If you were hoping to see Kevin Bacon as a “dancing, singing M&M” anytime soon, you’re out of luck. While Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon are supportive of each other’s careers, that doesn’t extend to roles that include anthropomorphic food. In an interview on The Late Late Show with James Corden, Sedgwick revealed a fear that resulted in her giving the thumbs down to a role that was offered to her husband.
Cibolasiphobia: the fear of anthropomorphic food?
Before talking about their new film, Space Oddity, Corden asked if either Sedgwick or Bacon had ever asked the other to turn down a role. Both agreed that they had opinions on the parts that the other took, but Sedgwick was quick to say that she had asked her husband not to take on one particular role.
She said Bacon was “asked to play a dancing, singing M&M.” After confirming that it was in fact the candy, and not the rapper, Eminem, Sedgwick added that she has “a thing with moving, talking food. I have serious issues with this.”
She continued, “It makes me sick to my stomach when I see commercials where the Oreo slides down the cream slide. Like just the cookie part. Or any anthropomorphizing of food.” Her point was emphasized when Corden mentioned a “talking hot dog,” which resulted in a disgusted look and an “ugh” in response.
Bacon then chimed in to ask what she thought of the Pillsbury Doughboy, to which she responded, “so bad,” though she admitted that he wasn’t too repulsive since he doesn’t look like food. This despite the fact, as Bacon pointed out, he’s “a big mound of dough.”
Corden sympathetically inquired whether it’s a genuine phobia. Sedgwick said, “I feel like I looked it up on Wikipedia, and there was something about people who can’t handle seeing this sort of thing.”
Not knowing what the phobia was called, Corden asked one of his producers to look it up. “Cibolasiphobia” was given as the apparent name of this condition. Bacon humorously summed up the segment with the quip, “I had no idea I married a Cibolasiphobian.”
What do experts think?
If you’ve never heard of this phobia, don’t feel bad. Neither had we. Martin Anthony, professor and chair of the psychology department at Toronto Metropolitan University, formerly Ryerson University, told TODAY.com that he also had never heard of it.
In an email, he wrote, “I have never heard of anyone with this fear, and I have never seen it documented in the literature (there is no information out there on its prevalence).” He also noted that most phobia experts probably never heard of the term either.
Anthony did say that “it is not unusual for individuals to develop unusual (or even unique) fears, so I have no reason to doubt that Kyra Sedgwick really has this fear.”
He also added that there is an important difference between a fear and a phobia. “Most fears are not phobias… For a fear to meet the diagnostic criteria for a phobia… it would have to affect her life in important ways,” he said.
These could include such serious problems as the interruption of sleep schedules, relationships, and work. To be fair, it could actually be said that it has affected her husband’s work.
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The couple’s film, Space Oddity, was released on March 31, 2023. Sedgwick directed and Bacon played the role of Jeff McAllister, who is decidedly not an M&M.