Emmys 2013: Kevin Bacon talks flawed characters, TV violence

Kevin Bacon talks about television drama at the Envelope Emmy Round Table.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Kevin Bacon’s character on the crime drama “The Following,” former FBI agent Ryan Hardy, doesn’t have it easy. Season 1 found him matching wits with an old nemesis — the serial killer who left him with a nasty scar and a pacemaker — while grappling with alcoholism and personal demons.

And Bacon wouldn’t have it any other way.

At a recent Emmy Envelope Round Table featuring five of TV’s top dramatic actors, Bacon said of his character, “I knew that I wanted to be heroic on some level.” But, he added, “Once that decision was made, I was really drawn to the flaws of who [Hardy] would be.”

WATCH: The Envelope Emmy Roundtable | Drama


Hardy’s flaws, Bacon said, make him vulnerable — in both a figurative and a literal sense.

“It’s metaphoric, of course,” Bacon said, “but it’s also every time he goes into some kind of a physical thing — whether it’s a fight or a chase or whatever — there’s always this kind of ticking time bomb of losing your life. And to that we added the vodka, and to that, basically, sadness and isolation. I like that.”

Bacon also addressed the hot-button issue of violence on television. “If we’re making a thriller, a scary thriller about a serial killer, there’s going to be some violence.”

He added, “I guess the question is violence in the media and should it be part of the discussion. Yeah, it should be. I also feel like it’s just a piece of the discussion in terms of violence in our society right now.”

For more from Bacon, including why he convinced show runner Kevin Williamson not to give his character a different injury, watch the video.


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