‘Yellowstone’s Kevin Costner Talks Emmy Recognition and His Faith in the Show

by Jon D. B.

“The recognition comes. The writing has to stay strong,” Costner says amidst Yellowstone Season 4’s serious Emmy contention.

Yellowstone‘s cast is hard at work in Montana filming Season 5, which is just around the corner. But the Emmy buzz for television’s #1 show began earlier this year after Season 4 broke multiple longstanding records.

Yellowstone is now a bonified, nationwide phenomenon, and Kevin Costner remains the heart of it all. The longstanding Hollywood icon is happy for the awards recognition, too, but it’s far from the top of his priority list.

“I think we’ve been doing the same work from the first season, and I think that’s number one. [That’s] been really important to me,” he begins for a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight. “The recognition comes. The writing has to stay strong. Keep doing what we’re doing, and then people catch up to you in your life.”

For the Western icon, popularity is the easy part. It’s authenticity that takes real work and dedication.

“I’ve always said, it’s not too hard to be popular, you can do a lot of things to get noticed or whatever,” Costner continues. “But if you’re trying to be relevant in your own life, you maybe have to be doing the things you feel like are important to you. If the world gets in sync with your life, how great is that?”

In short: Costner isn’t in the business of chasing Emmys or Oscars or awards in general. “If you’re always chasing an idea that’s already working, and put a spin on it, there’s a business to that,” he says. “And that’s done all the time and there’s nothing really wrong with it, but it’s not the way I can conduct myself.”

‘You Can’t Always Predict’ Popularity, Costner Says, But ‘Yellowstone’s Success Comes From Authenticity Regardless

Further into the interview, Costner explains how, and why, he’s not exactly surprised by Yellowstone‘s success.

“When I found Yellowstone, it hadn’t been made. I liked the story, I thought we could do this, so, the idea that it’s good, that doesn’t surprise me at all,” he cites.

“The idea that it blew up,” however, “that’s something you can’t always predict.”

Kevin Costner as John Dutton, Jefferson White as Jimmy Hurdstrom in Yellowstone Season 4. (Photo Credit: Paramount Network Press, Yellowstone Season 4)

But blow up it has. For years, critics saw Yellowstone as a gamble for Costner. A bonified Hollywood leading man planting himself at the center of a television Western? Surely that was a step backwards.

It wasn’t. As he cites in this and numerous interviews, Costner had faith in Taylor Sheridan’s material. And that’s all that mattered. Pour yourself into a project worth caring about, and the recognition will follow.

Kevin Costner returns as John Dutton for Yellowstone Season 5 this November 13, exclusively on Paramount Network.