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September 08, 2023

On his new podcast, 'Six Degrees with Kevin Bacon,' the actor interviews celebrities about their favorite charities

In its first episode, actor Mark Ruffalo talks about climate change activism; future guests include Idina Menzel, Penn Badgely and Matthew McConaughey

Kevin Bacon's new podcast puts a spin on the celebrity interview, speaking to guests about the causes closest to their hearts rather than their upcoming Hollywood projects.

"Six Degrees with Kevin Bacon" debuted Tuesday, coinciding with International Day of Charity. On each episode, the actor and musician, who grew up in Philadelphia, discusses with his guests the charities they are involved in and introduces listeners to to different causes, like global poverty, climate change, justice reform, women's rights and youth mental health.

In the first episode, Bacon interviews Mark Ruffalo about his work with The Solutions Project, an organization he co-founded that advocates the use of renewable energy.

"This podcast peels back the layers for fans and shows them another side of their favorite stars while honoring the real heroes — the people on the ground making a difference," Bacon said. "It provides my guests with a platform to talk about the real-world issues that keep them awake at night." 

The podcast is made in partnership with Six Degrees, Bacon's own charity that he founded in 2007 that helps provide people with basic necessities and supports youth programs. The name of the organization and the podcast take inspiration from Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, the game created in the 1990s that plays on Bacon's prolific acting career and the theory that everyone on the planet is six or fewer social connections away from anyone else.

Guests on future episodes will be Matthew McConaughey, Idina Menzel, Penn Badgely, Alyssa Milano, Jewel and Ron Funches, each promoting a different organization. A representative from the charities will also join the podcast to dive deeper into their organizations' missions.

The first episode of "Six Degrees" was recorded prior to the beginning of the SAG-AFTRA strike in early July. Bacon, along with his wife, Kyra Sedgwick, have been on the picket line in New York multiple times, calling for a new contract between the guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The Writers Guild of America has been on strike since May. 

"In terms of rich actors, a very small percentage of our union is doing very, very well," Bacon said on "The Today Show" on Tuesday. "Most of the people are living hand-to-mouth, those are the people we are striking for. My situation is not the same as the majority of our union. When it comes to writers and actors, we are artists, so all of our membership so if you do well you get to make your art. On the other side, they're dealmakers, so if they do well, they get to make a deal. So let's make a deal, let's get it done." 

"Six Degrees with Kevin Bacon" is available to stream on iHeartMedia and other major podcast platforms.