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Kevin Costner Actor

Kevin Costner, co-star of the "The Upside Of Anger" Movie!

One of Hollywood's most prominent strong, humble types, Kevin Costner was for several years the celluloid personification of the baseball industry. The actor made a memorable mark with baseball-themed hits like Bull Durham and Field of Dreams, as well as his epic Western Dances with Wolves. Although several flops in the late '90s diminished his bankability, for many the actor remained one of the industry's most enduring icons. A native of California, Costner was born January 18, 1955, in Lynnwood. While a marketing student at California State University in Fullerton, he became involved with community theater. Upon graduation in 1978, Costner took a marketing job that lasted all of 30 days before deciding to take a crack at acting. After an inauspicious 1974 film debut in the ultra-cheapie Sizzle Beach USA, Costner decided to take a more serious approach to acting. Venturing down the usual theater-workshop, multiple-audition route, the actor impressed casting directors who weren't really certain of how to use him. That may be one reason why Costner's big-studio debut in Night Shift (1982) consisted of little more than background decoration, and the subsequent Frances (1982) featured the hapless young actor as an off-stage voice.

Director Lawrence Kasdan liked Costner enough to cast him in the important role of the suicide victim who motivated the plot of The Big Chill (1983). Unfortunately, all that was visible of the actor -- who had turned down Matthew Broderick's role in WarGames to take the part -- was part of his dress suit, along with a fleeting glimpse of his hairline and hands as the undertaker prepared him for burial during the opening credits. Two years later, a guilt-ridden Kasdan chose Costner for a major part as a hell-raising gunfighter in the "retro" western Silverado (1985), this time putting him in front of the camera for virtually the entire film. The actor's big break came two years later as he burst on the screen in two major films, No Way Out and The Untouchables; his growing popularity was further amplified with a brace of baseball films, released within months of one another. In Bull Durham (1988), the actor was taciturn minor-league ballplayer Crash Davis, and in the following year's Field of Dreams he was Ray Kinsella, a farmer who constructs a baseball diamond in his Iowa cornfield at the repeated urging of a voice that intones "If you build it, he will come."

Riding high on the combined box-office success of these films, Costner was able to make his directing debut. With a minuscule budget of 18 million dollars, he went off to the Black Hills of South Dakota to film the first Western epic that Hollywood had seen in years, a revisionist look at American Indian-White relationships titled Dances With Wolves (1990). Detractors had a field day with this supposedly doomed project, labeling the film "Costner's Folly" and "Kevin's Gate." But the film, in addition to being one of '90s biggest moneymakers, also took home a slew of Academy Awards, including statues for Best Picture and Best Director.

Costner's luck continued with the 1991 costume epic Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves; this, too, made money, though it seriously strained Costner's longtime friendship with the film's director, the notoriously erratic Kevin Reynolds. The same year, Costner had another hit on his hands with Oliver Stone's JFK. The next year's The Bodyguard, a film which teamed Costner with Whitney Houston, did so well at the box-office that it seemed the actor could do no wrong. However, his next film, A Perfect World (1993), directed by Clint Eastwood and casting the actor against type as a half-psycho, half-benign prison escapee, was a major disappointment, even though Costner himself came through with a strong performance. More bad luck followed Perfect World in the form of another cast-against-type failure, the 1994 Western Wyatt Earp, which proved that even director Lawrence Kasdan could have his off days.

Adding insult to injury, Costner's 1995 epic sci-fi adventure Waterworld received an enormous amount of negative publicity prior to opening due to its ballooning budget and bloated schedule, and cemented industry misgivings by failing colossally at the box office. The following year, Costner was able to rebound somewhat with the romantic comedy Tin Cup, which was well-received by the critics and the public alike. Unfortunately, he chose to followed this up with another directorial effort, an epic filmization of author David Brin's The Postman. The 1997 film featured Costner as a Shakespeare-spouting drifter in a post-nuclear holocaust America whose efforts to reunite the country give him messianic qualities. Like Waterworld, The Postman (waggishly dubbed "Dryworld" by critics) received a critical drubbing and did poorly with audiences. Costner's reputation, now at an all-time low, received some resuscitation with the 1998 romantic drama Message in a Bottle, and later the same year he returned to the genre that loved him best with Sam Raimi's baseball drama For Love of the Game. A thoughtful reflection on the Cuban missile crisis provided the groundwork for the successful Thirteen Days (2000), though Costner's next turn as a member of a group of Elvis impersonating casino bandits drew harsh criticism for its pointless and excessive violence, relegating it to a quick death at the box office. Though Costner's next effort was a more sentimental supernatural drama lamenting lost love, Dragonfly (2002) was dismissed by many as a cheap clone of The Sixth Sense and met an almost equally hasty, though notably less outright despised fate.

