Why did Kevin Costner get a key to North Texas city? He tells crowd, ‘I won’t forget it’

Kevin Costner didn’t know he would be getting a key to the city of Irving on Tuesday, but that didn’t stop him from flashing his trademark smile and going with the flow.

“I didn’t get my speech,” Costner joked to the crowd of over 50 people. “This life has never failed to surprise me, when I’ve been able to live the dream I have.”

Costner was in North Texas on Tuesday to promote his forthcoming four-part movie series, “Horizon: An American Saga.”

The first chapter premieres in movie theaters on June 28, with chapter two coming on Aug. 16. The third chapter is currently filming in Utah, with the fourth and final chapter up next.

Costner has been wanting to make the project since the late 1980s, which is described as, “A multi-faceted, 15-year span of pre-and post-Civil War expansion and settlement of the American west.”


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Dressed in a blue polo, white jeans and tan shoes, Costner was adequately dressed for the cloudy, mildly warm day in front of Irving’s Mustangs of Las Colinas sculpture in Williams Square.

The 69-year-old actor was met with screams of adoring fans, with one shouting, “My dad loves you!” Costner was flanked by Irving Mayor Rick Stopfer as the event kicked off around 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Stopfer said the key presentation was in support of Costner’s four decade-spanning filmmaking career. Whether it be as Eliot Ness in “The Untouchables,” or Jim Garrison in “JFK,” the actor’s legacy has stood tall.

The presentation in front of the Mustangs of Las Colinas sculpture was intentional with Costner being in town for “Horizon,” Stopfer said. The sculpture was built in the early 1980s and symbolizes Texas’ untamed past as a group of mustangs running across a stream.

“What [Kevin] does through his filmmaking is he takes us back to those pioneers,” Stopfer said. “Those individuals that work the land, work the cattle and fought to have what they have here today.”

After posing for photos with the framed key to the city, Costner spoke for a few minutes about his life and “Horizon.”

He thanked the crowd and discussed his humble upbringings in California. During his school years, it seemed like everyone knew where they were going in life, however, Costner did not.

He was “desperate to find my yellow brick road” and would find it through storytelling, he said. As a young actor, Costner recalled working on fishing boats and driving trucks to make a living while auditioning.

Eventually he found success, although, Costner admits he didn’t know that would lead to a key to the city.

“I’m wondering, if I have that key, can I buy something here?,” Costner joked. “I can. How about the statues? Could I take them?”

Kevin Costner wrote, directed, produced and stars in the new four-part movie, “Horizon: An American Saga,” a Western which is scheduled for release this summer.
Kevin Costner wrote, directed, produced and stars in the new four-part movie, “Horizon: An American Saga,” a Western which is scheduled for release this summer.

After thanking the city again, Costner opened up about making movies.

Whether it’s a baseball movie, romantic comedy, political thriller or western, Costner said he’s had the audience in mind every step of the way. There’s been times when no one wanted to make a movie, so he pulled out his checkbook to make it happen.

This is happening once again with his latest mega movie, “Horizon,” with Costner pitching in $38 million of his own money. Doing this at this point in his life, Costner said he’s “thinking I need therapy.”

“What am I doing making one movie? Not one movie but four movies,” Costner joked. “What am I doing paying for it? But I guess I’m just paying for the right to tell you a story.”

Costner closed out his speech encouraging folks to go see the movies and this version of the west.

“If you like it, you take the people that you love the most and the closest with you. I made it for you,” Costner said. “There’s four of them and thank you for today. I won’t forget it.”