Kevin Bacon Denies Rumors He Turned Down Patrick Swayze’s Role in ‘Ghost’

Kevin Bacon’s acting career has included standout performances and roles that eluded him, but there’s one movie tidbit he wants to clear up. When asked if he really turned down the role of Sam Wheat in Ghost — which ultimately went to Patrick Swayze — he shook his head.

“No, I would,” Bacon told Business Insider’s Caralynn Matassa in the latest installment of our Role Play interview series. “I don’t think I would say no. I mean, I have no memory of it.”

Bacon also heaped praise on Swayze as the right choice. “And by the way, the other part of this is Ghost without Patrick Swayze — I don’t know. It could have gone nowhere,” he added.

Kevin Bacon said he would remember this if he turned down the role in Ghost, starring Patrick Swayze.

Paramount Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

“Ghost,” directed by Jerry Zucker and released in 1990, starred Swayze as Sam, a banker who is murdered. After his death, Sam’s ghost tries to save his girlfriend, Molly Jensen (Demi Moore), from danger with the help of a psychic named Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg).

In Swayze’s 2009 memoir The Time of My Life, co-written with his wife Lisa Niemi, the actor said that after reading the script, he thought he was perfect for the role of Sam, but Zucker was not thrilled with it. Instead, Swayze said that several well-known Hollywood actors were “considered” for the role, including Bacon, Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, and Tom Hanks.

Swayze was invited to audition, where he appeared in six scenes and convinced Zucker that he was right for the role.

The film became a box office hit, grossing $505.7 million on a $22 million budget. “Ghost” was also nominated for five Oscars; Goldberg, whom Swayze fought over for the role, took home the award for best supporting actress.

Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze starred together in the movie “Ghost.”

Paramount Pictures

While he didn’t turn down the role in “Ghost,” Bacon said there were still roles he wanted but didn’t get, but he accepted that because it’s part of the territory.

“Being an actor is a lifetime of rejection. A lifetime of closeness. I guess the only one that comes to mind is ‘Arizona Raising,'” Bacon said, referring to the 1997 Joel and Ethan Coen film starring Nicolas Cage.

“Part of it is because I love the Coen brothers so much,” he said. “They just made so many amazing movies, and I got together with them and completely screwed it up. So that’s the one that speaks to me.”