Costner fared better in 2003 with the release of Open Range -- while it was no Dances With Wolves in terms of mainstream popularity, it certainly received more positive feedback than The Postman or Waterworld. In 2004, Costner is slated to star along with Keri Russell and Alicia Witt in director Mike Binder's drama The Upside of Anger.

 

Costner's daughter taught him how to propose !

Kevin Costner successfully managed to make a marriage proposal to wife Christine Baumgartner; thanks to his teenage daughter Lily.

The actor, who tied the knot with Baumgartner in September last year, admits he had no idea about how he was going to pose the question to his then-girlfriend until Lily, 18, stepped in with her idea.

"I told Lily I was gonna ask her and she thought that was really great, which has been great how the kids have received her. When I told her I was gonna do it and she started asking me, 'Well, did you get the flowers?' I said, 'No.' 'Did you get the candles?' 'No.'I hadn't really thought this through completely and that's what's been great about how they received us. So Lily told me exactly what to do and I went and did it. I was directed", Contactmusic.com quoted him as saying.

Kevin Costner's vanity keeps him in the gym!

Hollywood great Kevin Costner has revealed that he dislikes working out in a gym but his vanity does not allow him to let go.

The 'Dances With Wolves' star admitted that he would love to stop exercising but he is so worried about getting fat and losing his looks he can't give up.

"I hate the gym. And I certainly don't like weights. But it's important for me to look good," he was quoted by Femalefirst as saying.

So as much as I don't want to do this any more, it's vanity that keeps me going," he added.

Costner, who is about to become a father again for the fourth time with second wife Christine Baumgartner, also says he is motivated to keep going to the gym so he looks good for his wife and children.

He added, "I want to look good for my children and for my wife."

Ladies Surround Kevin Costner in 'Upside of Anger'

It's unusual for Kevin Costner to be the lone man in one of his movies. If he's not in a Western like "Wyatt Earp," "Open Range" or "Dances With Wolves," which won him best director and best picture Oscars, he's playing a baseball player like in "Bull Durham," "Field of Dreams" or "For Love of the Game."
Usually in the middle of a macho world like in "Robin Hood; Prince of Thieves," "The Untouchables" or "JFK," Costner now finds himself surrounded by women in the funny and bittersweet family drama "The Upside of Anger." He's an outsider, an alcoholic and a former baseball player -- not much of a stretch with the last one, he admits -- who's falling for a woman whose husband abandoned her with four headstrong daughters.

"Well, they were all easy on the eyes," Costner tells Zap2it.com about working with actresses Erika Christensen ("Traffic"), Evan Rachel Wood ("Thirteen"), Keri Russell (TV's "Felicity") and Alicia Witt ("Two Weeks Notice"). " There were moments that felt very real and very funny -- it's always hard to do these movies -- but it was fun to watch them, and it'll be fun to watch their careers evolve."

His love interest, the mom to the girls, is Joan Allen, Academy Award nominee for "The Contender." She says she felt an immediate connection with him.

"I just thought the chemistry was really, really great," Allen says. "We got to actually dance more than they showed. I wish they kept that on screen a little bit longer."

Allen says her co-star didn't try too often to play director and make suggestions to writer, director and co-star Mike Binder, who plays a small role in the film. And Costner says he wanted to take the small supporting role because it reminded him of the 1999 best picture "American Beauty."

"I saw it as a very American character with universal themes of men and women, and it humored me without challenging me," Costner says. "A lot of the humor comes out of really difficult scenes, and all those things existed in Mike Binder's writing, and that's why I wanted to do it."

He just turned 50, and he's newly married (last September), so Costner says he enjoyed the luxury of putting on 20 pounds for the role ("I drank a lot of milk, with bananas and ice cream, chocolate and cookies") He's also father to three teenagers, so that helped him with this role.

