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April 02, 2017

Kevin Bacon reveals struggle with tremors of anxiety

Actor and Philadelphia native Kevin Bacon, a star in the 1990 monster film "Tremors," acknowledged last week that he has been struggling with anxiety for nearly 30 years. What does it feel like when he has a panic attack? Fittingly, Bacon compares it to an earthquake.

In a recent interview with The Mirror Online, Bacon, 58, revealed that he started suffering from anxiety around the age of 30, just a few years after finding the limelight in 1984's "Footloose." When his wife became pregnant and he took the role in "Tremors," he began to fear that his career had already peaked.

Not long after that, when he learned his mother had been diagnosed with cancer, Bacon recalled that he "broke down and fell to the sidewalk" during a panic attack in New York City.

His career worries at the time weren't ultimately justified — he soon landed roles in "A Few Good Men" and "Apollo 13" — but the condition never completely subsided. His solace, acting aside, eventually became writing songs with his older brother Michael. The Bacon Brothers are now a touring group, recently playing a pair of gigs in the area and catching up with PhillyVoice contributor Chuck Darrow about their musical dynamic.

For Bacon, it's more than putting together tunes.

“I find writing songs extremely therapeutic­," Bacon told The Mirror Online. "It is like if my therapist goes on vacation, it’s a good time to pick up a guitar and talk about what’s going on. I take extremely personal subjects and put them in the songs.”

Fame, based on the interview, seems to be a part of his challenge. Motivated by the high profile of his father, renowned city planner Edmund Bacon, the actor knew from a young age he would aspire to recognition and celebrity. Achieving those goals, he admitted, can still be overwhelming.

One of Bacon's latest songs, "Shaking," is superficially about seismic activity, but he explained it's really a metaphor for anxiety. 

Bacon currently stars in the Amazon series "I Love Dick" and will appear next in the film "Story of A Girl," whose plot examines a teen's relationship with her father after her sex tape goes viral. Bacon's own daughter, 25-year-old Sosie, will play Bacon's daughter in the film, directed by his wife, Kyra Sedgwick. No wonder he's anxious.