In 2018 Kevin Costner became the latest movie star to make the transition to TV with a leading role in Yellowstone. The Hollywood veteran plays the powerful, patriarchal head of America’s biggest contiguous ranch John Dutton in the Paramount Network show. And his character spent part of its third season grappling with Josh Holloway’s Roarke Carter. But how do the two on-screen enemies get on in real life?
Holloway is best-known for playing rugged anti-hero Sawyer in Lost and is a newcomer to the show’s contemporary cowboy world. But the actor made an instant impression when he showed up in the season three premiere. For the “hedge-fund baller” was thrown into the mix to stir up trouble for Costner’s leading man.
Carter’s ambitions are on a much bigger scale than that of previous nemeses of Dutton such as Dany Huston’s Dan Jenkins and Neil McDonough’s Malcolm Beck. His plan to essentially create a brand-new city on Yellowstone land includes a ski resort and airport. And unsurprisingly, the Dutton family aren’t exactly on board.
Holloway told Good Housekeeping in June 2020 that he doesn’t consider Carter to be villainous but does acknowledge that he’s not someone to be messed with. He said, “Think of him as the inevitable hammer. He’s not coming at you with bravado or violent energy, but he’s just slowly going to keep rolling over you until you’re done.”
Carter first enters the picture when Dutton’s daughter Beth spots him trespassing on her family’s ranch. Actress Kelly Reilly’s character soon develops an intriguing relationship with the new guy in town. But things eventually get so heated between the financier and Carter that Dutton is forced to step in.
Holloway, meanwhile, thought further about his character’s development and then admitted to Good Housekeeping that yes, he is, in fact, playing a baddie. The actor added, “Okay, I guess he’s a villain, but no more of a villain than John Dutton. It’s just two opposing forces coming together, which of course, causes a clash.”
Holloway has only been on the scene since the early ‘00s, though his co-star Costner has been a screen fixture since the mid-1980s. He first came to attention in western movie Silverado before taking center stage in the thriller No Way Out. His rise to fame continued when he appeared alongside Robert De Niro and Sean Connery as Eliot Ness in gangster classic The Untouchables.
Costner became one of the most bankable star in all of Hollywood from then on. The actor enjoyed box office hits with two movies based around baseball: Bull Durham and Field of Dreams. Dances with Wolves in 1990, however, proved that he was just as talented behind the camera as in front of it. The Civil War drama won Best Picture at the following year’s Oscars, and Costner was crowned Best Director.
And the hits kept on coming well into the 1990s. Audiences flocked to see Costner’s portrayal of the titular hero in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Furthermore, his performance alongside Whitney Houston in romantic drama The Bodyguard became nothing short of a phenomenon. However, his imperial phase had to end at some point, and by the mid-‘90s Costner had become something of a whipping boy.
Costner starred in several underperforming movies including A Perfect World and Wyatt Earp, and he was presumably banking on Waterworld returning him to the top of the A-list. Instead, the costly sea-based adventure flopped with both critics and cinemagoers alike. Another post-apocalyptic flick called The Postman then very nearly sank his career for good.
However, Costner managed to bounce back at the turn of the century with a well-received turn in Cuban Missile Crisis tale Thirteen Days. And he still remained an in-demand name even if his star power had waned a little. Rumor Has It, Swing Vote and The Company Men were just a few of the movies that utilized his talents in the ‘00s.
Costner ventured on to the small screen in 2012 and won an Emmy for his performance in Hatfield and McCoys: the History Channel’s western miniseries. He then landed supporting roles in Man of Steel and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, played against type in 3 Days to Kill and returned to the sports film genre with Draft Day. In 2019 he played bounty hunter Frank Hamer in Netflix outing The Highwaymen.
By the late 2010s Costner had become a regular face on our TV screens thanks to his role of John Dutton in Yellowstone. The actor impressed critics with his performance as a brooding rancher. But Costner admitted in an interview with IndieWire that he found it challenging dealing with a different form of storytelling.
