‘Yellowstone’ Star Jefferson White Reveals How Kevin Costner Is Similar to John Dutton

by Lauren Boisvert
(Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

Kevin Costner is a legend, plain and simple; it extends so much farther than his recent work on “Yellowstone” as John Dutton. He has such a legacy attached to his name, it has to be hard for anyone to do a scene with him. I can only imagine the stress of working with a high-profile actor like Costner. In a conversation with ScreenRant earlier this month, Jefferson White, who plays Jimmy on “Yellowstone,” gave fans some insight into what it was like to do scenes one-on-one with Kevin Costner as John Dutton.

When asked about his experiences with Costner, and if his immensely successful career adds any stress, White, who recently shared his thoughts on the show’s success, revealed that it does. He continued, “Who Kevin is, he’s both an incredibly present actor who’s with you in that exact moment in that exact room, he’s right in front of you. He’s incredibly present, which is like all you can hope for in a scene partner. But, he’s also a legend, he’s also a sort of modern myth.”

So, is the same true of Costner’s character John Dutton? According to White, the two are very similar. “John Dutton is with you in the room,” he said, “he’s gonna saddle the horse, he’s gonna sweep the stables, but he’s also a myth, he’s also a legend in the world of the show.”

How Kevin Costner’s Similarities to John Dutton Colored Jefferson White’s Experiences with the Legend

How did the legacy affect Jefferson White’s specific relationship with Kevin Costner? “My relationship to Kevin is pretty similar to Jimmy’s relationship to John Dutton,” White revealed. “He reveres this person, he’s [known] about this person his whole life, even before he met him. So, my task as an actor there is to sort of take those real-world circumstances and allow them, not try to fight them off or keep ‘em out, but allow them to color the scene, ‘cause I’m intimidated by Kevin the same way that Jimmy is intimidated by John.”

White, who also went on to explain Jimmy’s difficult choices on the show, calls on those experiences of being intimidated by Kevin Costner in order to more convincingly play Jimmy’s scenes with John. It’s a great trick to portray authenticity in those moments. “So,” White continued, “all of that just flavors those scenes and makes them hopefully feel that much more authentic and sort of lived in, y’know?”

Kevin Costner seems like a down-to-earth guy who wouldn’t let his storied career influence how he treats people. He’s so incredibly talented, but he’s still just a guy underneath it all. From “Dances With Wolves” to “Field of Dreams” to “The Bodyguard,” Costner has the range to back up his mythical status. Now, on “Yellowstone,” he’s really showing us what he can do, taking all his movie star talent and spreading it out over 4 seasons. John Dutton is subtle, yet intimidating, and Kevin Costner does that oh so well.