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Rob Lowe Recalls His Failed “Footloose” Audition for Kevin Bacon's Role: I Left 'on a Stretcher'

Lowe opened up about an apparent opportunity-ending knee injury on 'Six Degrees With Kevin Bacon'

<p>Gonzalo Marroquin/Getty, Noam Galai/Getty</p> Rob Lowe, Kevin Bacon

Gonzalo Marroquin/Getty, Noam Galai/Getty

Rob Lowe, Kevin Bacon

Kevin Bacon's iconic Footloose moves may have helped launch the actor into superstardom, but they weren't as kind to Rob Lowe.

In a new discussion on the Six Degrees With Kevin Bacon podcast, the 59-year-old actor caught up with Bacon, 65, about his time auditioning for the classic 1984 film.

While Bacon ultimately scored the career-altering role of Ren McCormack in the musical drama, Lowe gave it his best shoot, too. And he recalled to Bacon this week just how it went down.

"It's a dance audition apparently. Dance," Lowe told Bacon.

"By the way I think it was to a Styx song of all things. And the end of the dance was a knee slide across the floor," he added. "And I hit my knees and slide across the floor into a lineup of [former Paramount Pictures CEO] Sherry Lansing, [screenwriter] Dean Pitchford, [producer] Craig Zadan."

<p>Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock</p> Kevin Bacon photographed for 'Footloose' in 1984

Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock

Kevin Bacon photographed for 'Footloose' in 1984

Related: Kevin Bacon Reveals He Agreed to Destroy a 'Haunted' Building on His Property

After mentioning that director Herbert Ross was also present for Lowe's grand slide, he added that it sadly didn't go anywhere near as planned.

"And my knee explodes," he told Bacon. "Explodes! Pop. And they take me out of the soundstage on a stretcher."

"Craig Zadan and the producers, who were friends of mine and were very pro-me doing this movie go up to me and go, 'Hey man, it's cool. At the end of the day, we really decided, we're just going to hire a dancer for the part,' " Lowe recalled being told after his failed audition, noting that "a week later they hire you."

Lowe also remembered his mindset after finding out Bacon scored the role instead of him: "'Goddamn these guys! That's a real actor!' "

"Well, that is a great Hollywood story," Bacon said.

<p>Emma McIntyre/Getty Images</p> Rob Lowe attends the Los Angeles Premiere of Netflix's "Unstable" in March 2023

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Rob Lowe attends the Los Angeles Premiere of Netflix's "Unstable" in March 2023

Related: Rob Lowe Admits He Mistakenly Sent Bradley Cooper a Congratulatory Message After Robert Downey Jr.'s Globes Win

Before Bacon hit it big with Footloose and his earlier work, such as 1978's National Lampoon's Animal House, he was living in New York City with a $150-a-month apartment budget.

During a November appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Bacon opened up about moving to N.Y.C. in 1976 after spotting an ad that piqued his interest.

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"I don't know how I got the math on that, but that's what I had decided," Bacon said of his budget. "So I saw an ad on the back of the Village Voice, and it said, 'Artists, actors, musicians residence.' And I thought, 'Well, that sounds good.' "

After sleeping on his sister's couch for four months, Bacon said he sought out the "flophouse," which had "some artists there, but not a lot."

"You really got to want your dream," Clarkson later said. Bacon agreed by adding that "you got to have the hunger."

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