"I watched my oldest daughter her senior year on the volleyball team and she's not as athletic as her younger sister, so she sat on the bench," Costner explains. "I went to all her games because I didn't care if she was on the bench. I watched her cheer for her teammates, and I love that she understood what she was part of, and she wasn't jealous of her younger sister. I had a lot of pride for her."

Likewise, he says he encourages the young actresses he worked with in the film to avoid getting caught up in the Hollywood machine. "I just encourage them to have the courage to step away," he says. "If they walked away, they could say 'Yeah, I was in a Hollywood movie once' and then take their kids to soccer."

When first reading the script that his character was an ex-baseball player he worried about repeating himself, but Costner says, "I didn't base him on a former player, I actually based it on a Saint Bernard. I just felt like he was a guy who kind of went from backyard to backyard, seeing who was having a barbecue, and no one was very threatened by him. He's a Saint Bernard who just keeps kind of coming back."

Costner admits, "I'm a boy, I've gotta go beat something up, and I've gotta go try to make my mark, and I do that in movies. I try to live a very full life."

He loves making movies, and has "Rumor Has It" and "Tortilla Curtain" coming up in the next year. "I love the experience in the dark that we continue to go to, looking for something to change us, something fresh."

He still has a few all-guy movies in him, too. He'd like to do another Western, definitely, perhaps a classic John Wayne film.

"If I could remake one, it would be 'Liberty Valance,' maybe," he says.

New Line's "The Upside of Anger" opens in limited release on Friday, March 11, and will expand to major cities throughout April.

Kevin Costner speaks about "The Upside of Anger"

There is always something relaxed and playful about Kevin Costner, looking tanned and youthful at 50. Sporting a moustache, Costner seems to be enjoying a renaissance of sorts, both personally and professionally. Already receiving early raves for his comically sardonic portrayal of an ex-baseball player who falls for an often mean single mother of four daughters, in The Upside of Anger, Costner also loves being married the second time around to model Christine Baumgarten. The couple had dated for about five years when the Oscar winner finally decided to take the plunge and has no regrets about tying the knot again. "Well, I was glad to marry her," the actor says, laughingly. "I feel good about marrying her, and I was worried about it for a while," he admits.

Costner says that he was not sure he would take the plunge following his divorce from first wife Cindy. "I wasn't sure that I would, and I didn't date with that in mind," says the unusually open and circumspect actor, now also pondering at what phase their relationship is in. "She's younger than I am, as she's gonna be 31, and there's a lot of things that she's getting a chance to do, and I enjoy watching her do that, and kind of blossom as a person. She's a very good editor, and very kind of design oriented, so I'm enjoying seeing her do that, and I can actually see the cycle of what she's going through. She's my partner, in my life, and so I like her, I like that she cheers for me. When I do something good, I like knowing that I have somebody cheering for me, on a psychological level." And Costner is not ruling out having any children with this second spouse. "I know she's keen especially now that she's 31, so I guess we'll see."

Costner is happy in love, but equally happy in career, with his comedic supporting turn in Upside of Anger having received critical acclaim following its world premiere at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Costner says that he was attracted the character because he was somebody he understood after reading the script. "I saw it very clearly, as an American character and this as a very American movie, with very universal themes of men and women," the actor explains. "I thought it was a very original voice and it humoured me while challenging me, as a lot of the humour comes from very challenging themes. The scenes are funny, but we don't know if they are funny or if they are just a train wreck and we just watch in amazement. There is a lot of laughing out loud and some laughing in disbelief and that is kind of a pleasing cinematic experience and I think all of those things existed in Mike Binder's writing which is why I wanted to do it." Joan Allen stars as the film's often embittered and happy-to-drink matriarch, who finds herself involved with Costner's alcoholic ex-baseball player-turned-radio Dj, in the film, written and directed by Mike Binder, one of Costner's oldest friends.

The actor was unconcerned at playing a guy who is a bit overweight, and drinks too much in a role which required him to disregard ego. "I haven't really been that careful in my career and maybe I should have been, to make sure I didn't make a misstep. I had to put 20 pounds on for the movie, because he wasn't the kind of character to lift weights. I've played supporting characters before in movies like The War and recently in Rumor Has It, and for this, I started off thinking the movie was great. There is no use in being the head flea on a dead dog, because you can have a really great part and have the movie add up to nothing. They always have that potential, but I think you have to start off with a chance, and I think Mike is very close to being our generation's Woody Allen, but instead of all the movies set in New York, they are set in Detroit."

