Kevin Bacon Says He Was 'Knocked Out' Rewatching ‘Footloose’ Audition: 'It's a Real Trippy Experience'

The actor talked about the movie at a Tribeca Film Festival retrospective event titled “Footloose with Kevin Bacon,” which marked 40 years since the film's release

<p>Jamie McCarthy/Getty</p> Kevin Bacon at the

Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Kevin Bacon at the 'Footloose' event at the 2024 Tribeca Film Festival.

40 years ago, Kevin Bacon with flashy moves in Footloose.

At a Tribeca Film Festival retrospective event at the OKX Theater at BMCC on Friday, June 14, titled “Footloose with Kevin Bacon,” the actor, 65, remembered the making of the 1984 movie that catapulted him to stardom, and even discussed the surprising effect of watching his audition video back in the years since.

"Many years ago, there was a DVD extra that came out, and on the DVD extra they'd gone into the Paramount vault and found my screen test, and I watched it," he told the audience during the event.

"And I was so knocked out by seeing that person. There's something about the audition, that I could really see a big younger version of me. If I look at a movie that I was in many years ago, I don't really see a younger version of me — It's the character that I was playing," he said, adding, "If you have a home video, then maybe that's a little closer to who you are, but this screen test had something about it."

"I've literally never done this before, but I put it on pause and I went into the bathroom and I looked in the mirror and I thought to myself, ‘Is that the same guy? Are you the same guy as that guy over there?' It was very weird. It's a real trippy experience," Bacon explained.

<p>Jamie McCarthy/Getty</p> Kevin Bacon attends "Footloose" with Kevin Bacon during the 2024 Tribeca Festival at BMCC Theater on June 14, 2024 in New York City.

Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Kevin Bacon attends "Footloose" with Kevin Bacon during the 2024 Tribeca Festival at BMCC Theater on June 14, 2024 in New York City.

In the 80s classic musical drama, Bacon’s character Ren McCormack is a Chicago-born teenager who moves into a small town where dancing is outlawed by a local minister (John Lithgow). McCormack soon falls in love with the minister’s daughter, Ariel, and the two fight back against the ban, aiming to hold a senior prom at their high school.

Elsewhere in the discussion of the classic movie, Bacon talked about first receiving the script for the film, and not quite being on the same page with movie execs about quite how significant dancing was to the movie.

"The weird thing is that I didn't really get the extent of the dancing from the script," he revealed, adding, "They said something along the lines of ‘Oh, you're gonna have to have a dance audition.’ I thought ‘What? I’m not a dancer.’ But I said ‘I love to dance. I've been dancing since I was in high school’ — because I like girls. So I said, you don't need a choreographer — just turn on the music and turn on the cameras and I’ll dance around, I have no problem doing that,"

However he explained he soon realised that he'd been a little off the mark: "They said 'No, you don't understand what we're going for here.’ "

Bacon added that he and his band The Bacon Brothers "always play the song [‘Footloose’]" because he likes "things that make people happy."

Meanwhile, the actor has already done his fair share of celebration for the movie’s anniversary.

In May, the Mystic River star hilariously joined in a TikTok trend called "How My Dad Used to Dance in the 80s," posting a clip of his character Ren McCormack dancing in the final scene of Footloose. 

<p>CBS via Getty</p> Kevin Bacon in the 1984 movie 'Footloose.'

CBS via Getty

Kevin Bacon in the 1984 movie 'Footloose.'

Related: Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick Try Viral 'Footloose' Dance Trend: 'Figured We'd Give it a Spin'

And earlier this year, Bacon returned to the Utah high school where he shot the movie in 1984. After the students of Payson High School put on a dedicated campaign to bring the movie star back to their town, Bacon finally obliged, visiting Payson on April 20. “Be good to each other — and don’t forget to cut loose,” the actor said to students attending that night's prom.

Lori Singer, who played Ariel, spoke to PEOPLE earlier this year in an exclusive interview about the 40 year anniversary of Footloose. She recalled the “natural” chemistry that she and Bacon had on set and how director Herb Ross was able to show that connection on screen.

"When you have someone like Ric Waite as a cinematographer and Herb Ross directing, then they can manage to actually capture what they wanted to capture, which was electric," she said.

Related: Kevin Bacon Got Burned by a 'Grenade'-Like Hard-Boiled Egg While Touring with His Band

Meanwhile, the A Few Good Men actor has a big summer coming up: Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F., which features him alongside Eddie Murphy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, releases on Netflix on July 3rd, and the A24-produced horror film MaXXXine, in which Bacon plays a private investigator, is in theaters on July 5.

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