SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for You Should Have Left. If you have not yet seen the film, proceed at your own risk!
Kevin Bacon has been a successful professional actor for a long, long time, and there’s little that we haven’t seen him do on the big screen. He’s a versatile performer who has spent his career constantly mixing things up in terms of both genre and character, and each time out he seems to bring something different to the table. That in mind, you’d think that they guy has experienced every trick of the trade one could, but in the making of David Koepp’s You Should Have Left he discovered that there was a beat he had never played before: acting opposite himself.
The subject came up when I had the pleasure of doing a video interview with Kevin Bacon last week, and you can watch him discuss it by clicking play on the video below:
In You Should Have Left, Kevin Bacon stars as Theo Conroy, a former banker with a dark past who decides to try and get away from the world by renting a remote house in Wales to live in with his wife (Amanda Seyfried) and daughter (Avery Tiiu Essex). Unfortunately, while the new home appears warm and modern, the reality is that it is a labyrinth of chaos that draws the family in deeper the longer they stay – with the experience forcing Theo to come to terms with some of his biggest demons.
As part of that nightmarish catharsis, Theo literally comes face-to-face with himself, and it was evidently an experience that Kevin Bacon never had prior to making You Should Have Left (which is surprising given how common it is for big actors to play twins or clones or what have you).
Dancing around spoilers while talking about his time in the film with his second self, Kevin Bacon expressed both being impressed with the way things can be done now, and also an appreciation for the opportunity of challenge that it provided:
There's times when Theo actually has to talk to Theo, and that's something that I hadn't really done, as far as I know, in a film before, and I've done a lot of different things in film (laughs). So to find something that was kind of new to me was interesting, and that in and of itself has got its challenges from an acting standpoint. The challenges are not so much... these days it's amazing what can be done now from a digital standpoint in terms of effects; you can stand over on one thing and stand over the other side and then they can just do it pretty much right in the avid, make it look pretty seamless. But yeah, I love doing that kind of stuff. It's great. That's why I became an actor.
With Kevin Bacon being 61 years old, we can hope that this won’t prove to be the first and only time that the actor gets the opportunity to play opposite himself. Having one Kevin Bacon in a movie is a great thing, so math dictates that have two is twice as good. Hopefully there is now a filmmaker somewhere out there furiously working on a script where he meets himself from another layer or the multiverse, or gets caught in some kind of wacky time travel shenanigans. There are so many possibilities.
While we wait for all the future films and TV featuring two Kevin Bacons, fans can for now enjoy You Should Have Left, which is now available for rental and/or digital purchase following its premium video-on-demand release this past Friday. Check it out, and stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more from my interviews with the stars!