Cape Town – After playing FBI agent Ryan Hardy in The Following Kevin Bacon was ready for a different type of role.
He found that role in Jill Soloway's new Amazon comedy, I Love Dick.
Adapted from the cult classic novel by Chris Kraus it is set in a colourful intellectual community in Marfa, Texas.
The story follows Chris (Kathryn Hahn) and her husband Sylvere (Griffin Dunne) who is offered a fellowship to finish a book he's been writing on the Holocaust in Marfa.
There they meet Dick (Bacon) an artist who taunts their imaginations and their preconceptions about love and monogamy.
What drew him to the project was the good title, he said during a recent telephone interview.
"The last thing that I did was action, very bloody and tense and I wanted to do something more about love and sex and it was a half an hour comedy and I was like great."
He continues: "And of course, Jill Soloway. I was a big fan of hers I loved the Transparent series. When I heard Kathryn Hahn was attached to it I thought she was perfect for this part. It was just a great combination of things."
His initial thoughts about the character were that he hoped he wasn’t a jerk throughout the series.
"I wondered, as the show rolled out if we going to see some more colours from him. I also wanted to know if every moment of his was going to be something that was observed by her (Hahn's) character or whether you are going to see him in private moments that delve deeper into his character."
"But Jill assured me that there would be those opportunities. It’s always a leap of faith when you’re doing a series, that it is going to pan out," says Kevin.
Preparing to play Dick was a process. Kevin started out by reading the book. He then went on to write a biography about the character which he then shared with the writers to see if they were on the same page.
"I also did extensive research on Donald Judd, a sculptor from Texas and a wannabe cowboy like Dick. He has a ranch and created an art world in a small Texas town. I went to his home in New York and Texas and spent a night in the ranch house to try and get the feeling of what it’s like there," says Kevin.
And would he be friends with his character?
He laughs as he adds: "It might be kind of creepy because he looks exactly like me."
For Kevin working with both Kathryn and Griffin was a memorable experience.
"We had some really deep and intense scenes. I adore them both as people and their fantastic talent. When you are in a great scene with a great actor and the camera is rolling there is nothing like that," says Kevin.
The one thing he learnt during the making of this series is the difference between the male and female gaze.
"It's something I never really considered. That’s something that Jill and Sarah (Gubbins) spoke quite a bit about. I didn’t see the logic in not having any men in the writer's room but it was important for the show and the women to be together and to tell the story from their point of view. They wrote such great characters."
Watch the trailer here:
I Love Dick will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on 12 May 2017. Customers who are not already Amazon Prime Video members can sign up for a free 7-day trial at PrimeVideo.com.
(Photos supplied: Amazon)