Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How Kevin Costner Really Feels About Waterworld

Kevin Costner rose to stardom after appearing in many iconic movies of the '80s, '90s, and into the 2000s. Whether it's "Field of Dreams," "Dances With Wolves," "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," or his new venture into TV with "Yellowstone," Costner delivers a powerful performance that fans have always been drawn to. With actors like Costner, it can seem like they never make a movie that misses. Unfortunately, nearly all of the most well-known actors in Hollywood, whether it's Colin Farrell or Bruce Willis, have had one flop or another that nearly ruined their careers.

For Costner, this was 1995's "Waterworld," a film based in a post-apocalyptic future in which the polar ice caps melted, covering the earth in nearly all water and forcing humanity to adapt to survive. Costner plays an unnamed mariner who attempts to help a woman and her daughter find dry land amidst the chaos created by outlaws called "smokers." According to Rotten Tomatoes, critics scored the movie a measly 48%, and audiences even worse at 43%. Critics noted Costner's character in particular to be dislikable, totally humorless, and dreary. Others said the film was just overall massively flawed, and it sure didn't have a great showing at the time of its release. It was criticized even before it officially hit theaters and only grossed 1.64 times its budget, which wasn't necessarily great in 1995 (via Forbes).

Despite that, even over 20 years after the film's release, Costner still feels different about "Waterworld" compared to most critics and audiences, and he had much to say about how close the film remains to him as his career continues.

Kevin Costner said Waterworld was a joy for him

According to IndieWire, Costner texted with Jeffrey Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere about the film and had a lot to say about his experience on "Waterworld." Addressing not just his own love for the film, but also that of others, alongside the hard work that everyone involved with the film put in, Costner said, "I'm not sure you know how beloved the movie is around the world. Being hard [on a film] is really easy if you don't know the underbelly of what [went into it]." 

As for his own feelings about "Waterworld" and how it affected his career, the actor said that "people might think of 'Waterworld' as a low point for me. It wasn't. It could have had a better, more obvious outcome. The thing I know is that I never had to stand taller for a movie when most were going the other way. The movie with all its imperfections was a joy for me ... a joy to look back upon and to have participated in."

It's clear that Costner cares about the crew, directors, writers, and everyone involved with making a movie behind the scenes based on his statements. Also, his note about the film being beloved internationally does have facts to back that up, as its international box office earnings were $172 million in comparison to a domestic $88 million (via Forbes). As an actor, Costner will always see "Waterworld" differently, because even the most joyous of productions can prove successful or unsuccessful at the box office, and in this particular case, the 1995 film simply didn't have the "better, more obvious outcome" that everyone hoped for.