One day after Larry King helped raise more than $1.8 million for victims of the Gulf oil spill, the host invited Kevin Costner to talk about his dramatic and unexpected role in cleaning up the mess.
Costner's entrance from out of left field with a solution to removing oil from the water was met with rolling eyes and skepticism when he announced it back in May. A little over a month later, and his company's machines are the darlings of the media and, more importantly, BP. The oil giant recently ordered 32 of Ocean Therapy Solution's V20 centrifuges — each capable of filtering 200 gallons of water per minute.
Currently, BP has three of the devices working in deep water in the Gulf and processing roughly 600,000 gallons per day. BP officials hope to have the rest of the machines hitting the spill by Aug. 1.
It's this work — and not the entertainment he's provided over the years — that Costner told King he would like to remembered for.
"When I die, I hope that on my headstone ... it would just say 'And he made movies, too.'
"I don't define myself by just the movies. I have had a wonderful life. I'm not without my own bruises, you know. But it's been good. And I'd like to not let my own celebrity or how people see me define who I am as a person ..."
"I thought if I could bring what I have, which is a dreaming mentality and the money that I have been able to amass, I would throw it at this problem and I could make a difference. And I know, you know, I'm the actor with the magic machine. I know that that's how it was going to read, so I was prepared to have my neck cut off and watch my head roll into the street by intellectuals, by cynics."
"But I had to reengage, because, you know ... it was a fight worth fighting and I didn't want this machine to be silent. And so I had to speak for it."
Chalk this one up as another perfect example of a Hollywood star using his/her fame and fortune to harness and create something for the betterment of mankind. Sure, it may sound profound — but this guy could simply be sitting on yacht somewhere; not testifying before Congress on why technology such as this is needed on every rig in the world.
To be sure, Costner's foresight, investment and commitment to the development of these machines will result in some massive dollar signs for all those involved. But at this point in his life, with all the accolades and big checks he's received, that's the last thing on his mind.
Guy just wants to save the world. For real.