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How Kevin Bacon and Kelly Preston used — and didn't use — their families as inspiration for new film

08/31/2007 at 11:23 PM ET
Kevin Bacon and Kelly Preston go through every parent’s worst nightmare in their new film Death Sentence, in theaters now. The two lose their son in a gang shooting and the premise hit close to home for both actors and real-life parents. Kevin, who has two kids, Travis, 18, and Sosie, 15, with Kyra Sedgwick drew from his experience as a parent to get into the role, in which he seeks revenge on his son’s murderer.
I use my family all the time. You have this well that you need to fill up, and when you go to work and they turn on the camera, you start dipping into the well — and nothing fills it up quicker than the feelings about your children.
On the other hand, Kelly, mom to Jett, 15, and Ella Bleu, 7, with John Travolta, wouldn’t dare put herself in the same situation.
I have felt depths of many emotions. I lost my dad, who I was close to, a couple of years ago, but that’s a different place than losing a child. I just put myself in the moment of right now. It’s hard to explain, but [it's like], ‘This family [in the film] is my family now and I am in this moment and how would I react?’

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