Costner also gets to work with a quintet of beautiful women of varying ages, from Allen to Erika Christensen, Alicia Witt, Keri Russell and Evan Rachel Wood, smilingly conceding that "they were all easy on the eyes and they were all happy to be working on an intelligent script. Mike handpicked all of them so they all felt they deserved to be there and wanted to be there. It was fun and there were moments that felt very real and very funny. These movies are all hard to do and this one was just as hard, but it was fun to watch them and it will be fun to watch their careers, regardless of what happens." In giving his younger co-stars advice on avoiding the pitfalls of Hollywood, Costner is both matter-of-fact and circumspect. "I don't think you can avoid the pitfalls and live a real life. Some movies do well and others don't, but you always have to remember why you did the movie. At the point it doesn't seem fun or productive and you should have the courage to step away instead of just doing it for the sake of doing it. They've all achieved something even at this age, so it's okay to say I was in a Hollywood movie once, and then take their kids to soccer."

Costner is more than happy saying that when it relates to his own perspective on Hollywood and stardom. "My life is a lot more than Hollywood, but I've always reserved the right to invent my life and to step out of it if I want to. So I kind of counsel myself and ask: Do I have the courage to do that? There is a lot of money in doing this, even if you don't like it and that can be the seduction, as well as the trap," Costner concedes, adding that his family, his children, and his life outside of Hollywood, are what keep him real. "We get caught up in the trappings of all of this and we want to be respected, and we want a little bit extra. Then when you see your children succeed, you realize that is the highest thing you can get. When my oldest daughter was a senior playing volleyball, I went to every game. She understood what she was part of and she went to every practice and every game, so when you try to add up what is important, I was very proud of her and I know those are the most important moments. I also know that outside my own family I need to conquer some things. I am a boy and I need to make my mark. I do that in movies and other ventures, so I try to live a very full life. I know most of it doesn't mean anything other than who is going to hold your hand during your last breaths."

Costner will next be seen in Rumour Has It, now directed by Rob Reiner, who replaced the film's writer, Ted Griffin, who was originally set to direct, but was fired from the project. "He wrote a beautiful script, which is why I did it, and I hadn't started work yet, when that particular thing happened. Ted's a friend of mine, and was at my wedding, so you can imagine how I might have felt for him., I've never really been able to uncover the mechanics of how that went down However, they brought in a world class director, in Rob [Reiner]. For myself, I made a career of working with a lot of first-time directors, so I'm not really afraid of that. and I've used a lot of first time people in other capacities, be it cinematographers and production designers. I worked at Raleigh Studios for a long time, and it's hard to get started, and somebody has to give you a chance, and so I don't do that all the time, but I do it." In that film, Jennifer Aniston plays a woman who learns that her family was the inspiration for "The Graduate" -- and that she just might be the offspring of that well-documented event. Costner says it's by no means a sequel to the classic original. "This is quite an original comedy in its own right, and a lot of fun."

A star for some two decades, Costner says that he remains as passionate about what he does now, as when he started. "I'm passionate about the work, you know, even though I don't like living in trailers, and that's a lot of the life of an actor. But I like very much to perform, and when I see something that's great, my own vanity comes out. I think maybe that this movie this will live forever and it will be passed on, and not dismissed."

As for his life today and his place in Hollywood, Costner couldn't be happier on both fronts. "Well it's pretty great for me, it really is. But I like to think that I'm involved, and I think maybe, people are catching up. I've kind of been the same, and I think I've conducted these interviews almost the same as I had twelve years ago and I don't really change. I like long movies, and different kinds of movies. In 'Raging Bull,' he says you've never got me down, he's still standing, so I feel like that I enjoy making movies, I like the experience in the dark, that we continue to go to. I mean, the world still is evolving and changing so rapidly, we know what that's like, but still every one of us still find ourselves in a theatre, albeit it's your job, but if you step outside of yourself, there's many people who still go to the theatre, to sit in the dark, and watch a movie and they're still looking for something to change them, some fresh air, to feel some light. So, people that go to the movies feel strongly, and I feel strongly when I make them."

