Kevin Costner Reveals Lessons He Continues to Learn From ‘Dances With Wolves,’ 30 Years After Film’s Release

by Madison Miller
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Besides being a powerful patriarch to the Dutton family and riding horses through the Montana wilderness, Oscar-winning actor, Kevin Costner, is famous for movies like “Dances With Wolves” and “Field of Dreams.”

Thirty years ago, the film “Dances With Wolves” came out. The film was Costner’s directorial debut.

The film follows the story of Union Army lieutenant John J. Dunbar as he travels to the American frontier in search of a military post. Along the way, he deals with the Native tribes, such as the Lakota.

It is often recognized as a re-birth of the Western genre and was preserved in the United States National Film Registry because of its cultural and historical significance. The film was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won seven. It included Best Picture, Best Director, Best Film Editing, and more.

Kevin Costner Talk Impact of Past Roles

For Costner’s very first film as a director and actor, the film was a massive success. Emmy-winner Jake Hamilton talked with Costner about what lessons he took away from his older projects.

One thing was that as a director, he felt like he was always rushing himself. Now, he finds importance in taking things slow.

“I learned a lot as an actor and a director. I’ve only directed three movies over the course of my career … I didn’t give myself a lot of takes. I gave everybody else in the movie a lot of takes … feel like I rushed myself all the time because I was just moving to something else and I was just thinking ‘okay I’ll be alright, I know what I’m doing,'” Costner said.

Kevin Costner also talked about how important editing is in a film. While most Hollywood productions want short run times, Costner thinks that can sometimes take away from the subplots.

He finds beauty in longer sequences and less cuts, even if that means a longer time.

Beauty and Impact in Film

Kevin Costner also starred in the hit film “Field of Dreams.” For those living under a rock, this is a fantasy baseball movie. Costner is a husband and father who visits the same cornfield where he hears a voice saying, “If you build it, he will come.”

While the movies and shows Costner has been in provided their own level of interest, he explained how interesting things often happen off-camera.

“On the set, sometimes some of the most interesting things for me are what happens when the cameras aren’t rolling,” he said.

Costner also directed “Open Range,” “The Postman,” and “A Little War of Our Own.” Whether he is directing or starring in a film, Costner is always thinking about the potential impact it can have.

“It’s a good lesson for us to know that our movies can last and can have this kind of impact. I always try to keep that in mind.”

In 2020, the Hollywood legend isn’t slowing down. Kevin Costner stars in the new movie “Let Him Go.”

Outsider.com