LOS ANGELES — A couple of years ago, Kevin Bacon needed a few degrees of separation from his fame. He daydreamed of a crowded place where people didn't tug at his sleeve to gush about "Footloose" or quote "Diner." Finally, he went to a Hollywood makeup specialist and invested in a custom-made disguise that was weirdly simple but completely effective. He paid the $500 and then, with an anxious glee, he took his new rubber face to the Grove shopping center in Los Angeles to experience an afternoon without autographs.
"You wouldn't have recognized me if I was standing next to you," Bacon said with a faraway expression. "It was really bizarre and I didn't really like it. I didn't like it at all. People cut in front of you and when you're at a check-out counter it's just ... different. People weren't all that nice to me. I'm just not used to it."
Sitting in a quiet corner of a Brentwood restaurant on the west side of L.A., the actor shook his head, perhaps surprised at his own candor and then laughed at himself. "I can't imagine life without it," he added, referring to fame.
Besides the loss of the perks of fame, I wonder if there wasn't also something disconcerting about this because it cuts to the experience of selfhood.
How would you feel about wearing a disguise that makes you unrecognizable as you go about your daily business? I think I'd be uneasy with it.