Does Kevin Costner Regret Doing a TV Show?

Kevin Costner has spent most of his career on the big screen doing movie roles for hits, such as The Bodyguard, Dances With Wolves and Waterworld. But his most recent project is a bit different.

Costner is making the leap into television by playing a rancher in the series Yellowstone. But making the move to TV after so many years in film isn’t easy, and Costner isn’t shy about his struggles. 

Adjusting to TV has been difficult for Kevin Costner

Kevin Costner
Kevin Costner | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

One of the big differences between acting in a movie and a television series, is that future storylines are often kept a secret on television shows, even from the actors.

The reason for this is simple. A movie is released all at once, but in a TV series, the story is explained over many installments. It becomes very important that no one leaks future storylines. So in order to keep any spoilers from being leaked, even the actors must remain in the dark until right before a scene is shot. 

While there’s a good reason for keeping the actors in the dark, it does make it hard to play a character, when you have such a limited view of their story. 

While Costner has had a few television roles before, acting in Yellowstone is the first time he’s ran into the problem of not knowing his character’s complete storyline. His previous TV experiences were all one-and-done roles before he broke into fame on the big screen. After that, he was in the three-part miniseries, Hatfields & McCoys. Because that role was such a short series, the experience was more like filming a movie, where he was able to know the entire story. 

However, now that he’s playing John Dutton in Yellowstone, he’s having this problem for the first time in his career, and he’s not too happy about it. 

“It hasn’t been an easy adjustment for me,” Costner told Indiewire. “I don’t like it too much.”

When discussing what he knows about the future of his character, a powerful and wealthy rancher, Costner said:

“I would like to [know the character’s future], but I’m not always privy to it, no. Sometimes with [John’s] son’s 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.”

Kevin Costner does enjoy the set of ‘Yellowstone’

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It’s not all bad, though. One thing Costner does love about Yellowstone, he doesn’t have to wear a tie. During an interview on Popcorn with Peter Travers, Costner explained how he prefers to spend time in the outdoors, than in the city, and he appreciates the fact that his role on Yellowstone offers him the ability to use the ranch as his office. 

“I don’t like doing movies with ties,” Costner said. “What I’m saying is, I’m not as comfortable in the city. And I realize that I have this great job that takes me around the world. But when I find myself out in the west, I wake up every morning and that’s my office. That’s what I’m looking at. So it’s not that it necessarily informs my acting.”

He continued, “There’s two things for me in the business that I chose, one is that there’s the movie I make, and two, there’s the experience I have. I don’t value the outcome of a movie and it’s box office more than my experience. They equate. I want that obvious thing for the movie to be successful. But I never let the idea of what it did box office negate the experience that I had. I won’t let it outweigh it.”

Who can blame him, really? If given the choice between a stuffy office, and spending your time outside in the fresh air, many people would agree with Costner, and choose the later.

Let’s just hope that it makes up for the difficulties he’s having so that viewers can enjoy many more episodes of Yellowstone