Costner was asked if he knew much about his character’s backstory, and the actor replied, “I would like to, but I’m not always privy to it, no. Sometimes with [John’s] sons or wife or whatever, that’s been really kept in a creative ball. That’s a more vulnerable way to go through life as an actor.” And when referring to his transition to TV, he confessed, “It hasn’t been an easy adjustment for me. I don’t like it too much.”
Costner admitted that he’s worried about Yellowstone outstaying its welcome, too. The star said, “Something can run quite a while if the architecture of it is careful – not explosive, but careful. You can run a long time if you make things really compelling, but that’s a really hard thing to do. It takes a lot of thought. It’s not impulsive writing. It’s writing with a lot of extended thought.”
And Costner also revealed that he’s under no illusions about the man he plays. He said, “I have to look at John and understand – outside the character – ‘Hey, you just crossed a line. There’s no going back from that. You sanctioned a killing.’ You can inform the storytellers, the creators, that, ‘Look, we’ve just done that, and now we have to make sure we deal with it honestly.’”
But what does Costner have planned whenever Yellowstone does come to an end? Well, he told IndieWire, “I’m going to play the second half of my career out directing, but it could very well be in television. But it won’t be making it up as you go… Listen, a lot of my movies are long. I like the subplots. I like it when it all comes together – [but not when] it’s made up on the fly. I don’t trust that.”
Of course, there’s one thing that Costner values even more than his career, and that’s his family. The star first walked down the aisle with fellow alum of California State University Fullerton Cindy Silva at the age of just 22. Then in 1984 the pair welcomed a daughter into the world. Annie Clayton went on to follow her father into the entertainment industry – co-founding the production company Sound Off Films.
Costner and Silva then became parents for a second time in 1986. The multi-talented Lily McCall has often performed alongside her famous father in his country band Kevin Costner & Modern West. And she even shared the screen with him in the 2014 family drama Black or White. Meanwhile, the actor’s son Joseph was born in 1988 and has gone on to form his own mobile studio firm known as Spartan Recording.
Sadly, Costner and Silva ended up going their separate ways amicably in 1994. The Hollywood star became a father for a fourth time when his girlfriend Bridget Rooney gave birth to son Liam two years later. They then split shortly after, but that wasn’t the end of the Costner brood.
In 2004 Costner married again – this time to handbag designer and former model Christine Baumgartner. The couple had actually split up before getting hitched reportedly due to differences over having kids. Three years on from their wedding they welcomed their first child, Cayden, with Hayes arriving in 2009 and then Grace completing the family unit a year later.
Costner confirmed just how much his seven kids mean to him when he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2015 Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. He told the audience, “My children have always been bigger than the movies. They’ve always been more important. It’s because of them that I’ve been able to do what I love.”
Costner’s nice-guy reputation was further boosted when Yellowstone co-star Josh Holloway hit the promotional trail for the show’s third season in 2020. The former Lost actor couldn’t stop talking about the man playing his arch-rival in the modern western. And he had nothing but positive things to say, too.
Holloway admitted to Good Housekeeping that he was initially apprehensive about joining a show that was already so established. Furthermore, the presence of an Oscar-winning Hollywood favorite didn’t help much, either. Holloway said, “I was nervous about joining the show because Kevin Costner is a legend and I love his work.”
The situation apparently became even more stressful due to the amount of dialog Holloway had in his first scene with Costner. The actor told the magazine that he “didn’t want to screw it up.” But Holloway was left inspired by his co-star’s presence in the end. The actor added, “This guy at this level is still trying to do his best work, and that’s impressive.”
However, Holloway refused to answer about when their characters would eventually clash heads. Though he did offer a spoiler of sorts, adding, “Expect a beautiful opening to a slow burn to a crashing, wild finale. That’s all you need to know.” Holloway also claimed that the season would inspire viewers to embrace their inner cowboy.
Holloway also revealed how in awe he was of Costner in a chat with Collider. The actor was asked what it was like to share the screen with such a talent, and he replied, “I love working with legends ‘cause it’s just so intimidating. Strangely enough, I’ve [become] comfortable being uncomfortable in this business.”
