Sundance 2015 Interview: Kevin Bacon on ‘Cop Car’

Kevin Bacon is no stranger to the Sundance Film Festival. He starred in the inside Hollywood comedy The Big Picture in 1989, returned with his feature film directorial debut Loverboy in 2005, and appeared in plenty of other Sundance entries between the two (and since). But this time he’s playing a homicidal sheriff hunting runaway kids in Cop Car, and that’s a little different, isn’t it?

Jon Watts’ Cop Car has already been picked up for distribution by Focus World, so audiences at home probably won’t have to wait too long to see it. But we were right in that same boat at Sundance, only catching Bacon before the premiere, without having seen his film (yet). So he tells us all about it in our one-on-one interview, and also tells us about the mix tapes he makes for his characters, and why the only character he wants to revisit in a sequel is Valentine McKee from the horror comedy Tremors.


Check Out: Sundance 2015 Review: ‘Cop Car’ Takes You Away


CraveOnline: Unfortunately, like a lot of people, I haven’t seen Cop Car yet. It premieres tonight…

Kevin Bacon: We’ve been pretty good at not having it get out there. It’s kind of fun.

Can you tell me a little bit about it, so we can speak intelligently?

Two ten-year-old boys run away from home, in a small town, in the middle of the country, and they come across a cop car which is abandoned. So they come up with the idea that they want to get in it and drive it.

You play a sheriff in this movie. Is it your car?

It’s my car. 

That’s awkward.

It’s probably the worst cop car they could have taken.

Can you tell me a little bit about why.

I’m not a nice guy.

Oh no. So that’s got to be fun. You get to menace children.

Sure. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Is this the cute, “Air Bud” threatening children, or are you a real threat in this?

No, I’m a real threat. The movie… it’s a fairly edgy movie. It’s not a kids movie. Hence the Midnight Madness screening. I wouldn’t call it a horror movie by any stretch of the imagination. It’s more of a thriller. The tone of it is kind of Stand By Me, a little bit of Coen Bros., Cormac McCarthy.

Obviously you were attracted to the script but was that tone the thing that attracted you, or was it the role…?

Yeah, all those things. It was a fun role. One of the things that’s fun about it is that it’s a script where you have to read between the lines, literally. There’s not that many lines. I don’t have a lot of lines. It’s a lot of physical and internal kind of work. That’s always a fun challenge as an actor, but also as a filmmaker, to sell those things, to make that play. I think Jon Watts did a really great job. It’s really great. So I loved the script. I loved the role. I had some conversations with him, and I looked at a movie he made that has not come out yet…


Clown, yeah. I found it just cool and creepy. He’s got a great vision.