A History of Kevin Costner’s Cinematic Accents


What happened to Kevin Costner? The accepted answer is Waterworld, followed by The Postman. We have a supplementary theory: bad accents. The star of such still-great movies as Bull Durham and Field of Dreams reached his career apex in 1990, winning a Best Director Oscar for Dances With Wolves. Costner followed that up with Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. The movie was a big hit, but the worm started turning: Costner got roundly panned for his infamous in-and-out, half-assed British accent. In the years that followed, he rattled off a number of box-office successes (The Bodyguard), but the accents kept getting more pronounced (JFK, A Perfect World), all leading up to the accent-free, career coup de grace Waterworld. Ever since, try as he might, Costner can not find a way to remind us why we liked him so much in the first place. (It's sure not the ear-puckering Masshole voice he put on for 2000's Thirteen Days.) On the occasion of this week's downsizing drama The Company Men, in which Costner goes all Bawhston alongside co-star Ben Affleck, we've taken the liberty of collecting the voice work that did him in. Have a listen.