I did receive an all expenses paid trip to Los Angeles to facilitate this post, but all opinions are my own.
Every now and again in this job, you come across an interview that takes you by surprise. Recently, we had a chance to sit down with Kevin Costner to chat about his role as Jim White in McFarland, USA. I went into this interview not sure what to expect from someone as established as Kevin, but I left with a lifelong inspiration and a passion for finding my “recess”.
Even before the interview began, the electricity in the room was amazing. The 25 Disney Bloggers were eagerly awaiting the arrival of THE Kevin Costner. Being a child of the 90s, I was looking forward to meeting the man that had starred in so many of my favorite films. (Um, yea Bodyguard)
It was kind of funny. At one point, someone came in to get a drink of water from the refreshments and a hush fell over the chatting bloggers. As they left, giggles trickled across the room as we realized it was a false alarm.
A Legend Enters
Not much later, he walked into the room. With a tailored overcoat, slick looking sunglasses, he sauntered over to the table with a smile on his face and greeted us. What he said next actually surprised me. Before getting into the meat and potatoes of the interview, he asked what we were. Not in a snobbish kind of way, but in a “what is this mom blogger” kinda way. At one point, a blogger started to ask their first question, and he actually asked them to pause so he could learn more about what WE did. Up until that point I was nervous how this was going to go because Kevin is known for not being too familiar with social media. It was really awesome that he cared enough to ask what we did and how we got this opportunity.
Kevin on Finding his Passion
As soon as the questions did get started, one thing was very obvious about Kevin Costner. He is a very humble man that lives his life by a code I hold very dear. He shared with us
I wanted direction, like probably everybody about what are you gonna do in your life. And when I found movies to me it was like recess. – Kevin Costner
Right there Kevin, had my total and undivided attention. That right there is why I write Quirky Inspired. Life is too short not to find “your recess.” Find what you are passionate about in life and find a way to make it happen. Sure you may scoff and say it’s easy for him to say because he’s rich and famous, but even he had to begin somewhere. He didn’t grow up in the business. He actually shared he grew up in Visalia and played against McFarland in baseball.
Kevin on McFarland USA
This isn’t the first time that Kevin has played a role based on a real person. It was really neat to be able to meet the real Jim White on the same day we met the man who played him on the big screen. When asked about the training that went into preparing for Jim White Kevin shared,
Training? I hate running and so that’s why I enjoyed being the coach. One time I ran with them, and as you see in the movie, I quit. I played the coach part really well. I sat down and had a Coca Cola.
Of course, we found his honesty refreshing and it made the “Barbie bike” scenes of the film even more hysterical because it wasn’t just Jim White not running with the boys it was Kevin Costner cruising on the Barbie bike.
One of my favorite part of this interview was when Kevin was talking about why he got involved with McFarland USA. Known for his role in sports movies, he shared that sports movies aren’t really about sports. They are about life and people! Otherwise they might as well be a documentary. He sums it beautifully when he shared,
There was so much more about the movie than the finish line. The finish line’s for them. You can give young people something to shoot for and what we realize watching this movie is that when we do, they can somehow exceed beyond their own expectations. We realize that’s actually in front of all our children. And if you really want to get specific about it, it’s actually in front of us, too. Wherever you’re at in your life, you know, there is a chance to do something else in your life. We’re not done.
Kevin on Finding Movies with a Message
This interview wasn’t inspiring because I got to meet a Hollywood A-lister. It was inspiring because I got to meet an amazing man that lives his life by a certain code. He’s passionate about what he does, and tries to align himself with films that have a strong message, like McFarland USA. He’s so passionate in fact that in another work he even shared with us a brief amount about Black or White, a film he believed in so much invested his own money in it.
It’s this passion, and the fact none of us had seen that movie yet, that Kevin replied “WTF?” Yep, I can die a happy woman because I heard Kevin Costner drop the F bomb. Ok, that was just a really funny bit, but it made me realize that he’s human too and sometimes living a passionate driven existence lends to the occasional WTF.
Interviewing Kevin Costner was hands down my favorite interview ever. I left the room feeling like I could conquer the world, and feeling like if the boys from McFarland USA can come from humble beginnings and end up inspiring a film about their journey anything is possible.
Make sure to checkout McFarland USA opening in theaters everywhere on 2/20!