Kevin Costner: “Cannes helps me bring my films to life. I can’t thank you enough for that”

The (co)writer, actor, director and producer of Horizon delivered a masterclass on the Croisette.

If Kevin Costner was very surrounded last night on the red carpet of the first part of Horizon, a particularly ambitious western saga that he dreams of turning into four films, he came alone to the press conference hosted by Didier Allouch. No actresses this time, nor members of his family. Which he nevertheless wanted to greet from the outset:

“I felt so much love, It was totally unexpected, he said in the preamble about the long standing ovation last night. All this while being surrounded by my children… it was extraordinary.”

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“I needed to feel my family close to me”

Still on the subject of his family, Kevin Costner then responds to a woman confiding to him that she always wanted to name her son Kevin after him.

“It all started for me in 1988 when I discovered this character, Hayes Ellison. I kept his first name in mind, as part of my own journey. I don't know what it says about me, but there When I was fifteen, I gave it to my son. Then I used it in the film. Horizonthere is this little guy, who does not leave his father… He is like my son, he remains very close to his father.

If my children hadn't been interested in this film, I wouldn't have chosen them on principle, because I know that someone would dream of a role like that. But at the same time, I needed to feel my family close to me. This idea of ​​a son who doesn't want to leave, who follows his father rather than being safe with his mother… It's this kind of scene architecture that I like so much in westerns. These films allow us to deal with complicated situations and deep feelings. The stories that interest me must have this sort of complication. That’s why they’re so hard to write!”

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“Films must have something in common with reality…”

Over the course of the discussions, Kevin Costner's way of conceiving cinema emerges, which is keen to tell ambitious stories, far from the great Manichean spectacle.

“The fact that women have the strongest roles in this film, the most complicated, that makes sense to me. Showcasing a woman who does not have the codes of the West, who feels soiled by everything that and who wants to wash at all costs I was asked what this kind of scenes did in the film, but for me it is very important The films must have something in common with reality, because if we. don't recognize ourselves in them, they lose us.


I can't check all the boxes every time I make a film, but I am fully aware of these issues of diversity. I live in a place called Compton, it's in California, and I produced a film called Black or White. It was my way of speaking about the racism that exists in our country.
So yes, in
Horizonshowing these people of Asian origin who lived in the West, I thought that made sense.


You know, for me, Dancing with the wolvesit's not a story about Native Americans, it's rather that of my character, who witnesses their daily life, who observes their culture.
A film is an adventure, I'm not trying to write
“From the point of view of”. Yes, Native Americans are represented, but I am not trying to integrate them at all costs. Let's say that I try to make the most realistic films possible. Without being all white or all black.


America, 200 years ago, was like the Garden of Eden in the minds of the people who went there. They believed in it. Those who dreamed of a new life believed in it. It was a myth. Whether they came from Europe or Africa, they arrived in America and there was nothing, everything to build. These lands, if you were smart or cruel enough, you could conquer them, but at the same time, it was at the expense of the people who had lived there for centuries. This led to bloody conflicts, it led to the Civil War. This is what we're talking about Horizon.

I hope you watch the film again to see how important words are to me. I like the confrontations on screen, but I pay attention to the dialogues. This film is like a postcard, to show future generations that sometimes it is important not to build everywhere. Let's preserve these rivers, these mountains…”

Warner Bros.

“My problem? It’s that I’m going all the way!”

“You see why my films are so long: it takes me a long time to answer the questions!laughs Kevin Costner, who actually details his answers.

“I don't know why it was so hard to put together, he also confides about the fact that hehimself invested nearly 100 million dollars to design Horizon. Why I had trouble getting financiers interested. I don't think I make better films than others, but I don't think I make the worst ones either. My problem is that I go through with it when I think a script is good. I had to find rich people interested in doing Horizon. I literally called out millionaires, here in Cannes, in Monaco, everywhere! I got on boats to try to get money (laughs).


I absolutely wanted to make four films to rediscover the happiness I felt when I was little when I saw the cinema curtains open. That no longer exists anymore… Going to the cinema means having the chance to witness something magical.

I made the decision to put my house on mortgage, not because they don't matter to me, of course they have value, but I'm like everyone else, I don't need four houses. I thought a lot, with my children, about their legacy, about what I wanted to leave behind.

Cannes helps me bring my films to life. I can't thank you enough for that. Of course, everyone can write whatever they want about Horizonand in this case, there were such beautiful reactions…”

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Dreaming of cinema

“I like the part where we dream about films, even before writing them,” he finally explains about his way of seeing cinema. “Of course, I loved the red carpet yesterday in company of my children, but you don't do cinema for that. Not just for the glamor or the nice hotel rooms. Even if mine is perfect, thank you very much, by the way. when we think all the time about the film we are going to make, it wakes us up at night.

Initially, I didn't have the money to pursue my passion. Afterwards, maybe I had too much? Now I'm investing mine. The thing is, every day while preparing this film, there was this moment where I felt like I had managed this money perfectly. For example, realizing that a shot was better than expected after deciding to change the camera angle. There were moments like that when I saw the result of all this investment. I felt it was worth it.

Believe it or not, I already shot three scenes from No. 3 just before coming to Cannes. As I told you, it was important for me to come here, to a place where films are seen in a very open way. But as soon as I get back, I'm going to get back to it, and I'll shoot everything I can afford with the money I've invested in it. I am sure that if we all went to the port together now and stood in front of a yacht, we would be able to achieve more! (laughs)

It's sometimes hard, yes, but I've been lucky to evolve in this profession. Looking back, I can tell myself that I did my best.”


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