Kevin Costner: ‘I Make Movies for Men. That’s What I Do,’ but My Strong Female Characters Are ‘Why I Have a Good Following’

Kevin Costner recently joined his “Horizon: An American Saga” cast for a live recording of the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast, and he said his planned four-movie saga differs from many Western films that have come before in that its female characters “drive the story in every plot line.” Costner, who co-wrote the franchise with Jon Baird, said he “couldn’t conceive of a scene that didn’t involve a woman” while shaping the story.

“Horizon” chronicles the journey of several characters during and after the Civil War as they settle the American West. Kevin Costner stars in the film opposite a sprawling ensemble cast, which includes Sienna Miller, Jena Malone, Isabelle Fuhrman, Abbey Lee and Ella Hunt. He told the “Happy Sad Confused” audience that he is aware his directorial efforts skew more towards men in their appeal, but he said strong women is what he’s most interested in.

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“I make movies for men. That’s what I do,” Costner said. “But I won’t make a movie unless I have strong women characters. That’s how I’ve conducted my career. I think that’s why I have a good following. I thank you women for dragging your men here. It was a Western after all. I just can’t conceive of a movie without having [strong women].”

During an appearance on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” earlier this month, Costner expanded on why a female perspective was so integral to the “Horizon” storyline.

“This has a tremendous amount of women in it,” he said. “They play such a big part of the West and what happened. They were often taken out there against their will and with their children on the idea that there was something great out there. There was nothing out there except a group of people who lived there for thousands of years. Women were drug into the most terrible of circumstances and made it work. And somehow they don’t find themselves in Westerns and in ‘Horizon’ they dominate.”

In addition to the “Horizon” saga (the first movie opens in theaters June 28 from Warner Bros., followed by the second film on Aug. 16), Costner’s directorial efforts include “Dances With Wolves,” for which he won the best picture and best director Oscars, “The Postman” and “Open Range.”

Watch Costner and the “Horizon” cast’s full appearance on the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast in the video below.

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