Kevin Costner says Trump’s USPS interference ‘spits on 200 years of freedom’
In light of the Trump administration’s latest assault on the United States Postal Service, Kevin Costner is also reassessing the “prophetic” nature of his 1997 post-apocalyptic western, “The Postman.” And the actor-director has also made it clear he doesn’t care for how the president is handling the embattled USPS.
Costner’s under-performing, Razzie-winning film resurfaced Tuesday when “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” opened with a mock trailer that both insulted and praised the actor’s second directorial effort. The trailer’s apologetic voice-over said the movie was a “critical and box-office disaster” in its day; however, given the new mail-delaying policies at the USPS, it also deemed the film “chillingly accurate.”
“Looks like somebody owes Kevin Costner an apology,” the trailer said, replaying goofy-but-prescient moments from the movie. “Did Costner have, like, a time machine or something? How did he know? How could he be so wrong in 1997 and so right now?”
The two-time Oscar winner starred as the film’s titular Postman, an unnamed drifter who happens upon a U.S. letter carrier’s uniform in the lawless year of 2013. The unlikely hero dons it and somehow manages to attract followers desperate for something to believe in and apparently gives out hope like it’s candy in his pocket (the film’s words, not ours).
The Warner Bros. production was panned by critics and grossed a modest $17.6 million worldwide despite its $80-million budget, according to Box Office Mojo.
“‘The Postman’ shows what can go wrong when you trust movie stars to direct themselves,” wrote former Times film critic Kenneth Turan, who called the film a “logic-defying” vanity project stacked with gee-whiz moments.
It’s no surprise, then, that Costner — you know, the subject of the vanity project — told the Daily Beast this week that he actually liked making the movie. However, hindsight has allowed him to reassess the film, which is to say that he probably should have approached it more like a cautionary fairy tale.
“Listen, a movie is what it is when it comes out. It has a chance to be revisited, and I was always kind of proud of it,” he said.
We’re certainly living through the real-life reboot in 2020.
Musician Tim Kasher asked actor John Ratzenberger, who played postal worker Cliff Clavin on the sitcom “Cheers,” to talk about the embattled USPS.
Costner, 65, campaigned for presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg in the Democratic primary but said he’s an independent voter who has voted for both Democrats and Republicans.
He called Trump’s attempts to meddle with the postal service in an effort to undercut voting by mail in the 2020 election “terrible,” “dangerous” and “shameful.” The only remedy would be to get out and vote anyway.
“What you have to try to lean on is that every four years we get to decide whether we’re going in the right direction or we’re not,” he said. “And we now, because of the way the country is set up — which is beautiful — we have that opportunity. And anyone who would interfere with that process in a deliberate way to have an outcome — that’s criminal. And it spits on 200 years of freedom.”
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, responding to a national outcry over service disruptions and fears of voter disenfranchisement, said this week he would suspend many planned changes to the USPS until after the election. But postal workers have said significant damage has already been done.
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