At some point, hubris and/or delusion knock down a lot of superstars, and it’s not particularly hard to figure out why. Once big
time success comes for any actor, their circle of trusted friends and
advisors tends to shrink, and with it the number of people who can
speak the brutal truth and play hardcore devil’s advocate in matters of
a career. If a star doesn’t have a strong sense of their own talent and of what
makes for worthwhile individual artistic pursuit, he or she can be in
for a bumpy ride. Whatever one makes of Kevin Costner’s past failures —
and between them, Waterworld and The Postman
spilled a lot of gossip column ink — it can’t be said that the 52-year-old Costner currently holds unreasonable expectations about his career. As both an
actor and director, he does what he wants and accepts the market’s
reply with more or less a shrug.
In 2005, Costner notably teamed with filmmaker Mike Binder for the idiosyncratic and at times downright combative The Upside of Anger, about a fallow, worn-down baseball player turned alcoholic deejay who butts heads in roundabout romantic fashion with widower Joan Allen. His latest film, Mr. Brooks,
is a dark and careening ensemble piece about a family man who
moonlights as a notorious serial killer, hardly the sort of
meat-and-potatoes career restoration project one would expect of a big
summer release. “I know maybe some longtime people who’ve enjoyed my
movies might be offended by this, might think that it’s too harsh,”
says Costner during a recent interview.
“I get that, and I accept that. But I don’t want to cater to my
audience, I just want to feed it, you know? Take it or not take it.
It’s an honest effort.”
This complete lack of illusions about Mr. Brooks’ place in the
current market stands in refreshing contrast to the manner in which
many stars hold on to a reflection of only their most idealized and
successful selves. “Yeah, there’s blood, there’s a lot of blood,” says
Costner of Mr. Brooks. “But that’s what this movie is about.
And there’s a lot of tenderness in it too, so what is everybody so
afraid of? Not being #1 at the box office? Well, we ain’t going to
be — we’re not even going
to come close.” For the full feature piece, from FilmStew, click here.