By David Lister, Media and Culture Editor

12 March 2001

The Hollywood star Kevin Costner has arranged for world leaders to see his latest film because he believes they are not taking the possibility of a nuclear conflict seriously enough.  President George Bush has seen the film, Thirteen Days, the story of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, as has the former president Bill Clinton.

Costner arrives in Britain today for the film's opening here, urging Tony Blair to see it. The US ambassador will screen it tomorrow with politicians and other VIPs invited.
In his first interview with a British newspaper about the film, Costner, who plays an adviser to John F Kennedy, told The Independent that he did not believe the film would be "box office" but wanted to reawaken debate on nuclear arms. Much of the script is based on tapes and documents from the White House at the time.

He said: "This is clearly a very political movie. And I do want Tony Blair to see it. President Bush and his father and Bill Clinton have all seen it. We have a very smug attitude that this problem has gone away. But the world has thousands of nuclear missiles. Why do we think we're any safer than we were then? But no one wants to hear about this.
"They would rather ask me questions about my girlfriend. There are simply things people would rather not talk about. My own country wiped out around 400 different cultures. We don't talk about that very much.

Costner said: "We are moving towards the situation there was in 1962 because of the hostility and instability of certain regions of the world. People who see it [the film] will want to know more about this crisis."

However, in a televised interview at the US Embassy Premiere/Special Screening, on March 14th, Kevin said the following:

Interviewer:  I read that  you urged world leaders to see your movie..

Kevin:  "No I didn't actually say that.  A journalist said President Clinton and President Bush have seen it so did I think other world leaders should see it and I said they could
get a look at it.  But I didn't suggest it first.  I'm not trying to preach to anyone"

You can watch a clip from this interview via our Links page

Then there was the Buck Pal story.  Kevin lunched there with P.Andrew + Fergie.  The subsequent  story was leaked to the Sunday World Newspaper + reproduced  just about everywhere. Here is's report:-

' 'Costner offered Prince Andrew a film role'

Kevin Costner offered Prince Andrew a part in his next film, according to reports. The film star made his   offer at a Buckingham Palace party.  Costner attended the party with the Duke of York's ex-wife Sarah Ferguson.

A royal source told the Sunday People: "Andrew was very flattered. Like all men,he is quite vain about his appearance. And to be told at the age of 40 by someone like Kevin Costner that you have Hollywood star quality was a massive boost to his ego."It's down to Andrew, but he seemed very keen. He'd be perfect as an all-action film hero, something like Robin Hood would suit him ideally."

To date, and to our knowledge, Kevin has not commented on this.  Also, he attended with his partner Christine, not Fergie.

'13 Days' goes to Cuba

Kevin (accompanied by Peter Almond,  Armyan Bernstein and his partner Christine) arrived in Havana on 9 April 2001. News trickled through that was part of a cultural exchange programme '13 Days' would be shown at two special screenings arranged by the ICAIC (The Cuban Institute of Cinematography +Industry) on Wednesday + Thursday of that week.  At that stage it was not known whether Fidel Castro would attend either of the screenings.  However, on the evening of their arrival, the '13 Days' team were surprised (Kevin said so later) to receive an invitation to The Palace of The Revolution to meet Castro, watch the film and have dinner. The meeting went on until 2 am. They met again in the Glauber Rocha Room of the CICAI and the subsequent photographs were beamed around the world. The 'official' premiere took place on Thursday (12th April) at the Charlie Chaplin Cinema in Havana.  Kevin's presence in Havana caused quite a stir, unsurprisingly. Here's a few pics of Kevin arriving at the Hotel Nacional, Havana, then a taste of how his visit was covered  in Cuba.



In Habana,on Apr 12, North American actor Kevin Costner took advantage of his stay in Cuba to dine at the hotel 'Ambos Mundos', one of the places where the fine writer Ernest Hemmingway spent a lot of time.The room where he wrote some of his famous novels is even preserved - its windows looking onto the warm Habana sea from where his lungs would been filled with the salt air... silhouettes of boats on the horizon. Costner's spokesman Steven Rivers, told Latina Press that Costner, (who arrived in Cuba on Monday on board his privately owned jet) said that as he only had less than 72-hours here, he enjoyed dining on Tuesday at the Hotel Ambos Mundos where the presence of Hemingway is almost tangible, especially in his room where some of his personal belongings remain.The actor  travelled to Havana, along the other producers of the film 13 Days, to release it  here. 13 Days is directed by Roger Donaldson, and depicts the missiles crisis of October  1962,  involving Cuba the United States and the then Soviet Union.

The fillm reflects a North American view of those historic events and the star of Dancing with Wolves plays the role of Kenneth Ó'Donnell, the political adviser to the deceased President John F. Kennedy.

