Kevin Bacon on Having 'Embraced' His 'Six Degrees' Fame: 'If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em' (Exclusive)

The actor has launched a new podcast titled "Six Degrees with Kevin Bacon," which will spotlight a bevy of charities championed by celebrity guests

<p>Noam Galai/Getty</p> Kevin Bacon at SiriusXM Studios on Sept. 5, 2023, in New York City

Noam Galai/Getty

Kevin Bacon at SiriusXM Studios on Sept. 5, 2023, in New York City

Kevin Bacon is leveraging his connections for a good cause — actually, several!

In celebration of International Day of Charity this past Tuesday, the 65-year-old actor and philanthropist launched his brand-new Six Degrees with Kevin Bacon podcast, an extension of his non-profit Both play on the popular "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" game, and the podcast strives to "[bring] you one degree closer to nonprofits making a positive impact in the world."

"The mission of both is to encourage people to make a difference in the world around them and will help them to lean in, learn and be inspired to act," reads a release.

Hosted by Bacon, the podcast will feature a variety of celebrity guests (first up: Mark Ruffalo), as well as "a lot of people who are either working with those foundations, or actually literally on the ground doing good work for the world, that really don't get a voice," Bacon tells PEOPLE, citing The Solutions Project President/CEO Gloria Walton, who makes an appearance.

"You hear celebrities speak and you see them all the time, but the people that do the actual groundwork get a chance to really share their experience," he says when asked what inspired the show. "So we thought, 'Why not combine those two things?' "

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Related: Kevin Bacon Launches Sweet 6 Degrees Campaign for People to Share Who They Are Staying Home For

The They/Them actor says the first part of each episode "is fun and a little bit lighter," in the sense that he speaks with fellow celebrities he has a connection with.

"Then we also introduce and bring on these good folks who work with these famous people," he continues. "They can talk about not only the causes, but also, I'm always struck with what makes somebody want to do that with their lives — what makes somebody want to spend their life giving back? I like to dive into that and get some insight about that."

Aside from Ruffalo, 55, some of Bacon's first celebrity guests include Matthew McConaughey, Jewel, Thomas Rhett and Bear Grylls.

"There's a pretty wide variety," the actor tells PEOPLE. "It's fun because I get to shoot the breeze with some of these people."

Bacon also says he finds hosting "challenging in its own way," explaining, "I've done countless interviews myself, but being on the other side of it is a whole new experience for me."

<p>Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty</p> Kevin Bacon backstage at <em>The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon</em> in New York City on March 29, 2023

Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty

Kevin Bacon backstage at The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in New York City on March 29, 2023

Related: Kevin Bacon and Budweiser Team Up on 'Six Degrees' Super Bowl Commercial — See the Full Ad

As for "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon," the actor has admitted in the past that he was initially offended by the game that assumed anyone involved in the Hollywood film industry can be linked through their film roles to Bacon in six steps.

But nowadays, he feels more of a sense of pride about it — and his mindset is, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

"I just kind of figured it doesn't seem to be going anywhere, and so there's very little for me to do about it," Bacon says. "The first time that I ever really embraced it, I think was with the foundation."

"I've said this before, and I really truly believe this: The thing about 'Six Degrees' is you got to take me out of it," he adds. "If you take me out of it, the concept is actually beautiful, because it shows that we are all connected — and not only are we connected, but we hunger for connections."

Bacon continues, "I think we would be better to each other and feel less of a sense of division if we just remembered that we all climbed out of the same swamp, essentially. So in that way, I think 'Six Degrees' is actually a really positive thing. We just have to make it about people, and not just about Kevin Bacon."

New episodes of Six Degrees with Kevin Bacon air Tuesdays on podcast-streaming platforms.

For more from Kevin Bacon, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.

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Read the original article on People.