"Harden your hearts," Devil Anse Hatfield orders his male kinfolk as they raise their rifles for the point-blank killing of some young McCoy boys they've tied to a tree. Kevin Costner, who plays the weathered, pipe-smoking Hatfield patriarch, says achieving that "almost biblical level of hardness" was the key to his performance. "Bill Paxton's character [Randall McCoy] asks me three times to spare the lives of his sons, and I turn away and say, 'I don't think so,'" Costner says. "There's a level of hardness a character like that would have to have. Those killings were hard justice — they felt a lot like murder — but I was comfortable with my character doing that because I understood the world he was living in."