Costner  left the Hotel Nacional - where he way staying -, at 12:48 midnight  local time on Tuesday, dressed light clothes (whitetrousers and a green jacket), to go to the Palace of
the Revolution.He met with Cuban President Fidel Castro, with whom he had, on the previous day, (Monday) watched special screening of Thirteen Days, The screening at the Palace of the Revolution was also attended by the president of the National Assembly of Popular Power, Ricardo Alarcon, many historians and other Cuban specialists/academics of the events of October of 1962. Kevin Costner confirmed, through spokesman Steven Rivers that on Tuesday he had dined at the Hotel Ambos Mundo, then he went to the Tropicana club where he enjoyed the Cabaret until dawn.The following day the North American actor, dressed totally in white, attended the official opening of Thirteen Day in the Charles Chaplin room of the main Film library of Cuba. The film opened simultaneously in Moscow but without the presence of the star as was previously predicted.

Costner's stay was short and with all these commitments there was very little time for leisure, probably like other visits he has made when promoting his films and he is accustomed to this. No time to, as he had initially planned, watch baseball or go fishing, as Ernest Hemingway used to do in the long periods that he spent on the Island".

U.S. star Kevin Costner talks about his experience of watching the film ‘Thirteen Days’ with President Fidel Castroand his fascination with history, directing and acting

BY MIREYA CASTA-EDA (Granma International staff writer)

FOR U.S. actor Kevin Costner, sitting next to Fidel Castro at the Havana showing of Thirteen Days and watching him relive some of the dramatic moments of the 1962 Missile Crisis was an unforgettable experience Costner, who arrived in Cuba on April 9 with the film’s co-producers, Armyan Bernstein and Peter Almond, finally agreed to a press conference on April 11, 24 hours after having watched the film with the Cuban head of state, at the end of which the president said he had enjoyed the movie very much and understood that it was not a documentary.

Bernstein said that everyone who was involved in the events and who had seen the film, such as Robert McNamara or Theodore Sorensen, also gave their opinion and felt equally moved. Naturally, there are different points of view on the Missile Crisis and Costner stressed that it is important to take into account that Thirteen Days, directed by Roger Donaldson, is told from a U.S. point of view and aimed at a U.S public. He added that they are not claiming that their version of the Crisis is the only valid one, because there are two more stories to be told: that of the Cuban people and their leaders, and that of the former Soviet Union. It is interesting that on that same April 11, the film was being shown in Moscow followed by a discussion attended by Anatoly Dobrinyn and Robert McNamara, but Bernstein told journalists that they had decided to stay in Havana to exchange opinions with Cuban film makers.


During another part of the conference, the star of The Untouchables, Bull Durham and Wyatt Earp defended his character in Thirteen Days, Kenny O’Donnell, John Kennedy’s adviser and friend to his brother Robert Kennedy. He said that it was not a matter of vanity, but rather the desire to see those involved in the incident from a new angle, through the memory of a third person.Christopher Lawford, another of the actors and a nephew of the Kennedys, also attended the press conference. He said that for him the film has two angles: firstly acting, which is how he makes his living; and secondly being part of a project that shows members of his family in moments that make him feel proud.

Later on in the press conference, Costner, who was very expressive throughout, described himself as a practical person who still has faith in the world. However, he said that he knows that in the United States there are thousands of missiles pointing towards the Soviet Union (as he called it) and in that part of the world there are thousands more pointing towards his country, with the rest of the world in between.

The actor and director of Dances with Wolves, a film which won him seven Oscars, including Best Film and Best Director, did not rule out the possibility that he would direct another film, probably also historical, as that is what interests him most. He admitted that he did not know much about Cuban cinema because exchange has not been easy, but he was given 50 films whilst here, which he said he will share with his friends. He said that there are great filmmakers in the world, many of whom are not well known internationally, but cinema has a mystery, an emotion that means that when the lights go down, no matter what language the film is in, something magical can happen.

Kevin Costner’s most recent film, 3000 Miles to Graceland, directed by Demian Lichstenstein and released last February, in which ex-convicts plan a robbery all disguised as Elvis Presley, was criticized for its extreme violence.

That’s another side of the Hollywood entertainment industry."      


Kevin Costner arrived in Dornbirn to appear with Thomas Gottschalk on WettenDass...? and to present his film " Thirteen Days ". But what viewers did not know was that the helicopter, in which Costner was flown for the recording in Dornbirn, landed in the middle of a marsh, outside of the safety landing area! Costner had barely stepped out of the helicopter when he was besieged by fans and photographers. His shoes and suit became so dirty that he had to make a detour via the hotel for clean clothes. Kevin Costner was annoyed about this and only Gottschalk personally could persuade him to appear on the show.

Kevin Costner and companion stayed in the romantic hotel "Hotel Waldau at Rorschacherberg . This was a huge honour for the recent hotel directors Alexandra and Roland and Costner proved to be an easygoing guest. He was pleased with the warm hospitality, discretion and family atmosphere in the hotel " Waldau ". Costner showed most interest in the house and the kitchen. " Kitchen boss H.J.Bock " as well as the " boss de Service Joergen Gratzer " both live in the Principality of Liechtenstein. They are particularly proud that upon leaving, Kevin Costner wrote in the guest book: " What a wonderful surprise, the room was great and so was the dinner! "
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