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The Reason Mayor Of Kingstown's Dianne Wiest Keeps In Contact With Her Footloose Co-Star Kevin Bacon - Exclusive

In 1984, the (Hollywood) stars aligned to create a film that would remain beloved almost four decades later. Between Kenny Loggins' instant classic self-titled jam and Kevin Bacon's charm and gymnastics skills, who couldn't love "Footloose"? 

Not only was the movie a fun and fresh addition to the decade, but it fictionalized the censorship movement that raged rampant in the '80s (via the Los Angeles Times). While an entire town banning dancing seems absurd, it's not far from reality, with the witch hunts over books, music, and other media that still happen in towns today. "Mayor of Kingstown" actor Dianne Wiest played Vi Moore in the movie — the preacher's wife who often feels silenced by her controlling husband following the loss of their son. Of course, the preacher blames drugs, sex, and booze for his son's death and decides to punish the town with extreme regulations that most of the town is too afraid to push back against.

Looper spoke to Dianne Wiest during an exclusive interview where she discussed her time working on "Footloose," keeping in touch with Kevin Bacon, and why the censorship component of the film still holds up.

Six degrees of Kevin Bacon's neighborhood

Dianne Wiest shared that she had fond memories of working with Kevin Bacon in "Footloose," and they still keep in touch. "I see Kevin on 79th Street frequently. He lives right outside my neighborhood, so I see him frequently," she said. Being Kevin Bacon's neighbor sure beats those awkward moments with normal neighbors where you avoid eye contact or mention the weather.

Bacon isn't the only co-star that Wiest sees on occasion. She added, "I've been in touch with and worked with John Lithgow a few times since then. I guess that's all I've seen since."

The '80s were more than a few minutes ago, but Wiest remembered a few fun details from working on "Footloose." She recalled, "We all had a great time. We had a great time. We were in Utah shooting and up in the mountains somewhere, and ... I remember we were all staying in this little motel around a swimming pool and pushing each other in. We had a good time."

Tackling censorship in film

Despite debuting almost 40 years ago, the small-town censorship of "Footloose" still holds up today with steady interest and even a recent remake. Dianne Wiest has her own theories as to why the film is still such a present component of pop culture.

"For whatever reason, the tribes that each of us belong to vie for control over the behavior of the other tribes, and they can't just let people be if it's not who they're being," she explained. "If they're religious and believe in this God, they want you to do that too. Otherwise, it lessens their belief."

It's not enough for some people to ban books and ideas from their own households — they also try to force their beliefs on others. "If some minister sometime said there should be no dancing, yes, there should never be any dancing anywhere. And whoever's dancing ... It's not unlike — I hate to bring this up, but it's not unlike abortion," Wiest added. "We've outlawed abortion. Our Supreme Court, appointed by Trump, has outlawed abortion in America. Talk about going backward at the speed of light. It's wanting everyone else to behave the way you do because you are right." When you look at it the way Wiest explains it, in fact, "Footloose" might just be more culturally relevant today than it was back in the '80s.

The first season of "Mayor of Kingstown" is now available to purchase on DVD.