kevin costner & jennifer garner

Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner prepare for’ Draft Day’

*Kevin Costner plays General Manager Sonny Weaver in “Draft Day” and he spoke of what makes a film memorable when interviewed for his upcoming blockbuster.

Costner mentioned catch phrases and notable lines. Ironically, he has some of the best lines in movies.

In “The Bodyguard” with Whitney Houston, there’s a smackdown in the kitchen where Costner is coolly shaving an apple. During the beat down with Houston’s bodyguard Mike Starr, Costner never mentions a word.

After the fight while sitting on a chair with Starr pinned underneath, Costner tells him, “Let’s not have this conversation again.” If there ever was an example of actions speaking louder than words, Costner has claim to it.

Does the line “What do you want” carry a lot of weight here?

Well I tell you, it’s a thing that you have to say to women everyone once in a while. It’s a line that I think I’m probably speaking for every guy in the world and I think that’s why some of these movies have worked sometimes. ‘Just tell me, Jesus Christ, what is it you want?’ And I think someone should ask us that too. ‘What is it you want?’ It’s just a cool thing in life to get what you want. Most of the time we don’t but occasionally you do. Most of the time it takes a partner to ask what it is you want because I think sometimes we just don’t know. We’re just all in some kinda maze going after the cheese at the end. I think I just wanted to work when I came to Hollywood. It never bothered me to work hard. ‘What is it you want? That’s a question that we all get posed sometimes internally and sometimes externally.

Sonny’s decisions on the NFL draft could be described as instinctual. Do instincts play a part in your life?

Yeah, for me, my whole life has been instinctual.

I have instinctually thought I could do things in my life and I’ve followed that up by sometimes putting everything I have at risk—my money, my house—to make a movie. I just did it again with ‘Black and White,’ a film that I made about the notion of racism in this country and how we have such a difficult time talking about it. That movie reminds me a lot about ‘Field of Dreams.’ There’s a speech in the end that gives us a window to all finally step through and go, ‘Ok.’ Because we’re not going anywhere in this world; we’re all in this together. We have to learn how to talk with each other. And so, my instincts were wildly at play late in my career, a rock that I have to push uphill just to make it.

Nobody really wanted to make this movie. It’s my hope that you will all see it. It’s my hope that it becomes as important as ‘Field of Dreams’ or ‘Dances’ and I think it will be because it’s about people. It’s funny, it’s poignant, it’s sad. And in the end, it gives you hope. So I do live off my intuition, I do live off my passion. I realize that I’m not in battle; I’m not in combat. ‘Ooh that’s very brave to do.’ Well, I’m not exactly in Vietnam. I’m not in Iraq. If I want to make a little movie about racism, I should do it. And maybe the studio should too.

‘Ooh, it’s dangerous to make a movie about that now.’ You know, I’m not sure about that. Even this little movie [‘Draft Day’], this movie didn’t have a lot of homes. Lionsgate was the one that saw the potential and protected it. ‘Oh, I don’t know. That one day at the draft?’ But it’s not. It’s really about the human element. It’s about the boy and girl. It’s about, ‘Could we not talk about this on my most important day of the year?’ She [Jennifer Garner] says, ‘No, we’re gonna talk about it now.’ That is such a woman, Jesus Christ! It’s like, ‘Wow, could we pick a better day?’ And she says, ‘No, we’re talking about it now.’

So a long story to say I’ve never been afraid of things not working, I think it’s an underrated experience in life. I’ve had some wild, wild successes and I try to clean up the oceans and I try to do things. I’m not afraid to be on the floor so long as I have my girl come say, ‘I saw what you were trying to do’ [References made to Elizabeth Taylor and the film ‘Giant’]. So we can learn a lot from the movies.

So, Kevin, what would you say was your draft day with respect to your own career?

The Draft Day of my career? I think getting in the ‘Big Chill.’ I think that was the moment.

But they cut your scenes?

That’s instinctual too because if someone wants to say, ‘Well it’s not good if it wasn’t fulfilled.’ But there are athletes that you pick sometimes not based on their statistics but on what you actually intuitively know they can do. For me, I didn’t need the box office; I didn’t need to appear in the movie to know that that was a pivotal moment for me. Other people, maybe. But for me, I knew it was happening. So I looked at it differently.

Syndicated columnist Marie Moore reports on film and TV from her New York City base. Contact her at [email protected]