Kevin Costner Explains The Deep Appeal Of Yellowstone And What Draws People To It

Yellowstone John Dutton Kevin Costner Kayce Dutton Luke Grimes Paramount Network

(Image credit: Paramount Network)

Yellowstone is almost back for Season 3, which means Kevin Costner is also back! The Paramount Network drama returns on Sunday, June 21, and the legendary actor is out promoting it. If that explosive trailer didn't get you pumped enough, Costner’s thoughts on the modern Western's deep appeal and ability to draw people to it will.

On one of the (many) special features for the Season 2 DVD, Kevin Costner revealed why he thought Yellowstone and its picturesque Montana setting had resonated so profoundly with viewers. Now, the actor is doubling down on why he feels the show has found a steady core audience. Reflecting on the locale’s history, Costner told The Ellen K Morning Show:

But just as an inside [tidbit], Bitter Root was the same valley that Lewis and Clark went down in 1803, you know, when they were exploring the country. It was like the Garden of Eden. And that’s not lost on me everyday, to understand and to think of what it was like to head into the unknown, without understanding where you are going. And to make your way to the Pacific Ocean. Listen, I don’t like courtroom dramas. I like sometimes the writing, but I would rather be out where I am. I think a lot of people are experiencing that with Yellowstone.

Being out in a location teeming with history apparently adds to Yellowstone’s allure for Kevin Costner. The iconic actor/director seems to believe the wide open spaces have also helped keep audiences interested in the TV series, which marked an adjustment for the movie star. Now in Season 3, Costner has had quite a few seasons to get comfortable with his small screen successes.

The scenery certainly helps Yellowstone set itself apart from many shows on television, as it primarily takes place outside under blue skies. Personally speaking, so many series seem to take place inside, on sets and soundstages. While Yellowstone obviously has interior scenes, they feel outnumbered by the sequences that embrace the Western’s memorable surroundings. For instance, two characters will meet in a stream in Season 3, which wouldn't likely be a situation you'd see on many broadcast shows these days.

Earlier in Yellowstone’s run, Kevin Costner talked about what made him agree to star in the Paramount Network series, and his answers at the time dovetail nicely with his current take on the show’s appeal after having filmed three seasons. Back then, Costner had shared he thought people didn't spent enough time outdoors as they should. If only we were all working on a show like Yellowstone.

Based on what Kevin Costner said, he prefers the bucolic beauty of a show taking place in the outdoors as opposed to courtroom dramas, and we can generally assume the same can be said for hospital dramas and workplace comedies. Hopefully, there will be no need for any courtroom antics to spring up in Yellowstone Season 3, though it's not like the Costner’s John Dutton and his family have completely avoided doing certain things that could land him there.

Viewers will soon be reconnected with the beauty of Yellowstone’s surroundings and the drama of the fascinating characters who live there, along with Kevin Costner’s poignant portrayal of John Dutton. He will be back to contend with newcomer, Josh Holloway as Roarke Morris, and it looks like Holloway’s Roarke is going to give the Duttons a run for their money.

See the beauty Kevin Costner that is talking about for yourself when Yellowstone’s third season premieres on Sunday, June 21, (Father’s Day), at 9 p.m. ET on Paramount Network. The new season is one of this summer’s premieres. If you want to check out previous seasons’ locales, stream Yellowstone when it becomes available on NBCUniversal’s upcoming service, Peacock, which launches nationally on July 15.

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.