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Kevin Costner: actor, director, crooner

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He's an actor and director, but Kevin Costner can also sing a little, as the Oscar winner will demonstrate Thursday when he and his band, Modern West, perform at Showcase Live. "When I'm in a community and filming...instead of just being a 'sighting,' I like to have authentic evenings playing with the band," says Costner, who's in Boston shooting "The Company Men" with Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper and Maria Bello. "In a positive way, my wife's been pushing me to do more of this." Initially, the "Dances with Wolves" director said he demurred. "I'm aware of what the perceptions can be and I thought, 'Do I really need that?'" he told us. "But then I said, 'Who are you afraid of?'" On disc, Costner can sound like a cross between Chris Isaak and John Hiatt, with a bit of the Boss tossed in. "We wish we were those guys," he joked. It's clear that Costner doesn't take this side project as seriously as, say, Billy Bob Thornton, who recently threw a fit on Canadian radio because he objected to being called an actor. (Thornton was promoting his new album.) "Billy had kind of run his course with those questions. He didn't want to go there," said Costner. "Billy is a friend. He's trying to create and creation is going forward not going backward." Of "The Company Men," the actor said it's "rendered so well it has a chance to be a classic," and he's reconnected with Affleck, who was an extra in "Field of Dreams." "I was an extra in 'Love at First Bite.' We've all been there," said Costner. "Ben's a really smart and talented guy whose life isn't defined by Hollywood."

Caption: Kevin Costner and Ben Affleck film a scene for 'The Company Men' in Roxbury. (globe staff photo/george rizer)

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This blog features the latest local and national celebrity news from The Boston Globe's Names column team. Check back for the latest updates.
Mark Shanahan joined The Boston Globe in 2003, having worked previously at the Portland Press Herald, where he covered City Hall, and the Lewiston Sun-Journal, where he was the education reporter. A Northampton native and graduate of Bates College, Shanahan enjoys the usual - books, music, movies, etc. - as well as the unusual.
shanahan@globe.com
Follow on Twitter: @GlobeNames, @MarkAShanahan
Meredith Goldstein has worked for the Globe since 2003, covering everything from nightlife to New Kids. She keeps her eyes peeled for celebrity juice, and also writes Love Letters, a Boston.com blog for hopeful (and hopeless) romantics. Meredith chats about love problems every Wednesday at 1 p.m. If you see Justin Timberlake or someone like him at a local eatery, please e-mail her immediately. mgoldstein@globe.com
Follow on Twitter: @GlobeNames, @MeredithGoldste

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