Why Kevin Costner Said Yes To Starring In Paramount's Yellowstone

Yellowstone Kevin Costner John Dutton Paramount Network
(Image credit: Paramount Network)

The Oscar-winning actor and director Kevin Costner is opening up about what drove him to return to television, as Paramount Network’s drama-filled western Yellowstone is about to embark on Season 1. What drew Costner into saying “yes” to starring in the first season? He explained:

The idea of seeing wide open spaces, when the land was almost like the Garden of Eden. I think that we see a lot on TV, and really great TV. To know that places like this still exist in our country, adding drama against its backdrop, and actually understand in the realest terms that the meat that arrives on our table is still coming from somewhere. It’s coming from people that are getting up early in the morning and work really late. There’s a lot of America that seems like it’s behind a curtain, that way of life still exists. I am drawn to that and I don’t know many people that aren’t. That when we go out into it, that we see it. And when you put a drama against that background, I just think it’s very compelling. We don’t see that enough. I don’t think that we get outside enough, if you will.

Yellowstone's embrace of the great outdoors was part of the pull for Kevin Costner, . The Paramount Network series takes viewers away from the hustle and bustle of city life for a dramatic story set amidst a lush landscape, which certainly set the series apart from many. Thankfully for creator Tyler Sheridan, success came when he pulled the curtain back to tell this tale, which features no lack of drama from its city-set TV brethren.

The chance to bring TV back to this "meaty" aspect of American life has proven fruitful for the actor. No stranger to westerns, Kevin Costner has shown an affinity for the genre during his career, and Yellowstone is the latest in a steady stream of his projects to be set in the west. (Even if it isn't so old, per se.) He was happy to talk about the show at Deadline's Emmy Contenders panel.

Kevin Costner nails his point, as far as yours truly is concerned. Part of what makes Yellowstone so distinctive is its setting. It is a world away from the usual television landscape, which tends to be heavy on office buildings and heavy traffic, or in a more suburban locale. Yellowstone has set itself apart by playing up the beauty of the surrounding areas, sometimes in contrast with the not so serene characters.

Filmed under big blue skies, Yellowstone's setting undoubtedly a rarity on TV, as are the Dutton family and their various friends and enemies. Where a comparable drama like Dallas centered on the oil business, Yellowstone focuses more on the world of ranching, which again lends itself to being out in the open.

As well, the fact that Yellowstone is set in the present and isn't some historical drama further makes it a unique take on the western part of the country. More horses and fresh air, and with a pronounced lack of computers, smartphones and other modern technologies.

The Paramount series’ story unfolds in Montana and follows the Dutton family, led by Kevin Costner's patriarch John Dutton. The Duttons are a ranching family and the drama that ensues mainly surrounds the all-important family business, from both those who want to keep its success going, and those who perhaps greedily want it for their own.

The series did extremely well in the ratings during its first season, which bowed last year. It quickly garnered a Season 2 renewal from the still evolving Paramount Network, and the sophomore season is set to premiere this summer. Based on Yellowstone’s success, it can be argued that Kevin Costner was not alone in his interest regarding the show’s subject matter. Others evidently want to see these real-life people brought to life too.

Paramount Network has released the trailer for Season 2, which features more drama to come for the Duttons. Along to stir the action in the second season will be Justified vet and recent Arrow-verse star Neal McDonough. The trailer indicates a new season that will be in no short supply of dramatic developments. Check it out below!

The Kevin Costner starrer will return to primetime television soon enough. Yellowstone Season 2 premieres Wednesday, June 19 at 10 p.m. ET on the Paramount Network.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.