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Friday, April 23, 1999 Published at 16:32 GMT 17:32 UK


Costner's comeback message

Robin Wright Penn plays her first romantic lead

Kevin Costner insists he is not making a comeback with his latest movie Message in a Bottle - because he does not believe he had a comeback to make.

He describes the movie, which hits Britain screens this weekend, as a "man-woman" film. Others have described the unashamedly sentimental work as 'Out of Africa in fishing sweaters'.

Kevin Costner: "I don't make comebacks"
The movie, based on the best-selling novel by Nicholas Sparks, has already done well in the United States.

"I think men and women around the world have the same problems and share the same experiences of love lost, love found and the inability to let go. I think it has universal quality," Costner said.

[ image: Kevin Costner: Out of Africa in a fishing sweater?]
Kevin Costner: Out of Africa in a fishing sweater?
"Stories about men and women, about love and the human condition have never gone out of fashion... I hope that maybe some guys will walk out of the cinema and say, 'I'm going to tell the woman that I'm in with what I love about her'," he said.

As well as producing the movie, Kevin Costner stars in the male lead as bereaved boat-builder Garret Blake.

His opposite is played by Robin Wright Penn - her first romantic lead.

Wright Penn is a Chicago newspaper researcher and single parent who finds a love-letter cast into the sea by Blake to his dead wife.

She is so overcome by its apparent poetry she decides to track him down.

"I loved the letters. They were simple yet beautiful and the character I play is very emotional."

The film also stars Paul Newman and the British actor Robbie Coltrane.

Mixed success

Few actors have had such a roller-coaster career as Kevin Costner. His last big box office hit was the epic Dances With Wolves which bagged seven Oscars.

His last effort, The Postman, was a complete flop - winning an award for worst film of the year, and his epic Waterworld also famously flopped.

Despite that, the star producer does not believe that Message in a Bottle is his comeback film.

[ image: Costner believes stories about men and women never go out of fashion]
Costner believes stories about men and women never go out of fashion
"I loved making The Postman and I think it's a really good movie and I think people who trashed it are wrong.

"I don't make comebacks, I keep going forward in my life and I look back on the things that I do and I decide if they were worth it or if they were good and I think I am a good judge of that."

However he does admit that he has had to weather some fierce storms of criticism of the past five years.

"Personally I feel very strong - it's taken a while - about five years - but I think over the last year I have weathered a lot - personally and professionally and through it all I think I have kept my wits about me when there was a lot of reason to lose it. But I'm glad I didn't lose it."

Costner, has another 'man-woman' movie in the pipeline - this time it is set around a baseball theme and called For the Love of the Game.

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