Aw, Shucks—Kevin Costner Always Knew He'd Make It, and Silverado Starts Him on the Trail

updated 08/26/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/26/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Kevin Costner is sitting at the lavish premiere party for Silverado, the shoot-'em-up that has transformed him from a relative unknown into the hottest actor of the week. He and wife Cindy, 28—a virginal-looking brunette who captured him in the days when she was playing Snow White at Disneyland—have just paraded past the paparazzi on Hollywood Boulevard, looking like the charmed couple they are. Red carpets and searchlights are on hand, and Kevin is feeling his oats. Bedecked in Western regalia ("Cindy made my tie"), he is the gee-whiz nice guy trying hard to sound modest.

"One thing I'd like the public to know is that I'm not too cool for all this," he says, enthusiastically waving his arm to indicate the Hollywood hoedown. "Cindy and I used to get together with friends who were all getting promotions and buying their second houses. We'd have these long drives home at the end of the night, and I'd say, 'What am I doing? I don't have a BMW. I don't have a lawn with dichondra.' But I called myself an actor, and I knew that someday this would all happen."

Optimism is Costner's shtick. If the man knows the meaning of irony, he keeps that knowledge well hidden. At 30, Costner is the sort who says of his struggling-actor years, "It was a school of hard knocks, but I watched and learned and the rest is history."

With four film roles behind him (including one as the suicide in The Big Chill that became a cutting-room casualty) Costner can afford a bit of hubris. He stars in the current American Flyers and this fall in a segment of Steven Spielberg's TV series Amazing Stories. Critics are enthusiastic about his performance as a winsome white hat in Silverado, and a studio exec notes, "Everybody wants him—in their movie and in their bedroom."

Costner, who grew up in a working-class neighborhood in L.A., can now afford the accoutrements of stardom—such must-haves as a condo in Mammoth Lakes and a four-wheel-drive Bronco for tooling around Pasadena, where he keeps a small house. "I think I'll know things about publicity and lawyers and studios next year that I don't know now," he says. With an attitude like that, the dichondra is right around the corner.

From Our Partners