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The Short

Mr Kevin Bacon Plays Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon

We asked the prolific character actor if he would play himself at his own game

Mr Donald Trump has a Bacon Number of two. Ditto Ms Kim Kardashian. Mr Vladimir Putin? His is three. If you type almost any famous person’s name into Google followed by “Bacon Number”, it will tell you how connected they are to the actor Mr Kevin Bacon.

Before the fun was taken out of it by algorithms, “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” was a good game to play if you were a movie buff. Inspired by “six degrees of separation” – the theory that says nobody is more than six people away from any other person in the world – the game was devised back in 1994 by three classmates at Albright College in Pennsylvania, while idly watching a Mr Bacon movie marathon on TV.

When Mr Bacon himself first heard about the fame-name game, he hated it. “I was horrified,” he recalls. “I thought it was a giant joke at my expense.” Well, it kind of was. Mr Bacon pops up in a surprising number of culturally significant movies, but rarely as the lead.

He hoped it would be a quickly passing fad, but instead his name has since become shorthand for the interconnectivity that dominates life today. “When you look at Twitter and Facebook, it really is about people trying to connect with each other,” he shrugs.

Over the years, the 58-year-old has decided to stop trying to beat them and has instead joined them, now fully embracing the concept. He has even used it to help launch a charitable foundation – sixdegrees.org – that connects people with good causes for fundraising purposes. It is, in his words, “social networking for social good”.

During a few minutes of downtime while on set with MR PORTER, we tentatively asked if he’d like to play against himself. As you’ll see in our short film above, he’s pretty well practised.

“When I die,” he quips, “the newspapers will say: ‘Actor Kevin Bacon, dead: no Oscars, but at least he has a game named after him.’”

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