TAMPA, Fla. (TBO.com)There was a time when Kevin Bacon was really annoyed with that whole six degrees thing.

“On the subway, people were literally coming up and touching me going ‘One degree!’ … I hated the idea. I wanted to be a serious actor, and all the sudden here I was a party game. I thought it was a big joke at my expense,” Bacon said of the phenomenon that started in 1994, challenging players to connect him to anyone else in Hollywood in only six steps.

Time has reversed that stance. Twenty years after a pair of college students invented it, Bacon has embraced the six degrees idea, as he told an audience of hundreds of fans Tuesday night at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

“When you take me out of it and think about the idea of six degrees, the idea is a beautiful one, it’s that we’re all connected. That we are riding here on this planet together, that the things we do in our communities affect people on the other side of the world.”

Bacon, who was visiting the university for its annual Student Lecture Series, spoke for close to 90 minutes, discussing his sixdegrees.org charity before sitting down for a Q&A that focused on a film career that includes roles in “Footloose,” “A Few Good Men,” “X-Men: First Class,” and his current starring role in the FOX serial killer drama “The Following.”

The lecture was free and open to the public, drawing hundreds of non-student fans to the campus who formed a line that stretched from the second floor of the Marshall Student Center down a staircase to the lobby. The student line stretched down another staircase, through the lobby, out the building’s doors and across the large lawn to the student bookstore.

Photo Credit TBO.com

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