Kevin Costner’s Friendship With Ray Liotta Made Late Actor Agree To Sign A Film That He Originally Didn’t Like Because Of The Bizarre Script


Believe it or not, even the most beloved movies can face initial skepticism from actors. Field of Dreams, a 1989 classic, became more than just a sports movie. It delved into deeper themes like redemption, family, and the importance of pursuing dreams. Despite its universal appeal, Ray Liotta, who played the memorable character “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, wasn’t immediately sold on the story.

At first, the idea of ghosts playing baseball in a cornfield seemed a bit too far-fetched for him. However, he changed his mind and decided to be part of it, thanks to the great friendships he formed with the cast, especially Kevin Costner.

Friendship With Kevin Costner Persuaded Ray Liotta to Reconsider a Flick

Fortunately for fans of the movie, Ray Liotta‘s decision to join Field of Dreams went beyond just liking the script. A big reason was his friendship with Kevin Costner, who played the main character, Ray Kinsella.

They were buddies off-screen, often playing paddle tennis together. This friendship translated into great chemistry on-screen, which audiences loved. He told in an interview with Empire:

“I read the script and thought, ‘Okay, this guy builds a baseball field and these ghosts come out of the corn. Hmm…’ But Kevin was already cast and I knew him because a group of us – me, Kevin, Steven Bauer, and Andy Garcia – used to play paddle tennis together.”

This camaraderie wasn’t just between Liotta and Costner—it spread to the whole cast. Actors like James Earl Jones and Amy Madigan, who were already respected in the industry, made Liotta even more excited about the project. The star had worked with Madigan before and knew she was a total pro, which made him even more eager to be part of the film.

Ray Liotta Reflected on Burt Lancaster’s Influence

The Phil Alden Robinson’s film’s cast also featured the legendary Burt Lancaster. Even though Ray Liotta didn’t have any scenes with Lancaster, the chance to be in a film with such a Hollywood icon was a big draw for him. The actor stated in the same interview:

“I didn’t have any scenes with him, unfortunately. But the first day he came to set I came down specially to watch him – my God, it was Burt Lancaster! I was still a young actor, just taking it all in.”

Liotta respected Lancaster so much that he would come to set on his days off, simply to observe the veteran actor work his magic. Witnessing the Lawman star’s grace and wisdom firsthand was an invaluable experience for the young actor. Lancaster’s presence, along with the rest of the talented cast, highlighted the importance of teamwork and having a strong ensemble.