Kevin Bacon’s young co-stars in Peacock’s upcoming LGBTQ+ horror film, “They/Them” gives the 64-year-old actor “hope” that the United States of America’s Supreme Court will have a tougher time reversing queer rights.
“It’s tough to find hope sometimes these days, but we have to hope still,” Bacon told ET Canada at the film’s premiere at Outfest in Los Angeles. “The one thing that we can be hopeful about is that there are young people like the people in this movie who are the future.”
Days before Bacon’s interview was conducted, the United States House of Representatives passed a legislation to require states to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. While the legislation passed with the support of 47 Republicans, the bill has yet to go to the Senate floor.
— Kevin Bacon (@kevinbacon) July 27, 2022
While Bacon hopes viewers can find “entertainment” in the genre that has historically ignored the larger LGBTQ+ community, he more so wants “They/Them” to make everyone feel seen and represented during a time where gay rights are being questioned at the highest level of government. Bacon also hopes the film can help viewers of other beliefs recognize the horrors and traumas that things like conversion camps put actual humans through.
Bacon admits he didn’t even realize conversion camps were still happening to the extent that they are until he began researching his role.
“I just kind of thought, ‘Well, is that really going on?’ And, it is for 50,000 kids a year, in 20 states where it’s 100 percent legal,” Bacon notes. “That’s just not cool and the idea that somebody would want to tell Theo, that Theo can’t be who Theo is, is just kind of sickening to me.”
Bacon plays Owen Whistler in this slasher horror film, where several queer campers, led by iron-willed Jordan (Theo Germaine) and Alexandria (Quei Tann), join Whistler for a week of programming intended to “help them find a new sense of freedom”. As the camp’s methods become increasingly more psychologically unsettling, the campers find themselves working together to stay safe — that is until an unidentified killer starts claiming victims and things just get that more dangerous.
“The first day that I walked out for the very first scene in the movie and I looked out across everybody, all these beautiful faces standing there, I just felt it was very moving for me. I was very, very proud and very moved,” Bacon said.
“John Logan (director, writer) did a very exhaustive search to find the best possible people to play these very specific roles and they can now be represented in this movie with a lot of authenticity and a lot of honesty,” he added.
While Bacon recognizes the name of the game in today’s landscape of horror films include a large message of activism, the Footloose actor’s work within LGBTQ+ rights drew him to the project.
“I’m not saying that it always has to have a social message in horror, though it’s kind of taken on that form starting with ‘Get Out’ and then on and on from there, but it is pretty cool when you can take something like the horrors of gay conversion and build a genre that’s more accessible and put it in a framework that might draw some people in to see it and so that was an exciting thing to be a part of,” he concluded.
“They/Them” premieres August 5th on Peacock.