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Kevin Costner likes to keep it real

Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Costner, 58, and wife

Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Costner, 58, and wife Christine Baumgartner are parents to three kids: sons Cayden, 7, and Hayes, 4, and 3-year-old daughter Grace. (Nov. 10, 2010) Credit: Getty

To say the NFL “cooperated’’ in the making of “Draft Day’’ would be an understatement.

The league’s presence in the film, which premieres April 11, is extraordinarily extensive, from the use of actual team names and logos to a fake 2014 draft filmed the same weekend as last year’s real one. Both starred Roger Goodell.

Had that not been the case, Kevin Costner would not be starring in it.

 “They’re protective of their brand,’’ Costner, whose sports-film resume includes “Bull Durham,” “Field of Dreams’’ and “Tin Cup,’’ said on a conference with sports journalists. “I think they had a comfort level with the script on its face value, and I think they had a high comfort level with me.

 “I would not have done this unless the NFL was involved. The last thing I would want to do was a football movie with jerseys I don’t recognize and names of teams I don’t recognize. For some reason it loses all its appeal to me when it’s stuff that’s unrecognizable.’’

 Costner recalled one issue the NFL had with the script. It involved a scene in which a general manager looks out a window and sees himself being hung in effigy by fans.

“I thought it was a really funny moment,’’ he said. “But we kind of took that out because it was my understanding they’re trying to crack down on fan behavior, both inside [the stadium] and outside . . . It was a small price to pay, but it showed their attention to detail.’’

By the way, while Costner is a big fan of the NFL, he is not a big fan of the NFL Draft.

"It's almost like a national holiday that I can’t quite understand," he said. "I love football. I’m a fan, but what I’m not is a fanatic . . . I’m absolutely more interested in Sundays."

New York Sports