In a new interview with IGN, Kevin Bacon talks about what it's like to play himself in the new Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, how James Gunn recruited him to the movie, and his original reaction to the Footloose quote.
When James Gunn approached Kevin Bacon to join The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, he didn’t have to pitch very hard. Bacon had one response: I’m in.
“I didn't really read the script,” Bacon recently tells IGN in a new interview. “I just said, ‘Oh yeah, that sounds great.’ In fact, I don't even know initially if I knew if I was playing myself. I'm trying to remember, because it's been quite a few years since the idea first arrived. It took some time to get it off the ground because of COVID and other kinds of things. But yeah, I was thrilled when I read the script and then when he later on told me that I was also going to sing, I was like, ‘This is really fun.’
In The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, Kevin Bacon stars as… Kevin Bacon. The 40-minute seasonal special, which releases today on Disney+, is an extended payoff for a joke from the original Guardians of the Galaxy in which Peter Quill [Chris Pratt] praises Kevin Bacon as a “great hero” and describes Footloose as a movie that “teaches an entire city full of people with sticks up their butts that dancing, well, is the greatest thing there is.”
"My jaw dropped"
When Bacon first saw that scene, he says his “jaw dropped” because he didn’t know that it would be in the movie. He remembers how strange it was to hear himself name-dropped out of nowhere in the midst of an MCU movie.
“If you can imagine sitting there in a dark theater and all of a sudden hearing yourself name dropped in that kind of way, it's a very, very, very strange experience, but cool,” Bacon says. “I mean, I loved it, because I love the movie and there is something that's kind of symbiotic about the whole thing, because James really loves music, and Footloose was a music-based movie. And I walked out of the theater and called my wife and I said, ‘I'm going to go back and see this movie. It's a great movie, and there's a little surprise in there for you, you'll see.’"
Bacon’s wife, Kyra Sedgwick, also happens to be in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, albeit as a voice-only cameo.
[James Gunn] is a powerhouse. He's just got a great voice and a great eye, and he's super smart and obviously makes very, very successful movies“
Bacon says he ultimately had a great time making The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, likening the entire experience to a company Christmas party. He even got to meet Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, calling him “very sweet.”
“A lot of these people have been a part of it for years and years and years, starting with one, and now they were in the middle of shooting [Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3], and we stopped… or they stopped and paused to do the special,” Bacon says. “And it was as though you'd been working in an office all year, and all of a sudden you had the Christmas party. That was the vibe on the set, so everybody had a blast, and most of all, me.”
Ironically, The Guardian’s the Galaxy Holiday Special was shot in the Spring, wrapping up production in May. Many of the sets were pulled directly from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, saving Marvel a large amount of money and making the special possible. In a separate interview, Gunn described writing the special as incredibly easy compared to the much more emotional Guardians of the Galaxy 3.
"James Gunn is a powerhouse"
Gunn himself is nearly finished with the MCU, taking a position as DC Studios co-lead roughly five months after the holiday special finished filming. Asked for his reaction to Gunn’s new position, Bacon said he’s not surprised.
“James is a powerhouse,” Bacon says. “He's just got a great voice and a great eye, and he's super smart and obviously makes very, very successful movies. I was thrilled to hear that he got his new gig. That's basically what I said, ‘I'm thrilled to hear about your new gig.’
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special ends with Bacon performing a rock-and-roll carol alongside the Old 97s, who are an alien band in the world of the MCU. Bacon praised them as “fantastic,” saying that “all the music in the movie makes it great.”
“When I got the script, [Gunn] had referenced all the tunes, so I immediately made myself a playlist just to feel the vibe of the whole thing and listen to it a lot,” Bacon says. “And it's great, and I love the Old 97s song. It's really hard to write a new Christmas song, and I think it's got a really nice combination of sweetness and sentimentality without being a corny take on Christmas. And it rocks, and I loved it.”
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is now available. You can read our full review here, which we praise for delivering “all the Christmas cheer, sentiment, catchy musical numbers, and laugh-out-loud moments you could ask for in a quick 43 minutes.”
Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.
This story originally appeared on: IGN - Author:Marvel