“When you work with a legend, you’re shaking in your boots for the first 15 minutes.” Holloway continued. “I’m like, ‘Damn, I hope I don’t f*** this up!’ Kevin Costner is a legend, and I’m one of his biggest fans.” Evidently, Holloway is happy to sing his co-star’s praises out of his earshot, he likes to keep things cool when he’s fully in it.
Holloway acknowledged, “You don’t wanna be a fanboy. You wanna be professional and kick some ass. It was wonderful working with him because he was very present, very humble and still doing the work and not phoning it in. I just have huge respect for that. I had respect for him already, but this is TV and not even a big movie, and he’s doing the work and [is] very present.”
In fact, Holloway claimed that the experience of working alongside such a favorite of his couldn’t have gone any better. He added, “When you meet a legend who just blows you off, and if they don’t care about the work, it’s disappointing, but this was not that. [Costner] was awesome, and on fire.”
The actor may have got on with Holloway like a house on fire while shooting the drama, but that doesn’t mean that Costner gave his new co-star an entirely free ride. Holloway recalled to USA Today how Yellowstone’s leading man wasn’t afraid to put him through his paces when filming got a little more physical.
Holloway referred to a particularly action-packed scene in the show, and told the newspaper, “I’m getting ready to be dragged through the sagebrush. The man himself, Costner, leaned in to me and said, ‘You think you’re winning? I’m about to teach you the rules, boy.’ So, yeah, I’m going to get hurt.”
For his part, Costner has yet to discuss his experiences of working with Holloway, though several of his Yellowstone castmates have. And Kelly Reilly seems particularly pleased with who is playing her new love interest. She told Entertainment Weekly in July 2020, “Maybe some of that freshness has rubbed off. [Holloway] just comes in and doesn’t play the character the way you would imagine. He takes an interesting approach to the role. He was awesome.”
And Reilly was just as enthusiastic about the impact that Holloway’s character has had on her on-screen family. She went on to say, “It’s way bigger than anything that they’ve faced. He does represent the most formidable enemy that they have met. Beth understands this is something the Duttons can’t fight with.”
Reilly was equally as complimentary about Costner when asked what it was like to work with the star by Parade in 2018. She replied, “He’s just such a sweet man and so brilliant. He’s such a brilliant actor, and he’s honestly, the kindest, most humble, relaxed, sweetheart. I feel so lucky to work with him. He’s the one character that Beth is really tethered to.”
In fact, it appears as though the set of Yellowstone has become the official home of the Kevin Costner fan club. In 2019 Cole Hauser – who plays Dutton’s closest ally Rip Wheeler – revealed the star played a big part in convincing him to come on board. He told Cinema Blend in November 2019, “I have always watched him from afar and think the world of him as an actor and a storyteller and a director, for that matter.”
That same year Gil Birmingham – aka the Confederated Tribe of Broken Rock Reservation’s chairman Tom Rainwater – was asked by Indian Country Today about the joys of sharing the screen with Costner. He replied, “The few scenes that I’ve had… I haven’t had that many scenes with [him] but he’s really a lot of fun to work with.”
Birmingham then continued, “[Costner is] a very intense individual. He’s very prepared and he loves to rehearse. But carrying the lead of a show, where you’re working practically every single day is so exhausting. I just try to give the actors [who have] got that kind of workload the space they need.”
Costner is thriving on the small screen, but he hasn’t given up his film career just yet, either. In November 2020 he will star alongside Diane Lane in the movie adaptation of Larry Watson’s Let Him Go: A Novel. This isn’t the first time the two leads have appeared opposite each other. Lane and Costner also showed up as Superman’s parents in 2013’s Man of Steel.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Lane was nothing but effusive when she was asked by People magazine about playing the wife of Costner on the big screen once again. She said, “[Costner] is both a great team player and an encouraging leader. He is fully invested in making things as good as possible.”