Kevin Bacon's latest role focuses on an assignment that generally goes unnoticed — the task of a volunteer military escort.
The 50-year-old actor was in town for the D.C. premiere of his new HBO film "Taking Chance," at the Motion Picture Association of America. The film premieres Feb. 21 on HBO.
The film is based on the first-person account of Lt. Col. Michael Strobl, who escorted the remains of Lance Cpl. Chance Phelps to the Marine's hometown in Dubois, Wyo. Bacon stars as Strobl, who served as the military consultant for the film and co-wrote the screenplay.
Because of the true story behind the film, "it just feels like you're doing something that's just a little more important," Bacon said.
"When you're doing something like this which is about a real guy and a real man who was killed, and the war and the military, it just feels like it's got a little more weight," he said.
Phelps, 19, was killed while on a convoy in Iraq, two months after arriving there. After taking Phelps' remains to his hometown, Strobl wrote in his journal about the experience and the gratitude shown to him and Phelps' service by the people he encountered along the way.
Strobl, now a Pentagon defense analyst, said the military escort reflects the notion that service members are never alone.
"They weren't alone when they were fighting and they shouldn't be alone in their final trip home," Strobl said.
Bacon's role as Strobl follows his portrayal as another real-life Marine officer, Col. Jack Brennan in the 2008 Oscar-nominated film "Frost/Nixon."
The Philadelphia native's 30-year career includes "Footloose," "A Few Good Men," and "Mystic River."
Bacon took some time out to tour Ford's Theatre; he is preparing to do a Showtime series about the family of Abraham Lincoln's assassin John Wilkes Booth.