Kevin Costner beat out Robin Williams for iconic 'Field of Dreams' role

Kevin Costner beat out Robin Williams for iconic 'Field of Dreams' role
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Kevin Costner almost lost out on the opportunity to play one of his most important roles to date.

The Oscar winner recently revealed Robin Williams was also in the running to star as Ray Kinsella in the classic sports fantasy flick, "Field of Dreams."

"A good story requires a good script for it to somehow leap off the page and become a movie," Costner told GQ magazine in a sit-down chat. "That little movie had gold dust all over it, not in the way that I thought it would be a big hit, whereas gold dust on it in the way it moved me personally."

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Kevin Costner and Robin Williams, split, in Dead Poets Society and Field of Dreams
Kevin Costner, right, was up against Robin Williams for the starring role in 1989's "Field of Dreams."

The Academy Award-nominated film was released in 1989, and followed Ray, a farmer in Iowa, who hears voices and sees a vision to build a baseball field in his cornfield. Ghosts of baseball legends visit the field throughout the film.

"There was an interesting thing because Robin Williams, bless his heart, there was a moment when I asked the director, I said, ’You know, Robin Williams is a big star, as big as you ever wanna get,'" Costner recalled early in filming.

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At the time, Williams had recently starred in "Dead Poets Society" and was already rising through the ranks as a serious actor, thanks to starring roles on TV's "Mork & Mindy" and in the film "Good Morning, Vietnam."

Kevin Costner holds Gabby Hoffman in Field of Dreams.
Costner's baseball film "Field of Dreams" became an instant classic when it was released in 1989.

Costner added, "So when he picked me to do it, kind of over Robin Williams, because it seems like a natural for Robin Williams, and he said, ’I'm pretty sure that Robin Williams hears voices in the corn. I'm kind of sure that you don't. They're gonna end up believing you, Kevin, because they're gonna see how it works.'"

Throughout the film, voices echoed the phrase, "If you build it, he will come," alluding to the baseball field Costner's character created on his farm.

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"They might have said ‘voice,’ and I'm like pulling a piece of corn, I forget what happened, but it's like, gee, I had to act like I heard a voice, right? So, I did," Costner said.

Dead Poets Society scene
Williams starred in "Dead Poets Society" in 1989.
Robin Williams and co-star on Mork and Mindy
Williams co-starred with Pam Dawber on "Mork & Mindy."

Williams, a prolific comedian and voice actor, died by suicide on Aug. 11, 2014. He was 63.

Costner decided to take the "Field of Dreams" role after being "moved personally" by the script.

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"When I read ‘Field of Dreams’ on a couch by myself, the first page was sweet. Somebody's talking to him in the corn," the "Yellowstone" star said.

Kevin Costner celebrated Field of Dreams coming to life in cornfield in Iowa
Costner returned to the film site of "Field of Dreams" prior to a MLB game in Dyersville, Iowa, in 2021.

"Okay, let's keep going, and it wound its way not to a gunfight or to a car chase or to a big fight. Its journey took you to a place where you look, and you saw your father, and it's Biblical for things that go unsaid between father and son, between mother and daughter, things we wish we would've said."

He added, "And this little movie in the corn got me all the way, and suddenly it wasn't a movie anymore, it was truth, and it was — ‘I wish I could have said that in my life.’"


Original article source: Kevin Costner beat out Robin Williams for iconic 'Field of Dreams' role