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Kevin Costner’s Lavish Demands on the Set of 1995’s ‘Waterworld’ Still Haunt His Reputation Decades Later

Kevin Costner has had tremendous success throughout his career with the Oscar-winning film Dances With Wolves, Fields of Dreams, and his recent achievements on Yellowstone. Even though he was the biggest movie star in the world in the 1990s, rivaling Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwarzenegger, he had a major bomb in 1995 that has affected his reputation ever since: Waterworld.

At the time, it was the most expensive movie ever made with a budget of $175 million, and only delivering $22 million in its opening box office weekend. The project was consistently challenging because it was filmed in the open waters off of Hawaii, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the problems this movie encountered. It seems that the actor’s movie star demands made the set a less-than-ideal place to work.

WATERWORLD, Kevin Costner, Jeanne Tripplehorn, 1995.

Costner traveled to and from the set in a “luxury motorboat” that Universal Studios had leased for him after enjoying a good night’s rest in his “$1800-a-day oceanfront villa” that came equipped with a butler and a private pool, per The Los Angeles Times. It was alleged that he wasn’t entertaining his then-wife, Cindy Silva, in that swanky hotel, instead he was having an affair with hula dancer, Michele Amaral. Even though Costner vehemently denied the entanglement, it led to his $80 million divorce — there was no prenup in place.

The stresses of filming the movie, which lasted for an unexpected six months due to delays, was also compounded post-productions requests. Costner apparently requested that “the special effects department add ‘computer-generated hair’ to hide his balding pate,” which only added more money to the already stretched budget, per Newsweek. The actor’s reputation took a hit, not only at the box office, but also in Hollywood. The whispers about his personality on the set followed him straight to Yellowstone decades later.

Over the summer, it was reported that he had a “list of demands” that he needed to get met if he was ever going to return for the back half of the fifth season. Show creator Taylor Sheridan didn’t give in to Costner’s ego and Yellowstone will officially wrap up without the 68-year-old star at the helm.

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