Kevin Costner is currently promoting his latest film, Swing Vote, a political comedy opening August 1. In a recent article with Parade, the 53-year-old actor explains how he found love again with his wife, Christine Baumgartner, 33, and their 1-year-old son, Cayden. The interview took place at the couple’s California beachfront home. Apparently, it is the most baby-proofed home one could ever imagine and it took Kevin 10 minutes to undo the plastic baby lock on the guest toilet seat!
On including his child into his busy life: “I don’t think you should close off your life from your children. And clearly, I don’t.” He laughs. “If Cayden were 5 years old, he could sit right here in the living room and listen to us talk. If he started interrupting, I’d say, ‘No, that’s not how talks go between people. We’re talking, and if you want to ask a question, you wait and ask during the gaps.’ I think you should include your children in everything you can, even if they are too young to absorb it all.” Good to his word, Kevin had Cayden and Christine on the set of his new movie as often as possible.
On how Christine wanted children and Kevin was reluctant to have more at first: Kevin and Christine dated on and off for six years. “Christine wanted a child, but I was afraid I couldn’t be an effective father. She said, ‘I’m about children. If you want to be with me, if you want to get married, you should know that’s part of my makeup.’ So here I was, confronted with real love again. I heard it. I knew it was love. One day, I woke up and thought, ‘Am I going to lose a beautiful woman who is willing to be with me to my very last breath because I am afraid to say yes to a child?’ That’s all it took. I decided that I was not going to miss out on love. Sometimes you learn that the thing you’re most afraid of in life is the thing that will save your life.”
On his divorce from his first love: Kevin has had little experience with romance in his life. His only girlfriend as a yong man was Cindy Silva, whom he met at Cal State, Fullerton. “Cindy was the only girl I had ever dated. I thought she was beautiful. I was honestly surprised that she liked me. I was shocked, actually.” The couple married in 1978. It was soon after that Kevin decided to become an actor. “I listened to my heart and realized that’s who I am. That moment of discovery was the greatest moment in my life.” After 16 years and three children, the relationship collapsed. “After my marriage ended, I never dated anyone consistently,” he says. “I stayed single. When I wanted some company in my life, I was like the classic single guy—who do I love this week, who next week? I wouldn’t even use the word ‘love’ with someone, because that makes things trickier.” Kevin briefly dated Pittsburgh socialite, Birdget Rooney, and they had a son named Liam, now 11. Kevin is close to Liam, as he is with the children he and Cindy had together—Anne, now 23, Lily, 21, and Joe, 20. “I have never wanted to be afraid in my life, but after my divorce, I was. The pain of that experience had been so strong that I never wanted to go through it ever again.”
On falling in love again with Christine: “Falling in love is a really tricky thing,” he says. “If you pretend you’re in love when you’re really not, it ends up bloody. When I met Christine, I wasn’t prepared to be in love again. It took me a long time before I said ‘I love you’ to her, a long time.” Kevin and Christine have now been married for four years. “We’re afraid of a lot of things in life,” he continues. “It’s part of the human condition. What do we fear? Love? Failure? Telling the truth about ourselves? I think we don’t show people all we truly are because we’re afraid that if they actually know everything about us, they won’t love us. I’m as guilty of that as anyone. For years, fear kept me from marrying Christine,” he adds. “She wanted a child, and I had to come to terms with that.”