Kevin Costner has starred in his share of first rate sports films (Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, Tin Cup, the underrated Draft Day), and with McFarland, USA, the actor is taking on a different side of athletics.
The feature, directed by Whale Rider and North Country filmmaker Niki Caro, is inspired by the 1987 true story of the trials, tribulations, and success of a cross country team from California’s farm-centric Central Valley. Costner stars as the Coach Jim White, a mentor to the students who helps them realize their true potential.
During the Draft Day press conference, Kevin Costner talked about why, when it comes to sports, he performs better under pressure. He also elaborates on why he’s also placed all his cards on the table when it comes to filmmaking. “I have a tremendous belief in people,” said Costner. “And the common experience.”
To hear Costner’s full comments, check out the audio clip below:
McFarland, USA’s Official Boilerplate:
Inspired by the 1987 true story, “McFarland, USA” follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school. Coach White and the McFarland students have a lot to learn about each other but when White starts to realize the boys’ exceptional running ability, things begin to change. Soon something beyond their physical gifts becomes apparent—the power of family relationships, their unwavering commitment to one another and their incredible work ethic. With grit and determination, the unlikely band of runners eventually overcomes the odds to forge not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well. Along the way, Coach White realizes that his family finally found a place to call home and both he and his team achieve their own kind of American dream.