Family Man: Kevin Bacon

Photo: Globe

Kevin Bacon directs his wife, Kyra Sedgwick, and daughter Sosie in his new film, Loverboy, about a dangerously overprotective mother. Logan Hill spoke with him about how the movie is a true family affair.

You’ve had a streak of projects in which terrible things happen to children: The Woodsman, Mystic River … This can’t just be accidental.
Well, I’m not going out asking for projects that have bad things happen to children, but I don’t know, maybe there’s some kind of subconscious part of me that has to deal with the fears that surround having kids. You know, you have kids and you worry about them. Maybe this is my way of dealing with it. I mean, in my next movie, I’m playing a guy whose son gets killed—but I’d be happy to move away from it. It’s not a place I want to go.

Speaking of protecting your children, you cast your daughter, Sosie, who plays a younger version of Kyra’s character in a series of flashbacks. But I read an old article in which you said you wanted to keep your kids out of showbiz.
You found that, did you? Well, it’s true. But that’s what happens when you’re a director. You’ll do anything to get a shot. In this case, it was just sort of a perfect part, to play Kyra’s character as a girl. I just couldn’t resist it. Sure, Kyra was saying, “Well, all right, if you really want to … ” But Sosie was cool. She kind of got it out of her system. She said, “Oh, that was fun—now I’m going back to school.”

The first I heard of the movie was a tabloid article that made Kyra’s (many) sex scenes sound scandalous, but they’re actually fun.
We didn’t want it to be a maudlin bummer movie. You know, I like things that are schizophrenic sometimes in filmmaking—to see some comedic or romantic or magical flair in something that has a darker side.

You’ve said that writing music with your brother Michael can be confessional. Is “Arm Wrestling Woman” about Kyra? That woman who’s “90 percent Joan of Arc, and 10 percent jock” …
Yep, that’s her. We were at a street fair on the Upper West Side, and we got separated. Then I saw this stage, all set for an arm-wrestling competition. They said, “Now, in the lightweight division, Kyra Sedgwick”—she’d signed herself up, and suddenly she’s up there, arm-wrestling this older woman … Well, she beat her, but in the next round, Kyra wrestled the woman’s daughter, who took her right down.

Loverboy, ThinkFilm, June 16

Family Man: Kevin Bacon