When I was preparing yesterday morning for the “Draft Day” press day, it hit me that in the seventeen years I've been doing this, I've never interviewed Kevin Costner before. I am a big fan of his work in front of the camera and behind it as well, and in particular, I think his affinity for Westerns is pretty great.
A four-minute interview is hardly the way to get to know someone, and I'm not sure Costner's the kind of guy who would ever want to sit down for an in-depth chat about his full filmography. I'd love to do that, but that wasn't what was on the table for Sunday. Instead, we talked a little bit about the authenticity of “Draft Day,” the new Ivan Reitman film where Costner plays the general manager of the Cleveland Browns.
Before we started rolling, though, I explained the Film Nerd 2.0 column to him, and I asked if he'd be willing to suggest some Westerns for the boys at the end of the interview, and he told me he'd be happy to since I gave him some advance warning. So far, they've seen a grand total of three Westerns. I wrote about the experience they had with “The Cowboys” and “Rio Bravo” when my dad showed them to them on vacation. The other one they've seen was, appropriately enough, “Silverado,” which we watched together after they saw “Raiders Of The Lost Ark.” I figured Lawrence Kasdan made a good bridge for them, and Toshi in particular thought “Silverado” was awesome.
When we got to that moment, I thought Costner's answers were tremendous, and I give him all the props in the world for suggesting that “Dances With Wolves” is a pretty good Western. I tend to agree, and I certainly have that one set aside for a special event. It got me thinking, though, that I may try something different for this year's Film Nerd 2.0 Spring Break Film Festival and ask different filmmakers to offer up suggestions for the various themed evenings. We'll definitely be doing “How The West Was Won” this time around, and I want to thank Costner for playing along. He was every bit the thoughtful and down-to-earth guy you'd hope looking at the roles he's played for the last 30 years, and it was a real pleasure to finally chat with him, even if it was brief.
“Draft Day” is in theaters August 11, 2014.