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Kevin Bacon on Why He's Transitioning to TV

By ROBERT PACE

January 04, 2013

Kevin Bacon is known in the entertainment world as a film actor. Apollo 13 and Mystic River come to mind when thinking of him--not his short stint on the soap opera Guiding Light. However, he will make his TV series debut in the upcoming thriller drama The Following and explained to ET why he decided to head to TV after decades of focusing on film.

While he has made guest appearances on television, held a short-lived role on a soap opera in the '80s, and also produced an award-worthy performance in the TV film Taking Chance, Bacon has never been a regular on a TV series, which made his selection of The Following an important choice.

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Having read many TV scripts over the course of his career, he said that this series caught his attention because of its potential to become a hit show with its enticing subject matter.

"When I first read the script, I thought to myself, 'If we do it right, it's going to be kind of like a water-cooler sort of show where people will be saying, 'I can't believe what happened last night on 'The Following,'''" Bacon said. "So far--we're into Episode 7--I feel like we've been pretty successful with that."

Bacon doesn't merely think that others will be enthralled with the series, as he himself has been captivated by the plotline of the show while filming the first season, and anxiously awaits the next script.

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"I think the scripts are really exciting and really scary and when I get them...I can't wait to see where [the plot] is going to go," he said. "...I'm thrilled. I think it's going to be one of the fun things about watching this show--to see what happens week after week."

The 54-year-old actor plays a former FBI agent named "Ryan Hardy," who comes out of retirement to help track down a heinous serial killer portrayed by James Purefoy. His wife, Kyra Sedgwick recently ended her longtime law-enforcement role on The Closer, but Bacon assures the timing of his series debut to be irrelevant of his wife's departure from her longtime series.

"It kind of felt like the passing of the baton, but it really wasn't that," he said. "I actually started to explore the idea of doing TV probably three or four years ago, but there just wasn't anything that...I felt was a really good match with me, and it just happened that timing-wise this one came along and hers ended and we just switched roles."

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Check out the full video for Bacon's full interview as well as interviews with his cast mates James Purefoy, Shawn Ashmore, Natalie Zea, and Annie Parisse. The Following premieres January 21 on FOX.

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