5 Amazing Things We Learned About Kevin Costner On The Set Of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

By Eric Eisenberg 2014-01-07 13:49:33discussion comments
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Costner Westerns
What Draws Him To The Western Genre
Those who have closely followed Costnerís four-decade spanning career know that he has always had a particular affinity for the Western genre. Beginning with Lawrence Kasdanís 1985 movie Silverado, Costner has been in and/or directed four major Western films Ė including 1990ís Dances With Wolves, 1994ís Wyatt Earp and 2003ís Open Range - and recently starred in the old west-set mini-series Hatfields & McCoys. So what is the big appeal? "I like to visit it because when theyíre done right, I think theyíre really beautiful pieces of film," he told us during our interview. "They highlight how difficult it was for your ancestors who found their way to America to make a life for themselves."

As rough and tumble as things were back then, however, itís not the blood-spilling or the gunplay that make Costner interested in the genre. Rather, itís the strength of character that was needed in order to face down such a harsh world. Itís something that he believes that we donít think as much about today surrounded by modern comforts, and that it regularly comes as a surprise when itís portrayed on the big screen.

"Their stories are of people who made their way out west, had to wait for seven, eight days for just the buffalo to pass in front of them," Costner said. "They were afraid, so the wagon train just waited. You donít conceive of that, you canít conceive of that - and thatís real. If you make a really good western, itís not just about the shootout, itís not. Itís about, Ďhow did I get in such a bad spot here? How did it come down to me against these guys?í If you do it thoughtfully, itís our Shakespeare. If you do it crappy, it sets the genre back."
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