Kevin Costner: Open Range

Kevin Costner used to be one of Hollywood's biggest superstars. Having established himself as a huge box office draw as an actor, he went on to win Best Picture and Best Director Oscars for Dances with Wolves in 1991. His stardom may now be diminished, but as latest directorial effort Open Range shows, the man still knows his westerns.

Why have you returned to the western at this point in your career?

Well, it's nothing calculated. I felt like the last couple of movies I did had not realised their potential. Not in box office terms, but from what I thought they were in the script. I thought, I don't want to do that again, so I'm going to find the best movie I can. I didn't see any movies that I wanted to act in, so I just began to develop two westerns side-by-side.

But why a western? It was considered a dying genre even when you did Dances With Wolves...

It still is now. It's not in vogue. I'm not in vogue. But tough s***, it's a real genre. It's just real hard to do it right. Most people when they make a western, they make them dumb. They're also not relevant, and when a movie is not relevant to you, you're not going to enjoy it. There has to be something that speaks to you in terms of the characters and what's happening. So even though it's not considered a commercial genre, I don't believe it's not commercial.

How is Open Range relevant?

That could be you and me out there talking about someone that's bothering us. You know, "What the **** are we going to do about this?" The American west is not a fairy-tale place. It was settled by Europeans and they couldn't speak the language. They were told the land was up for grabs, and if you were smart enough and you were tough enough, and you were violent enough, you could have what you didn't have in England or in Italy or in Russia. So it was a rough place out there and it was bloody. And it wasn't that long ago.

The story revolves around a group of so-called free grazers. Can you explain who these people were?

There was a time when there were no highways and there were no fences and people moved freely across the land. But, like all things, smart people, ambitious people, begin to think: "Aha! I'll close things off. I'll put up fences." The advent of barbed wire came, and suddenly little outfits couldn't make do. Suddenly your business and way of life are threatened and whenever your life is threatened, whatever century you live in, you fight back.

You seem to be playing around with the notion of heroism with Charlie [Costner] and Boss [Robert Duvall]. What makes someone a hero in your eyes?

The movie turns on the weather, so I didn't start out trying to make them heroic. I don't even think of them as heroic, although I think they possess a certain moral courage. They don't have a lawyer to stand up for them. They don't have an agent. And they don't have a publicity person that can fix this thing. You look at them and, I think, you admire their choice. Charlie, right there at the end, has met a woman who he could have a relationship with. He doesn't need to go down and fight over this stuff, but his friend is going to. So he risks this relationship that doesn't even involve a kiss for his friendship. I think that you would like to think, and I could be wrong, that you would be that kind of guy.

Do you worry now about how critics, audiences, will react to a Kevin Costner film because of all the publicity surrounding your last couple of directing projects?

I'm not afraid. I don't walk through life like a daisy. I still believe in the movie experience and I believe people are looking for movies like this, not just because it's a western but they're looking for fresh air, for a good story, for something they can share with others - like a good book or a good piece of music. This is one to see opening weekend and it's one to pull off the shelf five years from now too.

Kevin Costner: Happy In Love And Career

There is always something relaxed and playful about Kevin Costner, looking tanned and youthful at 50. Sporting a moustache, Costner seems to be enjoying a renaissance of sorts, both personally and professionally. Already receiving early raves for his comically sardonic portrayal of an ex-baseball player who falls for an often mean single mother of four daughters, in "The Upside of Anger", Costner also loves being married the second time around to model Christine Baumgarten.

The couple had dated for about five years when the Oscar winner finally decided to take the plunge and has no regrets about tyingf the knot again. "Well, I was glad to marry her," the actor says, laughingly. "I feel good about marrying her, and I was worried about it for a while," he admits. Costner says that he was not sure he would take the plunge following his divorce from first wife Cindy. "I wasn't sure that I would, and I didn't date with that in mind," says the unusually open and circumspect actor, now also pondering at what phase their relationship is in. "She's younger than I am, as she's gonna be 31, and there's a lot of things that she's getting a chance to do, and I enjoy watching her do that, and kind of blossom as a person. She's a very good editor, and very kind of design oriented, so I'm enjoying seeing her do that, and I can actually see the cycle of what she's going through. She's my partner, in my life, and so I like her, I like that she cheers for me. When I do something good, I like knowing that I have somebody cheering for me, on a psychological level." And Costner is not ruling out having any children with this second spouse. "I know she's keen especially now that she's 31, so I guess we'll see."

