NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 27:  Kevin Bacon attends the "THEY/THEM" New York Premiere at Studio 525 on July 27, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
TV - Movies
Kevin Bacon On
Why They/Them
Shouldn't Be
Compared To
Friday The 13th
After appearing as a camp counselor in the 1980 slasher film “Friday the 13th,” Kevin Bacon returns, some forty years later, to another camp-themed horror flick. This time, Bacon plays camp leader Owen Whistler in Peacock’s LGBTQ-focused “They/Them” (pronounced as "They-Slash-Them") about a group of queer kids who are sent to a gay conversion camp.
Audiences, however, shouldn’t compare the two horror films to each other when in Bacon’s company, as the veteran actor, in an exclusive interview with Looper, explained why the movies are vastly different. “'Friday the 13th' was a giant hit and worked really well as a very specific genre film. 'They/Them' is a little bit deeper than that," said Bacon.
One reason "They/Them" differs from "Friday the 13th" is the fact that the former almost doesn't need a serial killer to be frightening, as the real horror is what's happening day to day at the conversion camp. Another difference is that while he's still portraying a camp counselor, Bacon isn't an innocent victim and goes from charmingly empathetic to monstrously mean on a dime.
In one horrifying scene, Whistler threatens to torture an elderly dog if one of the campers doesn't shoot it first. So how did Bacon connect to such an awful guy? "Get in there and commit," he said. "I don't like to do things halfway. If I'm going to play him, I want to give it — like in that scene ... about the dog — I want to give it everything I can."