Back In the Saddle

Can KEVIN COSTNER, with a string of bad films in his wake, make a good one? An epic western, no less? Yup.

I don't feel like a relic," Kevin Costner says over breakfast in a Manhattan hotel room. He doesn't look like one either. Fit and genial at 48, he moves or sits with the easy poise of all those athletes he's played: the hungry golfer in Tin Cup, the cyclist in American Flyers, the baseball veterans in Bull Durham (recently chosen by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED as the best-ever baseball movie) and For Love of the Game. His talk has a coiled energy as well. Sentences, packed with imagery and analogies, accrue momentum until he's created an aria, an oration on the fly. He...

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