Trying to stay anonymous and wanting only to keep to himself, Walter takes a job, finds an apartment (right across from an elementary school) and unexpectedly falls for Vickie (Kyra Sedgwick), a woman who swears she will not judge him. But despite his best attempts, Walter discovers he can't run from his past.
Husband and wife, Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick do not normally choose to work together but made an exception for "The Woodsman." In this interview, Bacon explains the challenges of playing opposite his talented spouse and why he decided to take on this very dark, very difficult part:
INTERVIEW WITH KEVIN BACON ('Walter'):
When you share such an intense emotional bond with
your co-star, how tough is it to impose distance on
that relationship for the purposes of creating a
Between me and Kyra? You know, thats the hard thing, certainly in this case, because we have to kind of erase 16 years of marriage and pretend that were just meeting for the first time, and just falling in love. Look, I mean, thats what acting is - its pretending that something is there when its not. So often youre called on to do the opposite. You go, Hey, this is Jimmy and hes going to be your father, and you have to pretend that this guy that you are just meeting for the first time brought you up. So in this case, its kind of like just another kind of acting exercise.
Shes an amazing actress and the good news is that you get in there, you get on the set and you are working with someone thats really talented. Youre throwing the ball, theyre throwing it back at you. You know what I mean? You can play it. The bad news - on a personal note - is that we tend not to work at the same time. Its very rare that we do. If you look at how many movies weve made, weve only done a few together, because what happens is I am, if Im working, shes the support system for me. If she goes to work, then that flips, and I become the support system for her. So when were both working were not really there for each other, because were so kind of consumed with what it is that were doing. We almost [always] have to come back together as a couple after the job is over.
What is it like going home after intense days like the
ones you encountered on this film?
It is its difficult. Look, in general, this is not a pleasant place to go to work every day, to be in this guys skin, for her to be in the skin of that character carrying around a lot of shame and a lot of hurt. And certainly its just not fun. But acting is exhilarating in a lot of ways. When you feel like youve done a good job, when you feel like youve connected to something emotional. Thats why we do it. But people have asked me if it was hard for me, or us, to shake it off and I realized that its not so much the shaking off thats hard. Its the knowing that youve gotta go back down in it the next day.
For instance, you come to Friday night when youre shooting The Woodsman and its late. You wrap and you have a beer. Its not a full-blown party, because Monday morning youve got to be Walter again. Thats where it can sort of takes its toll. That being said, when the whole picture is done and they tell me the print came in from the lab and the lab dailies are fine, Im gone. That guys gone.
Would you have been comfortable with any other actress
as the Vickie character?
Sure. I would have. No, definitely. Having her around did not make it any easier. Its not like I need her to get into something. Having her around was great because shes the best person to play the part. Because theres not a lot of people that pop into my head, at least, who could be sexy, tough and direct, and also believe that they were going to work in a lumber yard and be able to drive a forklift or be able to kick some guy around. Shes got that kind of ability, to pull those two sides of woman, and so thats why Im glad she did it. And believe me, it took a while to convince her to do it. She read the script and said, I think you should do it. And the producer suggested to me, What about Kyra? She said, If it was anybody else in this part, I would say yes. But I dont want to get in the way of you doing your work. She said, I think you should get somebody younger and hotter.