‘Yellowstone’ TV: How Kevin Costner Says John Dutton Treats the Ranch Like an ‘Empire’

by Thad Mitchell

There is little to no confusion regarding who is the top dog on “Yellowstone” as Kevin Costner gives John Dutton a strong “alpha male” presence.

Costner, one of the top leading men in all of show business, was born to play the grizzled and aging cowboy. As the owner of “Yellowstone” Ranch, John Dutton is the series’ primary protagonist. Much of the show’s plot and storylines revolve around Dutton’s decisions regarding his cattle ranch and his family. Though he may be getting close to retirement, John Dutton has every intention of keeping his beloved ranch in the Dutton family. The time will soon come when he must pick an heir to take the reins of the huge cattle ranch. Balancing the needs of his family and fighting off threats to his land keep John Dutton front and center of the “Yellowstone” universe.

In a 2019 interview, Costner talks about his character and the challenges that come along with it. Asked if John thinks of “Yellowstone” Ranch as an empire or regular cattle ranch, Costner is quick with a decisive answer.

“I think it is both,” Costner says. “And he is complicating it because he treats it like an empire that has to be defended and fought over in terms that are out of the way that he would conduct himself.”

‘Yellowstone’ Star Kevin Costner Talks John Dutton

The “Dances with Wolves” star says John Dutton struggles with the demands of the ranch and his desire for a “normal” life.

“He wants a simple life, but it’s been absolutely complicated by decisions that have been made,” he says. “Decisions made by his children and the forces coming at him and how he has chosen to react to them.”

In a testament to his dedication to “Yellowstone” Ranch, we see John also turn down a lot of money to keep it. The Market Equities duo of Willa Hayes and Roarke Morris offer $500 million for the “Yellowstone” property. The group wants the property in order to transform it into an airport and tourism destination. In refusing the offer, John Dutton makes clear that his ranch is not for sale. But, Market Equities makes clear that “no” is not an acceptable answer.

Many “Yellowstone” fans believe it is the Market Equities team behind the attacks on the Dutton family. The investment group has shown they have no problem getting their hands dirty when the situation calls for it.

With season four quickly approaching, “Yellowstone” fans are eager to see what the new season brings John Dutton. The first order of business will be determining if he is dead or alive. The season three cliffhanging finale leaves a shroud of mystery regarding his status.

If John is indeed still alive, as most fans think, you can bet he’ll be ready for the oncoming fight.