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kevin bacon tribeca film festival footloose 2024© Getty Images

Kevin Bacon's $1500 hair transformation for iconic Footloose role

The actor went to great lengths to secure his role as Ren McCormack

Jenni McKnight
US Lifestyle Editor
June 15, 2024
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Kevin Bacon is a household name today – but it could have turned out differently had he not parted with $1,500 for a haircut. 

The 65-year-old is perhaps most recognizable for his role in 1984's Footloose, but he revealed that he almost wasn't cast in the movie because of his appearance. 

HELLO! attended Footloose with Kevin Bacon: Reunion & Retrospectives during the Tribeca Film Festival on Friday, where he discussed how one expensive haircut made him more appealing to studio bosses during the casting process. 

Recalling sitting in the hairdresser's chair, Kevin said: "He had come from Japan. I can't remember his name. I think it's like a single name. And while my hair was being cut, I looked up and he had his eyes closed. 

"I thought to myself… they told me that the haircut was going to cost $1,500 which is an outrageous amount of money in 1984, right?" 

He continued: "And I was like, 'Wow, you can get paid $1,500 with your eyes closed for cutting my hair?' Anyway, that was the haircut, the sort of started that kind of, you know, thing, with the look. 

kevin bacon tribeca film festival 2024© HELLO!
Kevin discussed his 1984 film Footloose during the Tribeca Film Festival

"Then I had a whole bunch of scenes. They hired actors, on film on 35mm film I played the scenes. And then, they had a whole bunch of clothes for me to try on, sort of like a wardrobe test."

He added: "So, I put on one set of clothes, and I came out and they were playing music, and I wasn't even trying to dance, but I was just kind of moving around like yeah, whatever, trying to be cool. 

"And then I put on another outfit and did the same thing. They cut it together and sent it to LA for [a studio head] to look at it in the screening room. 

kevin bacon footloose 1984© Getty Images
Kevin's $1,500 haircut helped land his role in Footloose

"Instead of showing her the acting scene, they took the wardrobe scenes and cut them together to some pop song, I don’t remember what it was. 

"And, they started playing it, and she watched, the legend is, she watched 30 seconds, the lights were still out, she stood up, and said, 'Yeah, you can hire him, that's fine.'" 

The movie "Footloose", directed by Herbert Ross and written by Dean Pitchford. Seen here, Kevin Bacon as Ren MacCormack in a 1972 Volkswagen 'Beetle'. Initial theatrical release February 17, 1984© Getty
Kevin almost wasn't cast in Footloose because he wasn't appealing enough

In 2022, Kevin sat down with Today Show's Willie Geist to discuss the actor's past work and lengthy career. 

They focused on Kevin's iconic role as Ren McCormack, and as he opened up about the film's ever-lasting prevalence even decades later, he grew emotional expressing just how much being a part of the Footloose movement meant to him.

kevin bacon footloose role today show© Photo: Getty Images
Kevin played Red McCormack in Footloose

When asked by Willie how it felt that over forty years later, his hit movie's relevance was still going strong, he firmly stated: "I love it." 

He explained: "I think it's great. It's like all of those things that you think 'Oh, my gosh, is it ever going to go away?' At a certain point, you have to embrace the beast."

Kevin Bacon on Thursday, August 4, 2022 at the Today Show© Getty
Kevin is proud that the film still resonates with people today

"I think that it was a great gift to be part of that movie," the father-of-two maintained. 

He added: "I certainly took it very seriously when I was doing it and I love that people will still come up and say that they just showed it to their kids."

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