How Kevin Costner Went From Fish-Man to Oil Spill Expert

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In his magnum opus Waterworld, Kevin Costner’s character is introduced peeing into a machine that turns human urine into drinkable water. Now Costner has revealed that for the past 15 years he has been working on a similar machine in real life — and BP is interested.

Spurred to action by scenes from the Exxon Valdez disaster, Costner and his brother in the early ’90s envisioned a machine that would separate oil from water using a centrifuge motion. Costner poured $20 million of his own money into the project and, working with scientist David Meikrantz, the brothers eventually brought a product to market — only to find that demand had dried up. As Costner told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “People thought spills were over.”

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