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Kevin Bacon: Preposterous

While living in a rooming house and waiting tables in 1977, Kevin Bacon auditioned for the role of Chip Diller -- a "preppy, frat-boy type, wet behind the ears" he was told -- in the John Landis comedy classic Animal House. "Can you be smarmy?" Landis asked. "Do a smarmy." Bacon had a minor problem. "I didn't really know what smarmy meant," he recalled. "I basically just did faces... I did what I thought 'sounded' smarmy."

Incredibly, he got a call-back, did "the smarmy" once again, and landed the role. Bacon, who had no agent at the time, was told he would be getting "scale" (the standard industry rate). Fine, he said, not revealing that he had another problem: "I wonder what scale is?" he remembered thinking. "Did I have to get on a scale?"

["I barely made it out of high school," Bacon admitted. "I've got more words now -- like preposterous..." Conan O'Brien joked about Bacon flying to the audition: "A plane? Tell me about this plane..." After landing the role, Bacon flew to the set with a first class ticket. He ended up nursing a serious hangover on his first day on the job. "I couldn't believe they were giving liquor away," he recalled. "I was drinking Amaretto, which I thought was, like, classy, and I got so f***ing drunk! I was pulling the script out, trying to impress the flight attendants. I was so smashed I asked one of them to come to the hotel with me. She declined, but she did give me a bottle of Amaretto."]

[In September 2003, Bacon received the 2,238th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was later asked about his neighbors. One was June Lockhart (with whom Bacon -- the inspiration for the 'six degrees of Kevin Bacon' Hollywood connections game -- had once appeared a film). And the other? He couldn't remember. (It was Mala Powers.)]

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