Kevin Bacon Interview: One Way

Machine Gun Kelly is back on the big screen in One Way. The film centers on a young man who goes on the run after robbing the biggest mob boss in town. He must struggle to figure a plan of escape while aboard a one-way bus complete with other sketchy characters.

Alongside Kelly, who is credited as Colson Baker for the film, the cast of said sketchy characters for One Way includes Storm Reid, Kevin Bacon, Travis Fimmel, Drea de Matteo, Luis Da Silva, Rhys Coiro, and Meagan Holder.


Ahead of the film’s release, Screen Rant spoke exclusively with star Kevin Bacon to discuss One Way, developing his character’s backstory with the director, finding the look for his ruthless character, and his thoughts on being cast as Freddy Krueger.

Kevin Bacon Talks One Way

Screen Rant: One Way is quite a tense thriller. What was it about the film that really caught your interest?

Kevin Bacon: I like contained thrillers. I like these kind of like stories where you just go for a ride, and it’s pedal to the metal from the top to the end. I don’t know if you ever saw a little movie that I did called Cop Car, but I’m always drawn to those. I like to go back and forth between things that are kind of bigger, in terms of budgets and stuff, but if you also look at stuff that I’ve done, I’ve found myself many times in low-budget situations. I feel like, sometimes, you can be part of the beginning of a great career or make some little gem that people really respond to.

Also, Colson’s work as an actor was interesting to me, to get the chance to play his father just seemed like a really great kind of opportunity. So

It’s funny that you mention Cop Car, because I do love that film, and I did get that feeling while watching this. You’ve played villainous characters before, and even though the father is not an outright villain, he is more on that side. What was it like getting to the heart of him in this film?

Kevin Bacon: His character is actually called a—-le, he’s a jerk. I think, in the course of the film, you really don’t see anything sort of redeeming about him. But, for me, it’s kind of fun sometimes to look at those characters [and do the] work of trying to figure out how he might have ended up with this horrible relationship with his son. It also was kind of interesting to me that this kid begrudgingly needs him and needs his help. I just found that whole relationship as something that would be interesting. Again, there’s not a lot there. You never have that moment where he goes, “I am what I am, because this happened” or whatever. But I’m always looking at these characters, good, bad, indifferent, as human beings.

Did you talk with Andrew Baird or Ben Conway at all to come up with that backstory for yourself, or did you just kind of roll with your own?

Kevin Bacon: Yeah, we had a lot of talks about it. You could talk about it up to a point, and then I just have to start building my own thing of where’s he from, how big is his family, what happened to him.

Generally, I find that people like this—he’s clearly abusive to his son—that there’s a cycle of abuse a lot. There’s a great series that I look at a lot called Soft White Underbelly, which the guy kind of started finding these characters down on skid row in LA and setting up cameras and talking to them, [many of who were] disenfranchised or drug-addicted people and, time and time again, there’s a cycle of abuse there.

It’s a very troublesome thing, but also one that can be really interesting to explore on screen. How did the look for your character come about? I find it so interesting, all of the tattoos up his arms and shoulders and the very relaxed nature of his attire, to say the least.

Kevin Bacon: I got with my hair and makeup people, who I’ve worked with for many years on a whole lot of different projects. Knowing that Colson also has a lot of tattoos, I said, “Let’s try to dig into the genesis of this tattoo thing.” He’s very different, he can’t stand his father, but he also has kind of been made a little bit in his image. I remember I said, “I should be shirtless in the first scene, and we should see kind of a map of tattoos.” Then together with the makeup person, we went through and picked out as many as we could. She put together a great, it was like a Pinterest link or something like that, with tons of tattoo art and we kind of went for what we wanted to use. I can’t think if it was her or her husband who actually designed a couple, so there’s some that are stock and there’s some that are designed and then comes with the job to put them all on.

But in terms of a wardrobe look, the designer had just pulled these strange things and I wanted it to be a little bit of a hodgepodge. I didn’t want it to say biker, I didn’t want it to say cowboy, I didn’t want it to say gangster. I wanted it to be like he has been around those bars in the past, but he also been a biker, but he’s also been a criminal, you know what I mean? I didn’t want to be like a cookie cutter kind of thing. Then we talked about the facial stuff and the hair. What I find is that the way I work, and a lot of people work differently, I do the internal piece of it first and then just start laying the other stuff on top of it.

Gotcha, that makes sense. Did you have a favorite tattoo out of all of them?

Kevin Bacon: Yeah, my favorite was taking a pistol and putting it on my stomach and having the barrel of the gun below my pants, it’s like I have a gun tucked in my waistband.

That is really a unique styling, and certainly fits well with your character. I know you and Colson didn’t share a lot of scenes together, but what was it like developing a rapport with him for the scenes that you did share together?

Kevin Bacon: It was very immediate. We were right in the middle of a pandemic, I can’t remember, but I have the feeling that maybe this movie was pre-vaccine, so shooting from a COVID standpoint, everything has to be very, very separate. So we didn’t really have any kind of rehearsal, where we met was on the set. I hadn’t really seen his work, but I knew of it and his music and stuff. I don’t like to work in a situation where I’m going to come in and pretend to be the guy and just be an a—-le and hope that the fact that we don’t like each other on screen doesn’t carry over off-screen, that’s not really how I roll, I’m a professional pretender. And we were going to also be in this COVID situation and close and stuck on this little bus, so I approach things with a kind of respect and, “Here we go, let’s roll up our sleeves and get this s–t done.”

Well, that’s a good mentality to have, for sure. Did you find then that having that quick-paced shooting helped you get into the mindset of your character in this very fast-paced story?

Kevin Bacon: I don’t know about shooting fast when you’re shooting a fast-paced thing. This is what I know, I’m not somebody who figures out the character when I get to work, you know what I mean? So if something goes quick, I’m good with that, some people are discovering who their character is in take three or four or five, or six or 20, or whatever, I don’t work that way. I like to do my homework and come in and, “Let’s just turn on the camera and you tell me if you like what I’m doing or you don’t,” that’s kind of how I roll. So it’s great for me to shoot in this kind of a situation, but on the other hand, I also like it when things are a little bit more lengthened, but that was definitely not the case with this film.

Sure, with a lower budget and COVID protocols, I’m sure it had to fly by. How are you feeling coming up to the release of the film? Have you gotten the chance to watch the final product?

Kevin Bacon: I haven’t seen the fully mixed version, but I did see an early cut of the film, and it’s cool. It’s tense, Colson’s great in it, Travis Fimmel is cool and and the young woman that plays Rachel [Storm Reid], that we run into on the bus. I hope people like it.

I hope so as well, people looking for a good thriller are in for a ride. As a horror genre fan myself, I know that not too long ago, Robert Englund had thrown your name out there for taking over the mantle of Freddy Krueger should a new Nightmare on Elm Street come about. Since you’ve recently gotten back in the genre with They/Them, what are your thoughts on Englund’s pitch for that?

Kevin Bacon: Never say never.

I think you’d be interesting in the role, I think you could certainly be a good successor.

Kevin Bacon: I mean, I say, “Never say never,” but I really do follow that. There’s very few things that I go, “Nah, nah.” You just never know.

One Way Synopsis

No wrong turn goes unpunished in this wildly entertaining action-packed thrill ride starring Colson Baker, Travis Fimmel, and Kevin Bacon. After stealing from the biggest mob boss in town, Freddy (Baker) is badly wounded and on the run with a one-way ticket to salvage what is left of his crime-ridden life, for one last shot at redemption with his family.

One Way is now in theaters and available on digital platforms and VOD.

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