Shortly after he first broke through he became known as the 'new 'Gary Cooper and Steve McQueen and a long list of other Hollywood legendary leading men but Kevin Costner seemed to be different. Whatever demons lurked he appeared to have overcome them although he frankly admitted to having 'a dark side.'
It sounded like some public relations spice for there seemed no shades to him.He was white bread possibly in need of some Tinseltown toasting, of gossip pages character building. In Hollywood if they're not talking about you it's time to plan your memorial service -- that way someone comes to see you.
When I first met Costner he had just completed 'No Way Out' which boasted a strong cast, a complex plot with a clever twist and a raunchy sex scene involving Kev and co-star Sean Young in the back seat of a limousine driving around and around the historic sights of Washington D.C. It was an exotic trip.
But the limousine lover image was not him, he said. The love scenes were difficult, embarrassing. Sean Young, more experienced in such brief celluloid encounters, helped him.
Since then, Costner has helped himself to the handsome pickings of Hollywood , the rainbow of fame, money and Oscars. Now, certainly privately and possibly professionally, it has all gone wrong. The man who seemed to be above the temptations of celebrity while having an uncanny knack at the box office has stumbled. And film industry types are talking about his latest film 'Waterworld' -- the most expensive movie ever made -- as his Waterloo .
His wife Cindy -- she paid her way through college appearing as Snow White at California 's Disneyland -- has filed for divorce after sixteen years of marriage. It is a bitter battle. There has been much gossip of Costner's serial philandering. In the middle of this dodgem divorce are their children Annie,ten, Lily,seven, and Joe,six.
The man who for a moment seemed to have it all, the perfect marriage and family, the superstar career, finds himself in a corner. It is a surprise to most for he appeared to always be in control and to be his own man. No better example was his Oscar bonanza 'Dances With Wolves' which the film industry predicted would be his demise. With his wife's support he thumbed his nose at the doomwatchers and against the odds turned an overlong film into a box office and critical success. He was the maverick's maverick.
And arguably that's when the cracks in the plaster began to appear. Here we had a brand new all-round film genius, a lean, lanky Orson Welles, who could do no wrong. That, of course, is when you get ego all over your face.
Costner will talk until the cowboys come home -- or until his PR minders tap their Rolexes -- when you get him on the subject of the epic Western that brought him everything Hollywood dreams of : money, power status and the sort of sensational, life-changing superstardom some live to regret.