Seeing all the TV commercials on ESPN promoting the release today of Kevin Costner's new film, Draft Day, reminded me of the time I met him in person.
It was about 20 years ago. His career was near its peak at the time, I think. He'd already made Dances with Wolves (1990) and JFK (1991) and The Bodyguard (1992), and hadn't yet starred in Waterworld (1995). I was in a popular bar in Palo Alto, California with some friends from law school. We were chatting up this group of former sorority girls who had graduated from UCLA a few years earlier, when Kevin Costner strode in. He would've been in his late 30s at the time.
I saw first-hand the power of Hollywood celebrity that night. In what seemed like a matter of seconds, Kevin Costner had insinuated himself into the group of girls with whom we'd been talking for an hour. And as quickly as he had done so, all their backs were turned to us, and they were having their own, uproarious laughs. Game over. He strode back out of the bar again with two or three of them in tow less than a half an hour later. For years afterward, when I saw seduction scenes in vampire movies, I thought back to this night.
At the time, my friends and I were pretty indignant, not surprisingly. We consoled ourselves by muttering judgmental speculations about whether Costner was married. And I wouldn't have written this post today if I hadn't seen on Wikipedia just now that he divorced his wife in 1994.