Yellowstone’s Josh Lucas Was Kept Away From Kevin Costner For A Good Reason

Longtime “Yellowstone” fans will have noticed by now that the series has an ongoing penchant for flashbacks that help to flesh out the lives and motivations of its characters. From Beth (Kelly Reilly) and Jamie’s (Wes Bentley) long-running feud to how Rip (Cole Hauser) came to be employed at the ranch in the first place, the series regularly delves into the past to help explain the present.

This has been the case for John Dutton (Kevin Costner/Josh Lucas) as well throughout the series, even if we don’t get a real deep dive into John’s past on “Yellowstone” until Season 5. Lucas has been a regular fixture of the series off and on for years, often in other characters’ flashbacks. One may think that to have an idea of how to play his role, Lucas spent a lot of time with Costner behind the scenes. But in an interview with Collider, the actor revealed that both men were deliberately kept apart while on set.

When asked about how intimidating it must be to play a younger version of Costner’s character, he explained that they didn’t cross paths much. “Luckily, he’s not there when I’m shooting. We’re almost kept separate on purpose,” the “Yellowstone” actor said. “Taylor [Sheridan] and I talked about the idea of ‘The Godfather.’ When [Robert] De Niro was playing Brando, he wasn’t attempting to look or act like Marlon Brando,” Lucas explained. “He was attempting to play [a younger Don Vito Corleone]. That’s what we talked about.”

Josh Lucas was honored to play the younger John Dutton


Josh Lucas also opened up to Collider about how much he appreciated “Yellowstone” creator Taylor Sheridan allowing him to take on the role of a younger John Dutton. “With Kevin, it was different because it was Taylor Sheridan,” he recalled. “I really like Taylor. I think he’s a fascinating, amazing screenwriter and storyteller. I sometimes find these people in my life who I’ll reach out to and say, ‘Look, I’ll be an extra for you,’ and Kevin is one of those people.”


“I was very, very honored to go do it,” Lucas continued. “I really find Taylor’s work extraordinary, and Kevin is an icon for a reason.”

While it may have taken almost until the end of “Yellowstone” for Lucas to get the chance to chew up the scenery as John Dutton, it seems somewhat serendipitous when you consider the timing. With Kevin Costner set to exit the series in Season 5, Part 2, a deep dive into the character’s past helps to flesh out the Dutton patriarch as fans prepare to say goodbye to him.

It was always the plan for Season 5 to delve into John’s past

Josh Lucas also told Deadline in a separate interview that he knew early on that he wouldn’t have much to do as John at first. “They were so tiny,” he recalled of his earlier scenes. “Taylor told me back before we started shooting the first little pieces that it’s not gonna be much for me in the first couple years.”

Even more surprising, however, is how forward-thinking Taylor Sheridan’s plans for the series were, right down to the Season 5 focus on John Dutton’s many flashbacks. “‘It’s going to be in the fifth season,’” he recalled Sheridan saying. “‘The fifth season is where you’re gonna come in.’”

“‘I don’t know if we’re gonna do full flashback season or full flashback episodes, but that’s what I can tell you,’” Lucas recalled Sheridan telling him. “And I remember genuinely thinking, this guy’s crazy.” While the show would have undoubtedly looked a lot different if Season 5 of “Yellowstone” had been a full-on flashback season, fans of the neo-western will no doubt be happy to learn a bit more about the show’s central character as the series ratchets toward its conclusion.

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