Bankrate: Do you think great writing is protected in Hollywood?
Kevin Costner: I don't think that it is, no. Because the minute you're willing to ask an audience what they think about a movie, I think it shows no one cares about the writing. And I think that's foolish. I don't go out to actors until my script is 100 percent finished. Because I don't want anyone changing it. Annette Bening and Robert Duval didn't change a line on "Open Range." Why? Because I was sure that it worked. What is everyone so afraid of in making movies? Not being No. 1 at the box office? Well, Mr. Brooks ain't going to be. We're not even going to come close. But we can be a movie that's so true to itself that you might want to take a friend back to it.
Bankrate: Can you say something
about the Western you're working on now?
It's just a good cowboy movie about friendship,
and there's a code. It's done; it's written. People
aren't dying to make Westerns, though. I'll just
have to figure out how to make it. I'll have to
raise money from different sources and I'll have
to keep creative control.
Bankrate: Sounds like you are thinking about financing it through independent means?
Well we made "Open Range" in Calgary
for just over $20 million and all the money went
up on the screen. I didn't take a salary for directing;
I took the minimum. But nobody else did. Robert
and the other actors made as much as they ever
did, but I don't like everybody to work under
that banner of labor of love. "Dances with
Wolves" was made for $16 million and everybody
made as much money, if not more than they'd ever
made in terms of salary. I come from a low-budget
world, so I kind of know how to use my money,
work with my money. If I was producing "Water
World," it would have been done in a different
way -- moneywise. I watch my money. With "Open
Range" I put up about $750,000 and I got
other people to put up some money. But I had to
make some crucial producing decisions when making
that film. I spent $300,000 on making the street
flooding scenes real -- that was a crucial decision
but I wanted it authentic.
Bankrate: So is critical or financial success more important to you in making a movie, especially when you've invested in it?
Kevin Costner: Well, criticism
is hard to take sometimes. Constructive criticism
is something that all of us can do well from.
Cynical criticism, skepticism is very difficult
for me to deal with. When you make a movie, either
lack of money, lack of talent, the sun went down
-- I sometimes can't do anything about it. But
I'm satisfied with the end product. So in truth,
financially it would be better because then I
could go on and make another Western.