Every Guardians Of The Galaxy Team Member, And Their Various Degrees From Kevin Bacon

Kevin Bacon has finally entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe, though it is in an incredibly surprising way. He will be playing himself in the forthcoming "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" set to premiere on Disney+ on November 25, 2022. Thanks to mergers and multiverses, Bacon technically already is in the MCU, as he played Sebastian Shaw in "X-Men: First Class," but this is his official introduction to the current slate.

Because Bacon will be playing himself, it immediately brings to mind the incredibly fun game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon." The man has appeared in so many films for over 40 years now, in both leading and supporting parts, that it feels like he has worked with every actor out there. Surprisingly, this holiday special will be the first time he has worked with every actor that makes up the Guardians team. That means playing Six Degrees with this cast is pretty fun. However, it turns out every member is only two degrees away from Bacon, which is not the most exciting.

Because all the degrees are the same, I want to get as convoluted as possible. So, I made a few ground rules for myself. First, I must use all six degrees to connect the two actors (which is honestly more challenging than finding the shorter routes). Second, I cannot use any franchise movies or voiceover work for connections, because the ensemble nature of those films makes it too easy. Third, I cannot use the same movie or actor as a connection more than once. With that, let's see how many wonderful movies — as well as some that you may have forgotten about — circuitously connect the Guardians of the Galaxy to Kevin Bacon.

Dave Bautista

Dave Bautista is in "Stuber" with Natalie Morales, who is in "Language Lessons" with Mark Duplass, who is in "Safety Not Guaranteed" with Aubrey Plaza, who is in "Emily the Criminal" with Theo Rossi, who is in "The Informers" with Billy Bob Thornton, who is in "Jayne Mansfield's Car" with Kevin Bacon.

I think saying Dave Bautista is the best actor to come out of professional wrestling isn't so much of a hot take anymore, right? The man has demonstrated an innate sense of comic timing, an ability to tap into world-weary raw emotion, and as expected of someone from his size and background, a fantastic sense of action and movement. Out of all the cast members, I am most excited to see him play off of Kevin Bacon, and based on the trailer, we will get our fair share of hijinks between the two. Like Bautista, Bacon can play someone utterly guileless without condescension to great effect, plus he can be as imposing even without a massive frame. Where their two energies ultimately land in this holiday special will probably make or break it for me.

The simpler path: Dave Bautista is in "Blade Runner 2049" with Ryan Gosling, who is in "Crazy Stupid Love" with Kevin Bacon.

Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper is in "Wedding Crashers" with Rachel McAdams, who is in "Disobedience" with Alessandro Nivola, who is in "The Art of Self-Defense" with Imogen Poots, who is in "A Late Quartet" with Catherine Keener, who is in "Please Give" with Rebecca Hall, who is in "Frost/Nixon" with Kevin Bacon.

Had Bradley Cooper been a contemporary of Kevin Bacon, I feel like there would have been a good half-dozen movies featuring both of them where they'd essentially take turns between being the lead or being fifth-billed. Even with how they actually are, it's a little surprising they haven't been in the same movie. You could see a world where Bradley Cooper is in "Black Mass" or Kevin Bacon is in "Aloha." "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" doesn't even technically put them on screen together, as Cooper just provides the voice for Rocket Raccoon. Someone has to fix this.

The simpler path: Bradley Cooper is in "Silver Linings Playbook" with Robert De Niro, who is in "Sleepers" with Kevin Bacon.

Vin Diesel

Vin Diesel is in "The Last Witch Hunter" with Rose Leslie, who is in "Morgan" with Kate Mara, who is in "Megan Leavey" with Edie Falco, who is in "Landline" with John Turturro, who is in "Anger Management" with Jack Nicholson, who is in "A Few Good Men" with Kevin Bacon.

Like Bradley Cooper, this special has Kevin Bacon the person acting alongside only the voice of Vin Diesel, but I think this is the best shot for these two actors to be in the same project. The only other way I could see it happening is if Bacon came in as a "Fast and Furious" villain, which would be pretty awesome, but I don't think there's going to be that much more runway for that to happen. Diesel can't do those films forever, and the forthcoming "Fast X" and whatever the 11th installment is called seem to be pretty locked up in terms of the cast. The two just run in very different circles for the projects they sign up for.

The simpler path: Vin Diesel is in "Saving Private Ryan" with Tom Hanks, who is in "Apollo 13" with Kevin Bacon.

Karen Gillan

Karen Gillan is in "Dual" with Aaron Paul, who is in "Hellion" with Juliette Lewis, who is in "The Way of the Gun" with James Caan, who is in "The Gambler" with Burt Young, who is in "Once Upon a Time in America" with Elizabeth McGovern, who is in "She's Having a Baby" with Kevin Bacon.

