Kevin Bacon Will Return to ‘Footloose’ High School 41 Years Later After Students Campaigned to Get Him for Prom Day: ‘I’m Gonna Come. I Gotta Come!’

Kevin Bacon announced on “Today” that he will return to the high school where he shot “Footloose” more than four decades ago. The school is Payson High School in Payson, Utah, and its students have spent the last several months launching a social media campaign (#BaconToPayson) to get Bacon to visit on prom day. The students re-created scenes from the movie on TikTok, learned the iconic “Footloose” dance and more all in hopes of getting Bacon’s attention. And it worked.

“I have been so impressed with everything that’s been going on there with this crazy idea to get me to come back,” Bacon said in a video to the students. “I’ve been amazed at the work that all of you have been putting into this, with the musical and the flash mobs and the re-creations.”

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“It hasn’t gone unnoticed by me, not to mention the fact that you tied in, our foundation, and are trying to figure out ways to give back to your community,” he continued. “It’s really inspirational, so thank you. Thank you. And I’m gonna come. I gotta come!”

Bacon’s visit will be notable for several reasons. This year marks the 40th anniversary of “Footloose,” which starred Bacon as a Chicago teenager who moves to a small town and faces off against the local minister in an attempt to overturn a ban on dancing, so it’s only fitting Bacon return to the high school to commemorate four decades of the movie. He shot “Footloose” in the summer of 1983. Also, Payson High School will be relocating to a new building after the academic year, which means this is the last chance Bacon has to attend prom day at the school where “Footloose” was shot.

“Footloose” turned Bacon into a bonafide movie star and teen sensation, but he said on the “Podcrushed” podcast last year that path clashed with his original aspirations as a performer. Bacon had no idea he was auditioning for a “dance movie” when he tested for the role of Ren McCormack.

“When I did the dance movie, I was not a dancer. I wasn’t trained as a dancer,” Bacon said. “If I’m being honest, I didn’t even really understand that it was a dance movie. I thought it was just a movie, and then, where they would indicate that there was dancing, I would just get up.”

“When I became a pop star, the last thing I wanted to be was a pop star,” Bacon continued. “I had already moved into, ‘I want to be Dustin Hoffman or Meryl or John Cazale or De Niro. I want to work with Scorsese. I want to do Chekhov.’ You know what I mean? I was so into what my idea of a serious actor was, and all of a sudden I was given this thing that was completely not a serious actor. So I rejected it, full on. I tried to self-sabotage that piece of myself and my popularity.”

Bacon would learn to embrace “Footloose” over the years, and he rarely now misses a chance to pay tribute to one of his most enduring roles. When the SAG-AFTRA strike ended last fall, for instance, Bacon posted a viral video of him recreating the “Footloose” dance in celebration of the actors’ victory.

Watch Bacon’s full announcement to the students below.

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