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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dances With Turkey

We’ve all heard about big Hollywood stars who take their talents and notoriety overseas to film commercials. They figure they can sell out abroad while protecting their images stateside. Kevin Costner, actor and Academy Award-winning director of Dances with Wolves, is the most recent to take the bait. According to a news report, Costner is in Turkey this month to take part in filming a commercial for Turkish Airlines.

I can’t quite figure out why Costner would be the ideal spokesperson for Turkish Airlines. After all, he’s somewhat of a has-been, kind of a Bull Durham of the acting set. But the airline’s executive board chairman says Costner was chosen because “he was a very good actor and that he was very famous and handsome.” I wonder if the past tense of "is" was used intentionally in that quote. Probably not...but if so, IMHO, it’s apt.

According to the article, Costner has no way out of explaining that he hasn’t actually flown on the airline. He cites his connection to Turkey thusly: "I started playing music three years ago. Turkey was the first country that invited me and my music to come. I was very surprised, I had never thought of coming. This was a very important step in my life. That is why I have accepted this commercial proposal.” Germans love David Hasselhoff’s music; Turks love Costner‘s. Go figure. Perhaps European fans of Tin Cup have tin ears.

If you do start flying on Turkish Airlines this year (which is a member of the Star Alliance), you may actually see Costner on board. He was presented with an Elite Plus card, given to Turkish Airlines’ best customers. Considering Costner’s never flown on one flight, the club can’t be all that elite, can it?

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