Kevin Bacon recounts being thrown up on making ‘Apollo 13’ in zero gravity: ‘I was afraid’

Kevin Bacon
Kevin Bacon, Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton in Apollo 13 Photo credit Universal/Getty Images

Call this one Sick Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

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You know when famous actors sometimes complain about how it’s a such hard life, and you want to kind of roll your eyes? Well this time, you’ll definitely feel some sympathy.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kevin Bacon was asked to discuss some of his most memorable roles and the reality of the hazards of the job, eh, quickly came up.

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No doubt, making the 1995 Ron Howard-helmed epic, “Apollo 13,” was memorable all-around. But it wasn’t working with respected fellow actors or box office numbers that Bacon remembered first. It was getting thrown up on by a crew member.

It seems that while preparing for the role of astronauts, the main stars – Bacon, Tom Hanks, and Bill Paxton – would take numerous flights in a capsule machine that simulates the weightlessness of space, called the KC-135 – or “Vomit Comet,” as the actors jokingly dubbed it.

The joke got a lot less funny though when a crew member in the capsule couldn’t hold it in and spewed up. It gets worse.

"One of the cameramen threw up on me,” the 64-year-old star recalled. “What's interesting about being thrown up on when it's zero-G is that it hovers there for a while. It's floating, and there's nothing you can really do, except go, 'Here it comes,' and when they hit the G forces, it's coming down on you."

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Bacon tried his best to avoid just such a sick situation. Not only did he make sure to take the anti-nausea meds that NASA provided to cast and crew, but he speculated on the various gastronomical situations that might occur and tried to warn the food services department on set.

"We would do about 40 parabolas (rotations in the capsule) in the morning, come down and have lunch, and do about 40 parabolas in the afternoon," he explained. "But it was a giant Mexican fest with burritos and chili con carne, and all this really spicy food. And I was like, 'Can we just calm down on the lunch thing?' I was afraid I was going to be wearing it that afternoon."

When the “Footloose” star described everything the actors went through to acclimate themselves to the working life of an astronaut, it’s kind of amazing there weren’t a few more upchucks during the making of that film.

Bacon explained that they did flight school, space camp, experienced a hyperbaric chamber, and took many other classes to learn about the intricacies of spaceships and how they operate.

"We learned all about the switches and levers," he says. "It all went right over my head, but I literally think Hanks could fly in outer space. He was really, really into it. Paxton was too."

Bacon's latest film, "They/Them," is in theaters now and streaming on Peacock starting Friday.

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