Interview with Kevin Costner

    On Taking Risks, His New Movie Man Of Steel, The Superman And The Baseball Movies Curse, His Love For Cowboy Movies And Playing Around The World With His Band

    By Sian Edwards / The Interview Feed

    "I don’t take much stock in other people’s opinions if I think something’s good."

    Kevin Costner, 58, is an actor, director, singer, and musician. He was recently in Los Angeles to promote his latest movie, Man of Steel, in which he plays Jonathan Kent, father of Clark Kent.

    Kevin Costner -- actor, director, singer, and musician

     

    Costner has two Academy Awards, three Golden Globes, and has been nominated for three BAFTAs. He’s starred in such classics as Bull Durham, The Untouchables, Dances with Wolves, JFK, Field of Dreams, Revenge, Waterworld, and The Bodyguard. He’s currently starring in the TV series, Hatfields and McCoys.

    In his personal life, Costner was married to high school sweetheart, Cindy Silva for 16 years, and they produced three children. He also has a son with Bridget Rooney, with whom he had a brief relationship following his divorce. He lived with Elle Macpherson during 1996, and later in 2004, he married his girlfriend of four years, Christine Baumgartner, with whom he has three children.

    Question (Q): Did you grow up seeing the Superman movies and reading the comics?

    Kevin Costner (KC): No, I didn’t do that. But listen, I didn’t collect baseball cards either, and I’ve made three baseball movies. So I didn’t come to this with like, "Ooh I want to be in a Superman movie." I thought I never would be in a Superman movie.

    Q: Who was your hero when you were growing up?

    (KC): I don’t know. I don’t think I identified with one. But I understood very clearly when a heroic moment was taking place, and I was thrilled with it. And you know, you go from a moment of being thrilled by watching someone save someone and then you take that pause and go, "I wonder if I could have done that? I wonder if I will do that when I grow up to be a man?" But one thing you know is, you think, "I hope that I’m that person."

    Q: What about the Superman curse? Were you worried about that?

    (KC): I didn’t know about the Superman curse. And there’s a curse on baseball movies, and I made three of them. Cowboy movies aren’t supposed to be in vogue. I still like them. You know, I’m still out there pitching the hell out of them. "Man they’re going to love this," And they’re going like, "Who? International doesn’t want them." I wasn’t worried about anything like that. Maybe I should have read more. Had I known about that curse, we might not be talking (laughs).

    Q: Did you check out online all the blogs about this movie and all the characters? The fans are pretty crazy.

    (KC): No, because you can be so happy with five of them and then have your day devastated with one. It’s like in life, sometimes we worry about the things that you know that matter the least and don’t focus on the things that matter the most. And you know when you start searching for your name, you might be thrilled with what a lot of people say and it just takes one person. And it can hurt your feelings, but I have been aware of the fan bases and stuff like that and realize how deeply involved they are. In fact, I am creating material for those kinds of fans myself right now currently.

    Q: Do you think westerns are coming back?

    (KC): The western will always be here. And it just depends on how good you make one. And one movie doesn’t kill it. And one movie doesn’t preserve it. It’s storytelling. It’s a very American thing. I’ll continue to do it.

    Q: What makes your TV show, Hatfields and McCoys so successful?

    (KC): It’s the writing. It’s what people say to each other. Westerns aren’t about the gunfight, even though it has to be there at one point. It’s not what they’re about, at least the good ones. It’s about the drama. It’s about the resourcefulness of men and women. It’s about violence and it’s about truly not understanding what it was like to live during that time until you see it, a moment that’s created that would put doubt in your mind as to how you would have behaved at that same moment, what you would have done. What kind of man are you when that circumstance. I’m not talking about the obvious thing. But when you draw a western correctly, you create such drama, such dilemma that you think you almost don’t want to admit who you might have been.

    Q: You took a huge risk when you made Dances with Wolves and people thought it wasn’t going to work. It proves that we still need to make risks instead of doing what everyone says we should do.

    (KC): Yeah, conventional wisdom is so scary because what if everybody’s wrong? You know, what if everybody’s wrong in life? And so you have to live your life yourself. And conventional wisdom can get us into so much trouble, especially as artists. The truth is, I just want do things that are original and throw an original spin on them. But I don’t take much stock in other people’s opinions if I think something’s good, I don’t fall out of love with it. If somebody said my wife’s not beautiful, I’d go, she is. I wouldn’t say, really? No, she is. I know she is. In my mind, you know. So, I’ve never had that fear of going against the grain. I don’t go against the grain because I’m a contrary person. On the contrary, I think I’m a pretty right down the middle guy. I just think that’s kind of who I am. I’m not afraid of my own journey. You know what I mean? And I can’t turn my back on what it is I think I know. I mean, I would hate to see a UFO. Because it would ruin my life. I would have to talk about it the rest of my life, and everybody in the room would go, "Poor Kevin." Because you could not turn your back on the idea that you saw it. You know what I mean? If you saw one, you would have to do that. So for me, when I read a story that I think has value and I want to be in it, that doesn’t change for me. It doesn’t fall out of favor for me. I might have to move on because the universe is saying you can’t make this right now. But I’m going to circle back and make it.

    Q: Are you still doing music?

    (KC): Yeah, I’m going to play in St. Petersburg. I play around the world. I like new songs. I’m not defining my band by other people’s music, but by my own. It’s a very authentic moment for me. An hour and a half to two hours, with an audience. HBM

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