July 26, 1995
CNN--"Waterworld"'s tricky shots and expensive stunts, shooting an epic almost entirely on water, helped make the Kevin Costner movie perhaps the most scrutinized -- and most expensive -- ever made, at an estimated $172 million.
Costner stands by his work. "It was an expensive movie, maybe embarrassingly so to some people, but the studio who has made 100 movies has understood what was happening. Not that they were alarmed by it, but knew the movie they were making. If they are comfortable in the fact that they had to do what they had to do, then they should leave it alone."
The film took hits, from the Wall Street Journal to Newsweek, which reported Costner wanted computer-generated hair for his character to hide his own thinning locks.
CNN asked Costner what he felt the most outlandish thing he'd heard about the filming process was. His answer, "Well, I guess it was the computer generated hair. And I was so surprised that it came from Newsweek, no matter if they cite a source, it's just bullshit, and they're bullshit for printing it."
Costner's character, the Mariner, is a mutant with amphibian traits, and is trying to survive after the polar ice caps have melted, and dirt is precious. The Mariner is opportunistic, and at times abusive toward women and men.
Costner said, "I had to make a fundamental decision. Was this guy a dangerous guy, or was he truly a loner? How did he survive? If you deal with the fact that being on the ocean, there's only water for a couple of people, this guy was absolutely true to who he needed to be in the movie."
Away from the set, Costner was going through a divorce from his wife of 16 years, Cindy. Costner says his "Waterworld" character, in a way, reflects imperfections in his own life. "I make movies for people who can recognize themselves in the movies, and if they can't recognize that my life is similar to their lives, that it's not a perfect situation, then it is hard for me to relate to them to begin with."
"Waterworld" follows a string of Costner films that were not box offices smashes: "A Perfect World," "Wyatt Earp," "The War." He says, "Those movies, whether you want to consider them box office success or not, are reflective of the movies I want to be in in my life and so was 'Waterworld.'"
And so "Waterworld" heads to the movie theaters, where fans -- not journalists -- can judge if it belly flops, or lands on its feet.
Waterworld movie preview--WARNING!--4.5Mbytes.(4.5M QT Movie)
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