If you’re a film buff, you’ve most likely played the game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” which requires players to link celebrities to the actor via movies they have in common.
The game is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, but not everyone was initially gung-ho about seeing it gain momentum. Most notably it’s star.
“It was so annoying,” Bacon said about the game during a sit down at the South by South West Film Festival this past weekend.
“I thought it was a joke at my expense. I thought somebody was trying to pick the biggest loser they could find and joke about the fact I could be connected to Laurence Olivier in two steps.”
For the proud Bacon, he wasn’t okay with being the butt of a joke. “When you fight so hard and put your sweat and blood into trying to have your work speak for itself, I found it belittling,” admitted the actor.
But over the years, as the game has endured for movie fans, Bacon has come to “appreciate” it, though he doesn’t think its a testament to his ability as an actor. “My movies just happen to be on a lot,” he joked.
The game was actually created by two classmates in Pennsylvania who were inspired by the “six degrees of separation” theory, that nobody is more than six relationships away from any other person in the world.
“It was just one of those light-bulb moments,” said co-creator Brian Turtle, who joined the actor onstage at SXSW. “It was like, ‘This guy is everywhere! He’s the center of the entertainment universe.'”
Kim Kardashian is only 2 degrees away from Bacon. She starred with Denise Richards in Deep in the Valley and Richards starred with Bacon in Wild Things.
Since its inception in 1994, the game has rapidly expanded, even finding its place on Google. Type “Bacon number” into the search bar followed by any actor’s name and their degree of separation from the actor appears.
Once Bacon acknowledged the game’s prominence, it inspired him to create a charitable organization called SixDegrees.org, which connects celebrities to good causes.
Surprisingly, the actor admits he’s not very good at the game. “Whether it’s my age or my misspent youth, sometimes I forget whether I’ve worked with somebody or not,” he said.
“I’ll look at the call sheet, check the name, and then I’ll check their Bacon number. That way I can go on the set and say, ‘Good to see you,’ or ‘Good to see you again.'”