Given how long and successful Kevin Costner’s Hollywood career has been so far, one might be inclined to believe the ongoing surge of popularity for his Paramount Network neo-western Yellowstone is par for the course, and that he might take some of it for granted. That’s almost definitely not the case, however, as the Oscar- and Emmy-winning icon remains as humble and down-to-earth as he’s ever been. And though it may be almost stereotypical at this point for actors (and audiences) to voice the notion that entertainment awards aren’t so important, Costner offered a relatable explanation for why he’d been keen on winning the gold for playing John Dutton.
Kevin Costner was speaking with press to promote UK streaming audiences now having access to Paramount+ subscriptions, and when I asked how he would feel about landing award recognition for his Yellowstone role — he’d previously won acting and producing Emmys for the 2012 miniseries Hatfields & McCoys — Costner adeptly explained why an award in this case would help to vindicate the belief and passion that he’s had for Yellowstone since the beginning. Here’s how he began:
Clearly, Taylor Sheridan has become synonymous with “gripping storytelling” in recent years, but that wasn’t necessarily the case only a handful of years ago. The Yellowstone-verse will likely be his crowning achievement for years to come, though, thanks in no small part to Kevin Costner’s John Dutton being such a perfect anchor to tie all the pieces together. And considering he’s never been known for his TV work, it’s easy to imagine Costner would have turned down the role if he’d been anything less than fully engaged by the material. But even if it was familiar in the sense that it fit into a “western” classification, it was still like nothing else on TV.
Thankfully for the millions-strong fanbase, Yellowstone’s scripts started off tight and have arguably only gotten better over time, so roping Costner in wasn’t much of an issue. And the actor continued speaking to the idea that the show’s fanbase and potential award recognition would validate his time-honored creative instincts. In his words:
Though epic-sized films like the late-to-be-appreciated Waterworld and The Postman often come to mind when Kevin Costner’s career is discussed, it’s easy to overlook how many of his successes came from films that didn’t require more than meager budgets. It’s wild to think about a star-speckled movie like Bull Durham costing anything less than $30 million in today’s Hollywood. And much like Yellowstone, those projects are memorable for Costner’s presence as much as anything else. Which isn’t to say that the Paramount Network drama is cheap at all, since it certainly costs a pretty penny to film up in those gorgeous Montana locations with such a stacked ensemble. But the point is that the money can be more of an afterthought whenever there are massive crowds tuning in and enjoying the show.
Plus, I can’t tell you how many good ideas I’ve had that went ignored despite success. Granted, I’ve never had the option of starring in a Yellowstone-esque project, but the fact remains: wouldn’t everybody love if our lesser-discussed thoughts and instincts were rewarded in some way?
The actor also shared how fans’ assumptions play into his thoughts on awards. In the sense that we’ve apparently all been somewhat hilariously misinterpreting Kevin Costner’s natural state of being. Here’s how he put it:
Could there possibly be a better way for Kevin Costner to have closed that answer out? Sure, some of his awards interest stems from personal pride and his enthusiasm for the work of those around him. But then some of it is also just to make his kids understand what he does that makes so many millions of people love him so much. I think we can all relate to that. I mean, sort of.
Yellowstone may not have had much nomination luck at the Emmys in the past, but it’s likely the show taking over the zeitgeist will earn it more attention. Check out the first four seasons streaming on Peacock while waiting for the super-sized Season 5 to debut on Paramount Network on Sunday, November 14.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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