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Hero of the Gulf: Kevin Costner?

Thursday's House hearing at which BP CEO Tony Hayward testified was not the only spill-related action on Capitol Hill with star power.

Actor Kevin Costner told the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee that BP has discovered his oil separating machine actually works and has ordered 32 of them to battle the spill.

"I feel vindicated. Perhaps I will call my mother," he said.

A company founded by Costner, Ocean Therapy Solutions, produces the machines, which use centrifugal force to separate oil from the water. The company says the biggest versions can clean 200 gallons a minute and extract 2,000 barrels of oil per day.

Costner reportedly spent $20 million of his own money to develop the separators.

Committee Chairwoman Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., praised Costner, telling him that he "plays a hero on screen and in real life."

— Mike Brunker