Costner is happy in love, but equally happy in career, with his comedic supporting turn in Upside of Anger having received critical acclaim following its world premiere at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Costner says that he was attracted the character because he was somebody he understood after reading the script. "I saw it very clearly, as an American character and this as a very American movie, with very universal themes of men and women," the actor explains. "I thought it was a very original voice and it humoured me while challenging me, as a lot of the humour comes from very challenging themes. The scenes are funny, but we don't know if they are funny or if they are just a train wreck and we just watch in amazement. There is a lot of laughing out loud and some laughing in disbelief and that is kind of a pleasing cinematic experience and I think all of those things existed in Mike Binder's writing which is why I wanted to do it." Joan Allen stars as the film's often embittered and happy-to-drink matriarch, who finds herself involved with Costner's alcoholic ex-baseball player-turned-radio DJ, in the film, written and directed by Mike Binder, one of Costner's oldest friends.

The actor was unconcerned at playing a guy who is a bit overweight, and drinks too much in a role which required him to disregard ego. "I haven't really been that careful in my career and maybe I should have been, to make sure I didn't make a misstep. I had to put 20 pounds on for the movie, because he wasn't the kind of character to lift weights. I've played supporting characters before in movies like The War and recently in Rumor Has It, and for this, I started off thinking the movie was great. There is no use in being the head flea on a dead dog, because you can have a really great part and have the movie add up to nothing. They always have that potential, but I think you have to start off with a chance, and I think Mike is very close to being our generation's Woody Allen, but instead of all the movies set in New York, they are set in Detroit."

Costner also gets to work with a quintet of beautiful women of varying ages, from Allen to Erika Christensen, Alicia Witt, Keri Russell and Evan Rachel Wood, smilingly conceding that "they were all easy on the eyes and they were all happy to be working on an intelligent script. Mike handpicked all of them so they all felt they deserved to be there and wanted to be there. It was fun and there were moments that felt very real and very funny. These movies are all hard to do and this one was just as hard, but it was fun to watch them and it will be fun to watch their careers, regardless of what happens." In giving his younger co-stars advice on avoiding the pitfalls of Hollywood, Costner is both matter-of-fact and circumspect. "I don't think you can avoid the pitfalls and live a real life. Some movies do well and others don't, but you always have to remember why you did the movie. At the point it doesn't seem fun or productive and you should have the courage to step away instead of just doing it for the sake of doing it. They've all achieved something even at this age, so it's okay to say I was in a Hollywood movie once, and then take their kids to soccer." Costner is more than happy saying that when it relates to his own perspective on Hollywood and stardom. "My life is a lot more than Hollywood, but I've always reserved the right to invent my life and to step out of it if I want to. So I kind of counsel myself and ask: Do I have the courage to do that? There is a lot of money in doing this, even if you don't like it and that can be the seduction, as well as the trap," Costner concedes, adding that his family, his children, and his life outside of Hollywood, are what keep him real. "We get caught up in the trappings of all of this and we want to be respected, and we want a little bit extra. Then when you see your children succeed, you realize that is the highest thing you can get. When my oldest daughter was a senior playing volleyball, I went to every game. She understood what she was part of and she went to every practice and every game, so when you try to add up what is important, I was very proud of her and I know those are the most important moments. I also know that outside my own family I need to conquer some things. I am a boy and I need to make my mark. I do that in movies and other ventures, so I try to live a very full life. I know most of it doesn't mean anything other than who is going to hold your hand during your last breaths."

Costner will next be seen in Rumour Has It, now directed by Rob Reiner, who replaced the film's writer, Ted Griffin, who was originally set to direct, but was fired from the project. "He wrote a beautiful script, which is why I did it, and I hadn't started work yet, when that particular thing happened. Ted's a friend of mine, and was at my wedding, so you can imagine how I might have felt for him., I've never really been able to uncover the mechanics of how that went down However, they brought in a world class director, in Rob [Reiner]. For myself, I made a career of working with a lot of first-time directors, so I'm not really afraid of that. and I've used a lot of first time people in other capacities, be it cinematographers and production designers. I worked at Raleigh Studios for a long time, and it's hard to get started, and somebody has to give you a chance, and so I don't do that all the time, but I do it." In that film, Jennifer Aniston plays a woman who learns that her family was the inspiration for "The Graduate" -- and that she just might be the offspring of that well-documented event. Costner says it's by no means a sequel to the classic original. "This is quite an original comedy in its own right, and a lot of fun."

