KEVIN'S BYLINE ARTICLE
by Kevin Costner
My decision to make another film set in the Kennedy era probably owes more to coincidence than anything else.
It's tricky dealing with historical events - in this instance the Cuban Missile Crisis - and entertaining people at the same time. That's where our screenwriter, David Self, came in. The hardest part of Thirteen Days was done by him before the cameras even started rolling.
I produced the film. And I act in it. For me, producing is simply a matter of keeping a movie on course - watching the big picture. Somebody else is directing and so your job is to support him. I knew that Bruce Greenwood would make a better JFK than me and director Roger Donaldson was right in picking him for the role.
But I also knew that the best way to tell the story was not through the eyes of a Kennedy, but through the eyes of a third party - Kenny O'Donnell, his most trusted confidant - who watched these events unfold. That was in David's script as well. And it proved the key to telling the story.
This is a movie, not a documentary. It's a piece of entertainment that focuses on a real historical event, so we treated it in a real way. But whether or not it's based on a real happening, the approach remains much the same. A movie is a movie, though you hope that audiences come away with a greater appreciation of events that transpired over a generation ago.
Things have changed since the Cold War. But we're still settling old scores. We're still inhumane to each other. And we're still, interestingly enough, on the brink. These weapons of mass destruction, after all, have not gone away.
(Published by This is London)