Only In LA: Exposed! Kevin Costner's favourite part

IN HIS new movie, For Love of the Game, Kevin Costner plays an ageing baseball pitcher facing the sunset of his career. Not much of a stretch, one would have thought, for the veteran of such feel-good baseball movies as Bull Durham and Field of Dreams. Then again, just about anything might be considered a stretch for a man regularly accoladed with the Golden Raspberry for worst performer in Hollywood, whose most accomplished credit - at least among industry wags - is his turn as the briefly glimpsed corpse in The Big Chill.

Sure enough, our Kev is making a hash of things once again, but this time the lamest, most ludicrous lines are being reserved for his off-screen performances. A more modest star might consider himself lucky still to be in the $20m-per-movie bracket after a string of disasters like Waterworld and The Postman. But Costner has chosen to pick a public fight with Universal, the backers of his new movie, making himself a laughing-stock in the process.

What upsets him so much, he says, is that the studio chose to tone down some of the raunchier language to qualify for a PG-13 rating in the US and keep the length down to two hours and 10 minutes. "For Universal, this movie has always been about the length and the rating," he told Newsweek, "never about the content."

Costner not only made disparaging remarks during the promotional press junket - a big no-no in the industry - but then bagged out of several key appearances on television chat shows.

What the 44-year-old actor did not let on was that the biggest editing controversy concerned a glimpse of himself in his full manhood as he steps out of a shower. The scene evidently prompted very negative reactions in test screenings, so Universal decided to spare Costner's blushes rather than argue the point with the ratings board. "The love of the movies, I believe, is waning," Costner moaned to Newsweek. What he really meant, of course, was the love of Kevin Costner - in all his dubious glory.


ONE OF the shocks of living in Los Angeles is discovering how little the baroque, ultra-violent world of noir novelist James Ellroy strays from the truth when it comes to city corruption and the LA Police Department. Not only were many episodes in The Black Dahlia and LA Confidential based on real-life 1940s and 1950s cases; recent scandals sound ominously like the blueprint for an Ellroy novel.

The latest concerns two members of a crack, anti-gang task force who handcuffed an innocent 19-year-old Latino to a chair, shot him in the chest and head and, when he obstinately refused to die, framed him for attempted murder.

One of the officers responsible for this singular piece of community policing was then caught stealing eight pounds of cocaine from an evidence locker, and is now singing like a canary to minimise his sentence.

Truth is not merely imitating fiction - it is also repeating itself. Nineteen years ago, a gang member from East LA, Jose Luis Frutis, was handcuffed and shot in the chest during an interrogation. The police claim the shooting was an accident, but Frutis says it was part of an attempt to frame him for a murder he did not commit.

In the light of the new scandal, the district attorney's office is thinking of reopening the case.

Coincidentally, Fox television is planning to cash in on the success of LA Confidential by extending it into a series for the small screen, starting next autumn. If the producers had wondered about finding enough material, they need wonder no longer.


LA'S FASCINATION with all things Mediterranean - a throwback to the era when the city was promoted as a piece of southern Europe by the Pacific - is having peculiar effects on my local supermarket, where the attempts at pseudo-French sophistication are growing ever more laughable. First there was the instant cappuccino, described as frothe. Then the lemon- scented, or should I say citre, shampoo.

And now I see they have a health-conscious nutritional supplement called garlique. As they might say in France, c'est too much.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump


Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas