‘Yellowstone’s Kevin Costner Breaks Down Massive Appeal of the Western Genre

“Yellowstone” star Kevin Costner knows a few things about Westerns. His big breakout role was playing a rambling cowboy in 1985’s “Silverado,” and he’s gone on to dabble in the genre over the years. Now, he’s the lead in Taylor Sheridan’s reinvented, modern Western. He has the experience to know what Westerns boil down to. Plus, he’s just gotten better with age.

Costner and co-star Kelly Reilly recently spoke to ABC News about the series. There, Costner broke down what Westerns are at their core. When asked what it is about the Western genre for him, Costner replied, “I don’t know. There’s something appealing about the only things you have are your horse and the things you can carry. How can you do out there in the world?”

Your horse and what you can carry: 19th-century minimalism. Now, I’d equate that to those brave enough to try van life. There’s something appealing about that, too, though, in the same way that Western life is appealing. It lets you know what’s important in your life, what you absolutely need and what you can get rid of. Now I’m checking to see if I can fit a roof tent on my Kia Soul.

Kevin Costner Breaks Down Western Genre, While Kelly Reilly Explores Gripping John and Beth ‘Yellowstone’ Season 4 Scene

Kevin Costner knows a thing or two about Westerns, and Kelly Reilly knows a thing or two about bringing us all to tears. Recently, she and “Yellowstone” director Stephen Kay spoke to TV Line about that scene with John and Beth Dutton, and how they approached the emotionally grueling father-daughter face-off.

For a refresher, the “Yellowstone” scene came after Beth set Summer Higgins up to attack a federal agent and take the fall. She faced a hefty prison sentence. John swept in at the last moment and tried to have Summer’s sentence reduced, because the judge was a friend. But, to make at least a little bit of an example of Summer, the judge sentenced her to 15 years in prison.

Beth went home thinking that her father would be proud of her for getting rid of a potential nuisance. But, John held a soft spot for Summer, and Beth disappointed him. So much so, that he banished her from the house. That scene between them was so gut-wrenching and heart-breaking. Costner and Reilly played it exceptionally well, as we can say for them on all of “Yellowstone.”

“That scene was heartbreaking for me,” Kelly Reilly told TV Line. “Beth doesn’t often come up against her father. She’s very obedient with him. So to have him say he’s disappointed in her […] She never thought she’d hear that from him. She’d rather have been punched.”

“Everything Beth did, she did for the right reason as far as she was concerned,” director Stephen Kay added. “So it was pretty easy to tell Kelly, ‘Play these circumstances, and your heart will break.’”

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