A star for some two decades, Costner says that he remains as passionate about what he does now, as when he started. "I'm passionate about the work, you know, even though I don't like living in trailers, and that's a lot of the life of an actor. But I like very much to perform, and when I see something that's great, my own vanity comes out. I think maybe that this movie this will live forever and it will be passed on, and not dismissed."

As for his life today and his place in Hollywood, Costner couldn't be happier on both fronts. "Well it's pretty great for me, it really is. But I like to think that I'm involved, and I think maybe, people are catching up. I've kind of been the same, and I think I've conducted these interviews almost the same as I had twelve years ago and I don't really change. I like long movies, and different kinds of movies. In 'Raging Bull,' he says you've never got me down, he's still standing, so I feel like that I enjoy making movies, I like the experience in the dark, that we continue to go to. I mean, the world still is evolving and changing so rapidly, we know what that's like, but still every one of us still find ourselves in a theatre, albeit it's your job, but if you step outside of yourself, there's many people who still go to the theatre, to sit in the dark, and watch a movie and they're still looking for something to change them, some fresh air, to feel some light. So, people that go to the movies feel strongly, and I feel strongly when I make them."

Kevin Costner makes a new pitch

Actor focuses on the 'Upside' of his ballplayer character. There are three notable differences in Kevin Costner's latest career move as a big-screen ballplayer:

The star of the previous baseball flicks "Bull Durham," "Field of Dreams" and "For Love of the Game" plays a retired ballplayer in the comic drama "The Upside of Anger," which premiered over the weekend at the Sundance Film Festival.

Costner is a supporting performer to the film's central character, played by Joan Allen.

The actor known for such sober dramas as "Dances With Wolves," "JFK" and "The Untouchables" is playing a good old goofball, a big-hearted meathead with a dopey laugh, a chronic marijuana buzz and a long-neck beer bottle perpetually in hand.

When writer-director Mike Binder's script for "The Upside of Anger" came his way, Costner had a moment's hesitation about doing another ballplayer.

"But listen, I'm not that timid about, 'Ooh, what are people going to think?' " Costner said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I didn't think 'Field of Dreams' had anything to do with 'For Love of the Game.' I didn't think that 'Love of the Game' had anything to do with 'Bull Durham.' And I didn't do any of them because they were baseball.

"When I saw this, I thought the not-careful journalists will write, 'Oh, another baseball movie.' But I did this because he was an interesting character."

Opening theatrically in March, "The Upside of Anger" stars Allen as a woman with four daughters (Erika Christensen, Evan Rachel Wood, Keri Russell and Alicia Witt) who turns boozy and caustically bitter after her husband pulls a vanishing act.

Costner plays Allen's laid-back neighbor, a former baseball star who becomes her drinking buddy and eventually tumbles into an uneasy relationship as her lover and referee for the woman's spats with her daughters.

Allen said it was refreshing for Costner to cut loose in a jollier role.

"I thought it would be fun to see him play something like that," Allen said. "We referred to him as a big teddy bear all the time. He was just really lovable and sweet and kind of goofy among all these women."
'He was the driving force'

Binder, also co-starring as a lecherous pal who produces a radio talk show hosted by Costner's character, wrote the script with Allen in mind. The two had become chummy on the set of Allen's political drama "The Contender," in which Binder co-starred.

But it was Costner's star power that secured financing for the film. Costner, an Academy Award winner for best-picture and director on "Dances With Wolves," never tried to muscle in on the production, though, said Binder, who wrote and starred in the HBO series "The Mind of the Married Man."

"He was the driving force behind getting the movie greenlighted, but he never used that power, which I respected," Binder said. "He was always one of the ensemble, one of the players. Never pulled rank. He never came to my editing room, never wanted me to recut anything. He truly was just a player and a supportive guy."

One of Hollywood's biggest box-office draws in the late 1980s and early '90s with "Field of Dreams," "Dances With Wolves" and "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," Costner has had fitful results with his movies over the last 12 years.

