Kevin Costner Talks Showing a Softer Side Amid Guns and Stunts in '3 Days to Kill'

AP Images
From left: Connie Nielsen, Kevin Costner, Amber Heard and director McG

At the film's L.A. premiere, Amber Heard, Connie Nielsen and director McG dished on working with Costner and how they dealt with their cold-weather set in Paris.

Kevin Costner, Amber Heard and Connie Nielsen walked the red carpet at ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood on Wednesday night for the premiere of 3 Days to Kill -- an action thriller with its shareof guns, bombs and fast cars.

STORY: 'Draft Day' Superbowl Ad: Kevin Costner Wants to Make a Deal (Video)

"I did an action sequence, and my 5-year-old and my 3-year-old at the time were surprised to see me coming out, guns blazing and things blowing up," Costner told The Hollywood Reporter. His wife and kids traveled with him to the 3 Days to Kill set in Paris, where his youngest were able to see him in action. "I had been sitting with them and I said, 'Now you got to sit here, okay? I'm going to go do something,' and the next thing you know, when they said 'action,' all of a sudden, the bombs went off and the guns went off and I got in a car and drove it really fast. They wanted to make sure that I wasn’t hurt, and then they wanted to know what had just happened."

In the film, Costner plays a spy agent who accepts one last mission to track down a terrorist in return for medicine that could help save his life. After promising to end his spy career, his final assignment could not come at a more inconvenient time than when he must look after his daughter (Hailee Steinfeld) whom he wishes to build a closer relationship with. Such a premise inherently included the theme of family relationships, which is part of what attracted him to the role.

"The unique part of it is the level of comedy that comes out it and the level of emotion that comes out of it," said Costner. "Some touching moments find a way to come through character relationship stuff that comes through the course of the cars going fast and the guns going off."

PHOTOS: 35 of 2014's Most Anticipated Movies: 'X-Men: Days of Future Past,' 'Mockingjay,' 'Spider-Man 2'

Amber Heard, who was accompanied by fiance Johnny Depp and shared a kiss with him on the red carpet -- plays an FBI agent, and said that the freezing Paris weather didn't didn’t keep her from being the film's gun-toting bad girl. "I feel like any scene that we filmed outside is seared into my memory, whether I want it to be or not," Heard told THR. "It was just so cold in Paris at the time, and my wardrobe was comprised of latex and rubber, and it was just tough. You have to go out there and pretend it’s not cold."

The Following’s Connie Nielsen, who plays Costner’s estranged wife, expressed that she admired the level of professionalism Costner maintained while on set. "Preparing scenes with Kevin was just a new thing," said Nielsen. "He’s very dedicated, very particular and somebody who really pays a lot of attention to whether everything is really believable and truthful and for an action movie. That doesn’t happen often."

Director McG noted that it's not everyday that an action film has an emotional impact. "
My favorite films balance humor and action and most particularly character and emotion, and this film had the opportunity to do that," he said. "If you can lean on a guy like Kevin Costner to take you through that story, you’d be wise to do so."

3 Days to Kill opens in theaters on Feb. 21.