Kevin Costner Passes the Leading Man Torch to ‘Jack Ryan’ Co-Star Chris Pine
Being the leading man isn't as easy as it looks.
Don't believe us? Then take it from a guy who knows a million things about being a leading man: Kevin Costner.
In "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit," film two of Costner's comeback tour, the 58-year-old actor plays Thomas Harper, a CIA spy who recruits a young Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) into the spy business. While Costner plays a strong supporting role, it's definitely Pine's movie. And that's not an easy thing.
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"You know, you're the leading man, and it's just not as easy as people might think," said Costner over the phone. "Being the lead in a spy movie, you're the person that's trying to figure things out and you're also being fooled. So you have to make those faces, right? 'I'm figuring things out.' And then there's that face you have to make when you're being fooled, or when you're feeling absolute threat."
Pine probably didn't have to stretch too far to make the "absolute threat" face while riding a 162 horse power Ducati Diavel motorcycle, which he does in our exclusive clip above. "I love riding. But I was certainly doing stuff on that bike that I'm not sure I'd repeat," Pine told us via email.
[Related: 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit' Megaclip With Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, and a Quasi-Personal Dog]
Perhaps Pine should have consulted with Costner before boldly going so fast?
"Certainly I didn't feel the need to mentor [Pine]," said Costner. "Obviously I've been at the same spot he has, but I think he's a more skilled actor than I was at that point in my career. I didn't have very many films under my belt; I think he's done really a lot more work."
Interestingly enough, Costner could very easily (well, not so easily) have played the part of Jack Ryan in the first big screen incarnation of Tom Clancy's CIA analyst. Costner was offered the part, but turned it down to make "Dances With Wolves." "I was on my way to South Dakota, and they offered me 'Hunt for Red October' and really more money than I'd ever seen. I had already put money into 'Dances,' so I felt like a real idiot. Now I was on the hook for all this money and a movie that no one really wanted to make, and there's this franchise right down the limb. Believe me, they were tempting me, but I had given my word, so there was really nothing I could do."
If Oscars are any way of gauging things, it seems that everything worked out. And now, some 25 years later, Costner finally gets his chance to join the franchise when "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" opens this Friday.
See Chris Pine and Kevin Costner in the "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" trailer: