Kevin Costner never thought he’d make it in Hollywood had to see everything that somebody had turned down

Kevin Costner never thought he’d make it in Hollywood had to see everything that somebody had turned down

Kevin Costner recently opened up about his early career struggles and the unexpected path that led him to Hollywood success. During an interview on Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert” podcast, Costner shared his feelings of doubt and uncertainty while working as a stage manager at Raleigh Station. He recalled thinking, “I was never going to make it,” as he juggled his job and his aspirations of becoming an actor.

Costner’s journey wasn’t a smooth ride like Tom Cruise’s early success. He was 27 or 28 years old, earning $3.25 an hour, and surrounded by future stars like Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Nicolas Cage, Timothy Hutton, and Sean Penn. At times, he doubted whether he would ever land a significant role.

Eventually, Costner realized that actors can only take on a limited number of projects each year. This epiphany led him to a strategy: he needed to see every opportunity that other actors had turned down. This mindset shift was crucial for him, even though his agent couldn’t quite grasp what he was thinking. Costner was determined to find roles that others had overlooked, believing that someone might have passed on something great.

Despite his scenes being cut from the final edit of 1983’s “The Big Chill,” Costner credits the experience with changing his life. He felt he was with the right people and knew that it wouldn’t be his last movie. Shortly after, he landed a role in the Western “Silverado,” which became his big break.

In “Silverado,” Costner initially thought he would play the laconic role of Scott Glen, Peyton, which Kevin Kline eventually played. However, he ended up portraying a character who was more dynamic and unpredictable. This role allowed him to showcase a different side of his acting abilities, and he embraced the challenge.

Following the success of “Silverado,” Orion Studios offered Costner several movie roles, but he turned them all down. He wanted his career to have meaning and didn’t feel that any of those projects were a good fit for him. Instead, he chose a film called “Finish with Engines,” which was later retitled “No Way Out.” This movie, co-starring Gene Hackman, was a significant success, earning more than double its budget at the global box office.

Costner’s career continued to soar with roles in “Bull Durham,” “Field of Dreams,” “The Bodyguard,” and “Dances with Wolves,” which he also directed. “Dances with Wolves” won him two Academy Awards, one for Best Director and the other for Best Picture.

Most recently, Costner starred in the hit Paramount Network show “Yellowstone.” Initially, he only agreed to three seasons but ended up staying for all five. He believed in the world of the show, despite its soap opera elements and the characters’ morally questionable actions. Creator Taylor Sheridan’s authentic writing and the well-crafted role kept Costner engaged and entertained.

Now, Costner has moved on from “Yellowstone” and is focused on directing and acting in “Horizon: An American Saga.” The first two films are set to be released on June 28 and August 16, with production already underway on chapters three and four.

Costner’s journey to Hollywood success was far from straightforward. He had to navigate a path filled with doubt, rejection, and unconventional choices. By seeking out roles that others had turned down and staying true to his vision, he carved out a remarkable career that continues to thrive.

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