Yellowstone's Kevin Costner Says He's Having Trouble Adjusting To TV: 'I Don't Like It Too Much'

yellowstone john dutton season 2 kevin costner paramount

Over the nearly 40 years of Kevin Costner’s professional acting career, he has worked and made a name for himself almost exclusively on the film front. The Oscar-winner finally came to TV for his first regular gig in 2018 with Paramount’s Yellowstone, which has been both a ratings winner and a defining series for a rebranded network. While viewers have responded well to Coster as the sometimes shocking John Dutton, he recently revealed that he’s had trouble adjusting himself.

As a movie actor, Kevin Costner was able to know his characters’ full arcs from beginning to end, and his contributions to TV in the past were either in one-off appearances or in a miniseries with a set ending at the start. Yellowstone is ongoing, with Season 3 already ordered before Season 2 even premiered back in June.

So, Kevin Costner’s tenure as a TV actor with the unique challenges that come with the small screen isn’t ending any time soon, unless Yellowstone delivers a shocker, and John Dutton already had one health scare this season.

Kevin Costner weighed in on how he feels about not knowing everything for an ongoing series vs. having all the information for a film, saying this:

It hasn’t been an easy adjustment for me. I don’t like it too much.

It’s not unprecedented for shows to keep secrets from the actors, as shows like Game of Thrones have done in the past, although that hasn’t stopped secrets from leaking in certain cases. There’s also the point that endings for ongoing TV series aren’t always going to be known early on in the series.

After all, some of the flak that How I Met Your Mother caught after its finale came from fans who took issue with the show sticking to the ending it selected at the beginning despite all the changes the characters went through over the years. The good news is that Kevin Coster also stated to IndieWire that “you can run a long time if you make things really compelling” as long as there’s “writing with a lot of extended thought.”

Basically, Kevin Costner sounds like a stickler for the details on Yellowstone, and that has to be a good thing as the show continues and the drama heightens. Consistency is a virtue on TV, right? That said, keeping consistent is a bit more complicated since the end of Season 1, which was written and directed entirely by creator and executive producer Taylor Sheridan. For Seasons 2 and 3, Yellowstone is using a writers’ room rather than Sheridan penning everything.

Kevin Costner shared how conversations about the series have gotten trickier since Taylor Sheridan yielded some of the creative control:

We’ve dealt with things, but this second season was a combination of a writers’ room and him, so that wasn’t exactly clear. Now it’s just a straight writers’ room.

Will Kevin Costner warm up to working on TV a bit more without getting more of his character’s backstory? Or will he continue to prefer knowing everything there is to know with film work? Only time will tell.

Yellowstone itself isn’t going anywhere any time soon, and even the brief break in Season 2 may have had fans on the edges of their seats waiting for the next episode. That Arrow-verse villain actor has yet to make his Yellowstone debut, and there are plenty of appealing things that could still happen before the end of the second season.

You can catch new episodes of Yellowstone on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on Paramount this summer.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).