Kevin Costner Explains What Yellowstone's John Dutton Really Wants

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

Kevin Costner has explained what Yellowstone’s John Dutton really wants, and it may surprise you. Since viewers were introduced to John and his ranching empire, Yellowstone has shown a man trying to hold onto his family’s legacy. That struggle is not what John really wants to spend his time doing.

Reacting to the latest shocking episode of Yellowstone, Kevin Costner offered insight into what John truly desires. It has nothing to do with the darker side of the ranch’s goings-on. Costner told Yellowstone’s Behind the Story featurette:

I think if John Dutton could close his eyes and he could wipe away all the mistakes, he would be just as happy to be on that ranch, moving cattle pasture to pasture. Dealing with legitimate problems of a fence needs to be fixed. It's enough for him. It's always been enough for him. But the world's more complicated, and Yellowstone is complicated.

Kevin Costner’s take lines up with what Yellowstone has shown John Dutton express in recent episodes. Earlier in Season 2, John Dutton told his son and heir apparent, Kayce, that they do not get to do the fun stuff in their position. John was referring to getting to perform cowboy duties at the time following Kayce’s promotion.

John’s feelings about how complicated the world has become outside of the ranch led him to make some big decisions back in the day that are continuing to ripple throughout Yellowstone’s current story, according to Wes Bentley. Last week’s episode opened with a flashback of John informing Jamie he would be going off to college, far away from the ranch at Harvard.

This, despite a young Jamie expressing not only willingness but an interest in taking over the ranch. Apparently, John only envisioned his late son Lee or Kayce in that position because John had other plans for Jamie. Why did John send Jamie to college when he wanted to take over his father’s role at the ranch? Kevin Costner said:

Our sons and daughters maybe wanna be about something more. For those that are living on the ranch, the world is more interesting than the ranch. It's bigger. And that's caught up to the Duttons, that not everyone is just in love with this way of life.

Unfortunately for Jamie, he is one of the people that seemed to be in love with their way of life. He did not want to leave the ranch, yet appeared to do so to please his father.

John sold it to Jamie as being a level of protection for the ranch as it needed a lawyer. It was a smart move for the Yellowstone overall, but not so great step for Jamie, personally. Jamie was shown in Yellowstone’s first season as a formidable force in protecting it and his family, which has made him privy to some apparently explosive info.

Then there is Beth, who loathes her brother Jamie. She is one of her father’s biggest fans and the family’s most sharp-tongued member. If anyone uses words as a weapon (as John said he needed Jamie to do), it is Beth. Kevin Costner shared some insight into John’s only daughter and John's relationship with her, saying:

There's this edge with her. She's a real wild spirit. He's trying desperately for his family to come back together, but for all the herding he's done in his life, he can't herd these people. They're too wild.

This is a very intriguing point that Kevin Costner makes. John Dutton does seem to have worked to herd his family to little to no avail. You do have to wonder why John did not want Beth to be the lawyer instead. She has shown an aptitude for that sort of work. Beth ended up going into finance.

It is personally fascinating to imagine what the Dutton family would be like if she and Jamie had switched places with their education. John Dutton’s varying relationships with his super different adult children is part of the hook to watching Yellowstone. I enjoy watching them interact and trying to figure out what backstory led to their current relationship status.

Trying to figure out where it is all going is also part of the fun. It is all quite a mystery, even for Kevin Costner. The next episode of Yellowstone should be an eventful one. What episode of the show is not? Personally speaking, it is just that good.

Check out the video of Kevin Costner's John Dutton insight along with the rest of the cast reacting to Yellowstone's recent and shocking episode below:

Find out what is next for John Dutton when new episodes of Yellowstone Season 2 air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on the Paramount Network. The drama is part of summer’s television premieres.

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.