Who Plays Young John Dutton on ‘Yellowstone’?

by Leanne Stahulak
who-plays-young-john-dutton-yellowstone

“Yellowstone” fans might recognize Josh Lucas as the young version of John Dutton. But where else have we seen the actor?

Both before and after his “Yellowstone” stints, Lucas has starred in some hit films and television dramas. We’re here to break down the star’s acting history and personal life.

But first, let’s dive into Josh Lucas’s “Yellowstone” appearances.

Josh Lucas Stars as ‘Young’ John Dutton

We all know that Kevin Costner excels at his role as the grizzled John Dutton. He plays the perfect blend of intimidating rancher and tough-love father. We also see his softer side come out, especially around his love interests and grandson, Tate.

But Josh Lucas brings a different side to the character. We see this hardened, young version of John Dutton throughout the first two seasons of the show, shining a light on the character like never before. Lucas even admitted that he and Costner were kept separate on set on purpose. Taylor Sheridan didn’t want either actor influencing how they portrayed the same character.

Lucas stars in four episodes overall. Three of them occur in Season 1, showing visceral moments like the death of John’s wife, Evelyn, and the first time he met Rip Wheeler. We see some softer family moments, at Christmastime. But we also see the pain that he goes through in the aftermath of his wife’s death.

Lucas’s next and final appearance occurs in “Yellowstone” Season 2. In a pivotal moment for his son, Jamie Dutton, John tells him that he has to go to Harvard and become a lawyer. Jamie knows that John doesn’t respect lawyers, so Lucas’s character tells him to “become one that I can.” As we know, that doesn’t quite happen, and the two butt heads as adults with different dreams.

We’re not sure if we’ll see Lucas reprise his role as young John Dutton in the future. It would depend on the kind of history and backstory we need to see, and how it ties into the current storyline.

Josh Lucas’s Acting Credits Outside of ‘Yellowstone’

However, Lucas has several other projects keeping him busy in the meantime. Currently, he has three projects in the works and has also recently starred in films like “The Forever Purge” and “She Dies Tomorrow.”

But let’s take it back to the beginning. Starting in the 1990s, Lucas made several one-episode appearances in various dramas like “Life Goes On” and “In the Heat of the Night.” He had a bigger breakthrough with a 15-episode stint in “Snowy River: The McGregor Saga” in 1994-95. Lucas also landed a role in the iconic horror film “American Psycho” in 2000.

And from there, his film credits skyrocketed. First, he starred alongside Russel Crowe, Ed Harris, and Christopher Plummer in “A Beautiful Mind,” circa 2001. Then, it was his big break with “Sweet Home Alabama” in 2002. Lucas played the lead role of Jake Perry opposite Reese Witherspoon’s Melanie Smooter.

From there, you might recognize the young John Dutton actor from “Secondhand Lions,” “Undertow,” “Stealth,” and “Glory Road.” He starred in several other action and historical films throughout the 2000s. Then, in 2012, Lucas started getting back into television with a 22-episode stint on “The Firm.”

This led to a bigger role in 2014-2016 on “The Mysteries of Laura” with 38 episodes. And of course the four episodes he appeared in “Yellowstone.” During the 2010s, Lucas also continued making film appearances in movies like “Breakthrough” and “The Most Hated Woman in America.”

But Lucas experienced another breakthrough just three years ago in 2019. He starred alongside Matt Damon and Christian Bale in “Ford v. Ferrari,” playing Leo Beebe. Per the Hollywood Reporter, Beebe was “Ford’s director of special vehicles/PR specialist, and is most remembered for making a controversial decision during the 1966 Le Mans race.”

To see more of Lucas’s acting history, check out his IMDb page here.

Josh Lucas’s Personal Life

According to TV Guide, Joshua Lucas Maurer was born on June 20, 1971, in Little Rock, Arkansas. His parents were reportedly activists who moved around a lot, causing Lucas to live in 30 different homes before the age of 13. He didn’t even own a TV until 1984, soon deciding to become an actor in 1987.

TV Guide reports that at one point, Lucas dated fellow actors Salma Hayek, Rachel McAdams, and Connie Nielsen. In 2012, he married Jessica Ciencin Henriquez after meeting six weeks prior. They had one son, Noah Maurer, that same year. Unfortunately, the couple divorced in 2014.

Per PEOPLE, they tried to get back together in 2020. But this didn’t last, as last year in 2021, Luca started dating model Rachel Mortenson. However, in December 2021, he unfollowed her on Instagram, promoting breakup rumors.

Outsider.com