The iconic Kevin Costner began his supersuccessful career
starring in independent films, gradually earning
small parts in more established movies. But his
feature film debut ended up on the cutting room
floor -- remember the body in the casket in "The
Big Chill"? That was Costner.
Luckily, he made such an impression
on the director that he was cast two years later
in "Silverado." Throughout his career,
the veteran actor has seamlessly gone between
comedy, action and drama in such breakout roles
as "No Way Out," "Bull Durham,"
"Field of Dreams," "The Bodyguard"
and recently opposite Jennifer Aniston in "Rumor
Along the way, ego fueled some box office flops. Anyone remember -- or want to -- "The Postman" or "Water World"?
Costner showcased his exceptional
filmmaking abilities in "Dances With Wolves,"
which he produced, directed and starred in, winning
seven Oscars, including for best picture and best
director. He also directed, wrote and starred
in the critically acclaimed "Open Range,"
which he says took a big financial commitment
on his part to get made. Maybe that's why he is
seen pitching products such as Subaru cars and
iced coffee in Japan or Apple computers in other
His most recent film is "Mr.
Brooks," a film he stars in and produced
that portrays a darker side. The title character
seems to have it all: a loving wife, devoted daughter,
successful business, but unknown to everyone else,
he is also a very successful serial killer. Besides
"Mr. Brooks," Costner is writing another
Western, which by his own admission, will be a
tough sell in Hollywood. "I'll just have
to mortgage something else," he says.
You star and produce "Mr. Brooks." Did
you know that you wanted to produce this film
right away instead of just taking home a paycheck?
I knew that without a doubt I would have to do
that. I felt that it needed to be true to itself.
I knew that I would also have to have final cut
on it. If you like the movie, you know the odd
things about it would be the ones cut first. If
someone didn't like blood, blood would be gone.
Because they ask audiences "What do you like?"
And then they cut. If no one else wanted to make
this movie and I did, why would I let anybody
try to flatten it out and make it more generic?
So while I know some longtime people who've enjoyed
my movies might be offended by this -- might think
that it's too harsh -- I get that and I accept
that. But I don't want to cater to my audience.
I just want to feed it, you know. Take it or not
take it, it's an honest effort. So I knew I needed
to have some control over the movie in the long
run so that's why I wanted to produce it.
Bankrate: What is something that you look for in a script? What jumps out at you?
Kevin Costner: Just fresh air. Just like something that seems highly original. I would never do this movie if it was pitched to me. But I would have never done "Field of Dreams" if it was pitched to me. It takes a writer that really has his muse working on his shoulder, you know? It was just an incredible window that they found into this subject. Writing is hard. It's not easy. It's an art form.