4. Crash Davis - Bull Durham
From here, we will go way back to the late 80s; to the time when Kevin Costners career really started to take off. Costner has the very unique standing of having starred in not just one, but two baseball classics: Bull Durham and Field of Dreams. Field of Dreams, for those of you who havent seen it (shame on you), is a fantasy baseball film that romanticizes the game, and it also introduced the now iconic line: If you build it, he will come. Between these two films, though, it is really Bull Durham that gave Costner the chance to completely show off his acting range.
In Bull Durham, Costner plays a baseball player named Crash Davis, who has just been brought on as catcher for a minor league team called the Durham Bulls in North Carolina. Though having played for 12 years already, Crash is not your typical veteran baseball player. From our first glimpse of him barging into the Bulls office, we are shown all sides of his fiery personality: sarcasm, disdainfulness, ambition, and irritability; all of which shine through Costners performance throughout the film. It was easy to see, at this point, that the actor was destined for good things.
While serving as a mentor for the young and talented Ebby Nuke LaLoosh (Tim Robbins), Crash also builds great chemistry with the baseball teams honorary groupie Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon). So, the film succeeds at crossing several genres: it has hints of comedy, drama, romance, and, at its core, it is a baseball story. By succeeding at all of these, Costner was able to prove what he could do, and he continued to tackle these types of roles time and time again throughout his career. Bull Durham really has it all.