I see Karen Gillan and Kevin Bacon having similar interests. They both gravitate toward the weird stuff that allows them to have a lot of fun on screen. Even if the subject matter is macabre, there is still a lot of joy in the making of it, and when projects are massive blockbusters, their approach is going to be a bit off-beat. They like their dark comedies, horror movies, and goofy entertainment. Both actors are also incredibly good at harnessing their otherworldly good looks and using them for a variety of different artistic purposes, be it commentary, indulgence, or subversion. Beyond "Guardians," if these two do work together again, it will be something completely out of left field.

The simpler path: Karen Gillan is in "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" with Alex Wolff, who is in "Patriots Day" with Kevin Bacon.

Pom Klementieff

Pom Klementieff is in "Ingrid Goes West" with O'Shea Jackson Jr., who is in "Long Shot" with Alexander Skarsgård, who is in "The Diary of a Teenage Girl" with Bel Powley, who is in "The King of Staten Island" with Marisa Tomei, who is in "Crazy Stupid Love" with Kevin Bacon.

This is the person I am least surprised hasn't worked with Kevin Bacon before. Outside of the "Guardians of the Galaxy" movies, Pom Klementieff has mostly appeared in French films and tiny American indie dramas, which focus primarily on young people and probably don't have the budget to afford someone like Bacon. When he goes for the smaller-budgeted films, they tend to be more genre-oriented fare, and Klementieff just doesn't frequently find herself there. Mantis is one of my favorite characters in the MCU, and the trailer teases some fun stuff with her and Bacon. So, I hope they make the most of this somewhat unlikely pairing.

The simpler path: Pom Klementieff is in "Oldboy" with Josh Brolin, who is in "Hollow Man" with Kevin Bacon.

Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt is in "Her" with Rooney Mara, who is in "Side Effects" with Jude Law, who is in "A.I. Artificial Intelligence" with William Hurt, who is in "Broadcast News" with Albert Brooks, who is in "Modern Romance" with Bruno Kirby, who is in "Sleepers" with Kevin Bacon.

I see Kevin Bacon's connection to Chris Pratt in a somewhat similar way that I do to Vin Diesel. Pratt has been interested in being a movie star, and those kinds of vehicles just aren't all that compatible with Bacon's approach to picking projects. They are typically movies that sand off a lot of the edges. Bacon loves the edges. He feasts on them. Where the difference with Diesel comes is that he doesn't try to hide what a big ol' nerd he is, and that kind of earnest approach to something silly could be up Bacon's alley. Pratt needs the Marvel framework and someone more adventurous like James Gunn for these two to end up in the same project.

The simpler path: Chris Pratt is in "The Magnificent Seven" with Peter Sarsgaard, who is in "Black Mass" with Kevin Bacon.

Michael Rooker

Michael Rooker is in "JFK" with Kevin Bacon.

When I said every member of the Guardians of the Galaxy was two degrees away from Kevin Bacon, that wasn't entirely true. Michael Rooker, who plays Yondu, shares the screen with Kevin Bacon in Oliver Stone's conspiratorial masterpiece "JFK." The reason I keep him separate is that Yondu — spoilers for a five-year-old movie that made over $800 million worldwide — is dead. So, he doesn't really count anymore. Yes, Zoe Saldaña's Gamora is also dead, but we all know that isn't going to last. Well, the main Gamora is dead but the second Gamora isn't. Time travel is confusing! Either way, her story with Star-Lord isn't over. However, Yondu is done and got a beautiful send-off. I just had to get in one actual Bacon co-star for this piece!

Zoe Saldaña

Zoe Saldaña is in "Colombiana" with Cliff Curtis, who is in "Sunshine" with Michelle Yeoh, who is in "Crazy Rich Asians" with Awkwafina, who is in "Breaking News in Yuba County" with Matthew Modine, who is in "Short Cuts" with Tim Robbins, who is in "Mystic River" with Kevin Bacon.

To me, this is the most surprising pairing that hasn't happened. In some ways, Zoe Saldaña is a new version of Kevin Bacon, by which I mean you look at her filmography and are constantly saying, "Oh, right! She was in that too!" The two are often part of large ensemble casts, work in every genre, and seemingly have no qualms about the size of the role they take. I'd have thought the two would have crossed paths in a movie just by accident. We don't know if Gamora will actually be in "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special," as they are still on the hunt for her across the galaxy and she doesn't appear in the trailer. So, they still might not work on the same project, which is wild.

The simpler path: Zoe Saldaña is in "Star Trek" with Jennifer Morrison, who is in "Stir of Echoes" with Kevin Bacon.