Draft Day Movie Stars (l-r) Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner. Photo: Courtesy of Summit Entertainment

Draft Day Movie Star Kevin Costner

Draft Day: Kevin Costner

Written by Kelli Gillespie

From Field of Dreams, to Dances with Wolves, to his latest film, Draft Day… one thing Kevin Costner makes clear is he’s not afraid to take risks on his passions. His Baptist upbringing and traditional family structure developed values within him that have carried over into his career. Risen talked with the talented star about the importance of character, staying true to convictions, influences and instinct.

Interviewed exclusively for Risen Magazine at the Four Seasons Hotel Beverly Hills, California

Risen Magazine: Talent only gets you so far, but it’s character that really defines a man, which is such a great message in the film. When it comes to kids, how do you instill character within them?
Kevin Costner: They hear it, and sometimes they see it. It is not something on purpose. I remember my dad held a job working for the electrical company and typically when there were giant rainstorms the power lines would go out. And I began to learn that whenever there was really bad weather my father would usually be out all night trying to get the power back up for people. When there were really bad storms he’d have to do it three to four nights in a row. He’d come home from all day at work and sometimes that phone would ring at three in the morning. I remember my mom, knowing that my dad was really tired, she’d say, “Don’t answer it.” And he’d say, “No, I have to answer it.” So I would hear these conversations in my bedroom through the walls. I understood what it was like for a guy to answer the bell. For a guy to say, “No, if I don’t go it will mean somebody else will have to go and I just can’t have that.” My dad felt his job was really important. So sometimes the lessons are from watching the behavior.

Draft Day Movie Star Kevin Costner. Photo: Courtesy of Summit Entertainment

Draft Day Movie Star Kevin Costner. Photo: Courtesy of Summit Entertainment

Risen Magazine: It sounds like you had a great upbringing. How have your values and roots influenced you as an actor?
Kevin Costner: I thought I had the greatest upbringing. I thought I had the biggest yard. I didn’t realize we didn’t have any money until I went and saw a kid’s backyard and it had a pool in it. My parents came to every one of my games because it was important to them, and every time I sang, they came. I don’t know how that defines you, but it was part of my upbringing, which was family. 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’m not afraid to be on the floor either.

Risen Magazine: How much of what you do is based on your passion and instinct?
Kevin Costner: My whole life has been instinctual for me. I wanted what everybody wants, which is a sense of direction. Right at the time you are 18, 19 or 20 years old and in college, everybody you run into that knows your parents, ask “What’s he going to do?” I have instinctual thoughts about doing things in my life, and I’ve followed that up by sometimes putting everything I have at risk – my money, my house. I do live off my intuition and my passion.

Risen Magazine: Whether it’s work or family, how do you handle pressures in your life?
Kevin Costner: I have a tendency to probably be at my best under pressure. I actually play sports better when I’m mad. I’ve had moments in my life where everything I had was all out on the table. And I’m okay with that because I had a strong belief that if I could get it just right, what I was doing, other people could believe it too. I have a tremendous belief in people. Not that people don’t let me down, not that I haven’t maybe let people down… but I have a tremendous belief in people and in the common experience. I feel like I have been able to live a dream life, but my view of things is absolutely inside behavior – how I behave, and how I count on other people to behave.

Risen Magazine: As a celebrity, people have opinions of who you are and what you should do, How do you escape that and stay true to your convictions?
Kevin Costner: I’ve stayed true to my own convictions, but you don’t escape it because there is so much media. I can turn on a TV show to just see something I want to watch, and somehow my name shows up [motioning to the bottom ticker across the screen] or I can pick up a magazine to read something, and there I am. When it’s positive, it’s a wonderful feeling. And when it’s slanted a little bit negative, it’s a sinking feeling. So consequently, when it comes to the media I don’t really look outside [holds up hands next to eyes to show tunnel vision]… it almost has to be right in front of me, because you can have your feelings hurt.

Exclusive Interview originally published in Risen Magazine, Summer 2014

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