Kevin Costner has appeared in a wide variety of movies. From intimate character studies to the DC Extended Universe, the actor has dabbled in just about every genre. He’s played brave heroes and formidable villains. However, for all his range, Costner is most often associated with specific genres. Ironically, he isn’t even much of a fan of one of them. Here’s why Costner once admitted he doesn’t like most Westerns.
Kevin Costner is well-known for sports movies and Westerns
Costner made his film debut in 1981. And before the decade ended, he had already established a foothold in two sub-genres that would define his career. 1985’s Silverado ensured he would remain famous for his work in the Old West. Meanwhile, he starred in the back-to-back releases of 1988’s Bull Durham and 1989’s Field of Dreams. Both films still have a devoted fan base that considers them among the best sports movies ever made.
Over the decades, Costner has never shied away from his love for stories about the Old West and sports alike. In fact, two of the three movies he’s directed — 1990’s Dances with Wolves and 2003’s Open Range — are Westerns. And he subsequently took on sports movies like Bull Durham, Tin Cup, For Love of the Game, and Draft Day.
Why the actor doesn’t like most Westerns very much
But just because Costner has ties to Westerns doesn’t mean he’s an unabashed fan of the genre. Rather, the actor once told Good Morning America he has high standards when he watches a Western.
“[Western] have to be literate. It’s too much black hat, white hat. … I won’t tolerate bad language, meaning literacy of a Western on TV or in film. I hate it. I don’t like it when it’s dumb because there’s such great opportunity because the architecture of a Western should be to actually frighten you sitting in the dark, watching something. ‘That could have just happened to me. And I don’t know what I would’ve done.’ America was a wide-open place, and violence was random. And when you really invest in the writing to actually make that a character, the randomness, and it can be really scary to be out there by yourself, to be a decent man and come across psychopaths.”
Costner has previously said he can often tell which of his films will be successful based on how close the finished product matches the script. Given his thoughts on Westerns, it makes sense why he’s only starred in a handful.
Kevin Costner is back in the Western genre on ‘Yellowstone’
Of course, Costner’s experience with Westerns isn’t limited to only the big screen. The actor starred in the 2012 TV miniseries Hatfields & McCoys, which centers on the famous rivalry between the two families. And since 2018, he has played John Dutton on Yellowstone on the Paramount Network.
The show is currently on season 4. Costner and the rest of the cast earned a nomination for a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2022 for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. The Paramount Network has renewed Yellowstone for a fifth season.