The Following didn't just bring Kevin Bacon to series television for the first time, but it brought him and his co-stars closer together — as in their Bacon numbers.
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Now that they're working with Bacon, all of their Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon numbers is one, obviously. But what were they before? Bacon did not share the screen with any of his Following co-stars prior to the show and most of them are from a younger generation and/or are newcomers, so you might assume that they'd have a high Bacon number. But based on our findings, aka using Google's handy "Bacon number" tool (type in an actor's name followed by "Bacon number"), that was definitely not the case. Here are the Bacon numbers for the cast pre-Following.
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James Purefoy (Joe): 2
Purefoy starred as the titular character in Solomon Kane with Jason Flemyng, who was Bacon's Hellfire Club right-hand man in X-Men: First Class.
Natalie Zea (Claire): 2
Zea was in The Other Guys with Michael Keaton, who had a cameo in Bacon's She's Having a Baby. Three of her Dirty Sexy Money co-stars, Donald Sutherland, Jill Clayburgh and William Baldwin, have also appeared with Bacon in National Lampoon's Animal House, Starting Over and Flatliners, respectively.
Annie Parisse (Debra): 2
Parisse co-starred in Prime with Meryl Streep, who was forced to raft at gunpoint by Bacon in The River Wild.
Shawn Ashmore (Mike): 2
The easiest Bacon number to identify, it's X, or X-Men rather, that marks the spot for these two. Ashmore worked with Hugh Jackman in the original trilogy, and Jackman made a cameo in X-Men: First Class, starring Bacon. Ashmore (and Jackman) will also appear in the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past, which will feature many of Bacon's First Class co-stars. Ashmore and Bacon have a non-X-Men degree of separation of two as well: Ashmore starred in The Ruins opposite Jonathan Tucker, who was in Sleepers with Bacon.
Valorie Curry (Emma): 2
Curry appeared in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2 with Dakota Fanning, who got kidnapped by Bacon in Trapped.
Nico Tortorella (Jacob): 2
Tortorella starred in Scream 4, from The Following creator Kevin Williamson, with Neve Campbell, who played Bacon and everyone else in Wild Things.
Adan Canto (Paul): 3
The Mexican actor is such a fresh Hollywood face that Google doesn't generate a Bacon number for him, but further investigation shows that his degree of separation is only three. He co-starred in the Mexican film Casi30 with Julio Bekhor, who was in Club Dread with Bill Paxton. Paxton and Bacon were on Apollo 13's lunar mission.
Kyle Catlett (Joey): 3
The child star appeared in the short film The Fort with Jake Weber, who played Kyra Sedgwick's boyfriend in Born on the Fourth of July. Sedgwick is married to Bacon, whom she met on the set of PBS' adaptation of Lemon Sky. They've also starred together in Pyrates, Murder in the First, The Woodsman and Loverboy, and Bacon has directed episodes of The Closer. Another way to Bacon via Weber: Weber co-starred in The Pelican Brief with John Lithgow, who, of course, condemned Bacon's fancy footwork in Footloose.
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So what have we learned? The game is right: Bacon is the center of Hollywood. (Duh!) But if that's true and with Google making the game easier than ever to find the shortest link to the actor, perhaps we ought to really test our cinematic knowledge and try to find the largest connection. After all, according to The Oracle of Kevin Bacon, there are three famous folks out there with a Bacon number of nine!
Are you surprised by the Following cast's Bacon numbers? What's the highest Bacon number you can find?
The Following airs Mondays at 9/8c on Fox.
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