the science that they’re doing now up there in zero gravity, and I believe that we should keep up with it if we possibly can. There’s something kind of sad about the fact that we probably aren’t going to go back to the moon for who knows how long. I know some astronauts who feel now that it will be hundreds of years before anyone is really interested in doing that. We went up there a bunch of times, so many people feel that we already did our moon trip.”