Last summer's Western "Open Range," which Costner directed and starred in, and the golf romance "Tin Cup" were modest successes. But his acclaimed political drama "Thirteen Days" failed to find an audience, and he had flops with such movies as the supernatural thriller "Dragonfly" and the heist flick "3000 Miles to Graceland."

Costner, who turned 50 this month, said studio pressures to boost the films' commercial prospects undermined some of his big-budgeted movies.

"I think some of the movies haven't lived up to what they should have been," Costner said. "When they're not done for a lot of money, sometimes you get a clearer voice, one single voice, about what the movie's to be about. And some of the movies for me that have not performed as well as I thought they could have, I think was because too many voices enter into them."

Costner said he feels no career pressure to deliver another breakout hit, saying his films have been profitable enough between theatrical and home-video revenues.

"I know what my movies do economically. I like everybody else understand what they do on opening weekend," Costner said. "The economic life of my movies, I'm really comfortable with what happens to them when they go out there, and so are the studios."

"Rumor Has It" Kevin Costner Speaks

After the upcoming "The Upside of Anger", Kevin Costner will next be seen in "Rumour Has It", now directed by Rob Reiner who replaced the film's writer, Ted Griffin, who was originally set to direct, but was fired from the project.

Of Griffin, Costner told our LA correspondent at the "Upside" junket that "He wrote a beautiful script, which is why I did it, and I hadn't started work yet, when that particular thing happened. Ted's a friend of mine, and was at my wedding, so you can imagine how I might have felt for him. I've never really been able to uncover the mechanics of how that went down...

However, they brought in a world class director, in Rob [Reiner]. For myself, I made a career of working with a lot of first-time directors, so I'm not really afraid of that, and I've used a lot of first time people in other capacities, be it cinematographers and production designers. I worked at Raleigh Studios for a long time, and it's hard to get started, and somebody has to give you a chance, and so I don't do that all the time, but I do it."

In the film, Jennifer Aniston plays a woman who learns that her family was the inspiration for "The Graduate" -- and that she just might be the offspring of that well-documented event. Costner says it's by no means a sequel to the classic original. "This is quite an original comedy in its own right, and a lot of fun."

Q&A with Kevin Costner at the Premiere of "Dragonfly"

Kevin Costner stars as Dr. Joe Darrow (Kevin Costner), a respected expert in trauma and triage. A tragedy claims the life of his wife, Dr. Emily Darrow (Susanna Thompson) while on a medical mercy mission in a remote area of Venezuela. As the months pass, Joe becomes increasingly convinced that Emily is trying to reach him from beyond.

Director Tom Shadyac felt casting Kevin Costner as the widowed doctor was a perfect fit. “Most directors I know feel that 90-95% of the work is the casting,” Shadyac said. "Joe is a man who has lost his soul mate, that relationship we all hope to find in our lives. I felt the audience would immediately relate to Joe Darrow's loss and that's why I chose Kevin to play him. Kevin is one of those rare actors who can deliver strength and masculinity, but also remain open and vulnerable. To feel great loss, you must be able to feel great fullness,” he explained. “When I met Kevin and saw the fullness of his life, I knew he could understand what it would be like to face loss, and that he was the right actor for this role.”

KEVIN COSTNER (Dr. Joe Darrow)

What will the audience like about this film?
I hope they like the things about it that I liked when I read it. I like when my face tingles, when the hair on the back of my neck stands up. And this did it, and it helped to explain a big question that no one has been able to answer for any of us which is if we lose somebody that we love, are we ever going to be able to talk to them again.

Are you the type of person who believes these things are real?
I do. I believe them. They haven't happened to me but I do believe them to be real. Too many people that I trust have had real experiences and I believe them. I am not a cynic.

How do you approach the ambiguity of the supernatural in your performance?
You have to believe in it; you can't be caught winking at it. "Joe" has to believe in everything that's going down - he's the one taking you through the story - so I did.

Will this movie make the audience think about the possibility of life after death?
I don't know about that. I do know that we all have that burning question about what happens if we lose somebody we love, especially if we lose them tragically. We wonder what fear was going on, we wonder if we could have reached out and touched them, held their hand, looked in their eyes, been there - but the idea if we lose someone, have we really lost them, are we ever going to have that conversation - I think the movie handles that.

How would you describe the feel of the film?
I think there is great love, and I think that the journey that he goes on has that “thrill” aspect to it because you're not sure what is chasing him or what he is going to find.

 


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