Kevin Costner says that despite being a critical and commercial failure, he’s proud of his 1997 film The Postman, calling it a prophetic fairy tale.
Kevin Costner says that despite being a critical and commercial failure, he’s proud of his 1997 film The Postman, calling it a prophetic fairy tale. The actor, currently starring in the critically acclaimed neo-Western TV series Yellowstone, was a big star in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He shot to fame after starring as prohibition-era Federal Agent Eliot Ness in The Untouchables, which started him on a streak of hit movies. Costner followed up with two baseball movies, Bull Durham and Field of Dreams, before adapting Michael Blake’s epic novel Dances With Wolves for the screen.
That movie won him two Oscars, for Best Picture and Best Director, while he was also nominated for Best Actor. After that success, Costner had his pick of roles, appearing in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, JFK, The Bodyguard, and Wyatt Earp. Unfortunately, his run of hits stopped there, after he produced and starred in Waterworld, long considered one of the most expensive box office flops in movie history. But the worst was yet to come after Costner chose to adapt The Postman, a 1985 novel written by David Brin. Directing and starring in the post-apocalyptic tale, Costner failed to get across the novel’s key themes and was left with a rather unbelievable movie about a postman saving the United States. It was a total box office failure, making back barely a quarter of its $80 million budget and turning the famed leading man into a pariah in Hollywood.
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But now, Costner has said in an interview with The Daily Beast that he stands by the film, mainly because recent headlines make the Post Office seem like it might be the savior of democracy in the USA. Costner admits that he didn’t preface the story properly by making it clear it was a fairy tale, but still says it turned out to be “prophetic.” Costner made the comments in response to a question surrounding recent events, which you can see below.
Do you feel sort of vindicated now given how prescient the film’s turned out to be?
Prophetic, you mean? You know, listen, a movie is what it is when it comes out, and it has a chance to be revisited. I was always kind of proud of it. I thought I probably made a mistake not starting the movie off saying, “Once upon a time…” Because it’s kind of like a fairy tale: “Once upon a time, when things got really rotten, the only thing that could stand the test of time was the Post Office. The only thing that people could count on.” I didn’t say that and I probably should’ve, because it is like a fairy tale that you’d read to your children at night. That’s how I did the movie.
During the interview, Costner also confirms why he quit Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and affirms that he had spoken to Princess Diana about starring in a sequel to The Bodyguard just before she tragically passed away. However, the most interesting part of the interview is Costner’s belief that The Postman should be revisiting in terms of its critical reception.
With all due respect to the Oscar winner, the movie was an overblown epic that made very little sense to audiences and was made by a man who thought he could do no wrong. The Postman rightly stands as an example of what happens when a star is given too much power, and too much money, on a vanity project. It might have slight parallels to the current political situation, but that doesn’t redeem its many bad qualities.
Source: The Daily Beast
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