An inside exclusive by Tom Kapr
Director Kevin Reynolds sits beside the camera. “Okay everyone,” he says, “quiet on the set! Rolling film. And… ac–”
“Hang on,” Kevin Costner interrupts.
“What’s the problem?” asks Reynolds.
“I’m not ready,” replies Costner.
“But we’ve been prepping for hours for this one scene of dial–”
“Okay, I’m ready. Action!” Costner shouts.
Reynolds looks at the ground dejectedly. “Action,” he mutters to the cast inside his head, where Robin Hood is played by Daniel Day-Lewis.
Morgan Freeman is looking at Reynolds. He then looks over at Costner, who has his face bent toward the ground, his eyes tightly closed, obviously trying very hard to be English.
Freeman rolls his eyes, takes a deep breath, centers himself, and speaks: “Christian!”
“What?” says Christian Slater, standing just off-camera.
Everybody looks at Slater, who is focusing on Morgan Freeman, one eyebrow cocked, waiting. Freeman looks at Slater and nods subtly toward Costner, who still has his eyes closed. Slater cocks an eyebrow in Costner’s direction. “Oh, right,” says Slater. “My bad.”
Reynolds sighs. “Cut!”
“No, no, it’s okay,” says Costner. “Keep rolling, we’ll go again.”
“Let’s try it again,” mutters Reynolds. He has a brief flashback to the set of Fandango. His eyes twitches.
Morgan Freeman is still looking at Christian Slater. He then looks back at Costner, who is again concentrating on the Saxon warrior within. Freeman takes another deep breath, trying again to center himself. It’s a bit harder this time, but suddenly he has a vision of a tall man on a beautiful Mexican beach fixing a boat, and is overcome with peace. He opens his eyes, full of Moorish fire, and bellows: “Christian!”
“Hm?” says Christian Slater, cocking an eyebrow toward Freeman. Costner keeps his eyes closed. Freeman desperately clings to his vision of tropical paradise.
Reynolds sighs. “It’s alright, just keep ’em roll–”
“Cut!” yells Costner. He walks off to nearby line of trees.
“Ah… it happened again, I’m sorry,” says Slater. “Maybe Kevin’s character should have a less confusing name? Hm? Are the writers on-set?”
Costner is gazing into the distance, imagining rolling plains covered with millions of the majestic tatanka.
Reynolds is unconsciously muttering to himself about a post-apocalyptic world in which all the glaciers have melted and covered the world in water. Surely, he thinks, that would be better than this.
Freeman has his eyes closed, and is back on the Mexican beach. He again sees the tall man working on the boat. The man stops his work and smiles at him, then transforms into a small golden statue, as the sand turns into velvety red carpet. Freeman smiles a big, toothy grin. Suddenly, a strange man in shorts and sneakers, with long scraggly facial hair and a red baseball cap, comes jogging across the beach. He jogs past Freeman, stops, turns around, and says, “I’m pretty tired. I think I’ll go home now.” He grabs the golden statue and jogs back from whence he came. The smile disappears from Freeman’s face.
Slater has one eyebrow cocked, looking around at the other actors for validation. “Right?” he says. “Less confusing names?”
Reynolds snaps out of his hallucinatory state, takes a few seconds to remember why he is in a medieval forest, sees Costner is nowhere to be found, and is overcome with happiness. “Alright, let’s take five! We’ll get it when we come back.”
Morgan Freeman sighs. “I hope.”