Kevin Costner Says He's Open to Falling in Love Again: 'Not Going to Let Anything Harden My Heart' (Exclusive)

In a new PEOPLE cover story, the Oscar winner and 'Horizon' director/star shares how he hasn't let his recent divorce sour him on love

<p><a href="">Eric Ray Davidson</a></p> Kevin Costner for PEOPLE

Eric Ray Davidson

Kevin Costner for PEOPLE's July 1, 2024, issue

Kevin Costner is keeping an open mind — and an open heart.

While his divorce from Christine Baumgartner took a toll on the Academy Award winner, he prioritized his kids and has powered through the last year with grace.

"You just do it," Costner, 69, tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story of navigating life after Baumgartner, 50, filed for divorce in May 2023.

"You just keep talking, you keep coaching [the kids], you keep interested in what they're interested in ... I had to," says the father of seven.

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<p><a href="" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">Eric Ray Davidson</a></p> Kevin Costner on the cover of PEOPLE's July 1, 2024, issue

Eric Ray Davidson

Kevin Costner on the cover of PEOPLE's July 1, 2024, issue

Related: Kevin Costner Says ‘I’m Not Going to Lose Myself’ While ‘Dealing with’ Aftermath of Divorce

But Costner, who shares custody of his three youngest children — sons Cayden, 17, and Hayes, 15, plus daughter Grace, 14 — with his ex-wife, has not soured on romance.

Could he see falling in love again? "Yeah, I think everybody would like to be in love," he says. "There's such a good feeling that's associated with that. It may have to be defined in a different way, but yeah, I love the idea of that possibility."

Adds the Field of Dreams actor (who also has four adult kids: Annie, 40, Lily, 37, Joe, 36, and Liam, 27), "I’m not going to let anything harden my heart."

In the meantime, Costner has poured his heart into his longtime passion project Horizon: An American Saga, a sweeping Western epic whose first chapter opens in theaters June 28.

Though the Compton, California, native fronted $38 million of his own money and mortgaged property to help fund the film, he’s excited to be all in on something he deeply believes in.

“I’ve had an incredibly unusual — and, for the most part, beautiful — life,” Costner says, considering his nearly seven decades with gratitude. “I’ve taken some really big bites out of life, and life has taken some really big ones out of me, and I’ve never let it harden me and I’m not going to.”

At the end of the day, his heart will always be with his seven kids.

“It’s really about the children,” the actor and filmmaker says. “I am still teaching my kids. And by the way, I’m still learning.”

For more from Kevin Costner, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

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Read the original article on People.