‘Yellowstone’ Star Kevin Costner Said the Majority Of Westerns Are ’Low Brow’ in 2003 Interview

by Katie Maloney
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Despite having starred in several westerns, Kevin Costner isn’t a huge fan of the genre. Here’s why.

With movies like Dances With Wolves, Open Range, Silverado, and Wyatt Earp, you’d think Kevin Costner was a fan of Westerns. But that’s not actually the case. In fact, He’s admitted that there are only about 10 movies in the genre that he actually likes, How The West Was Won being one of them. So, what is it about westerns that Kevin Costner doesn’t like? During an interview in 2003, Costner explained that most westerns are “low brow.”

“I think the majority of them are real low-brow, are real costume parties,” said Costner. “And we wonder why our younger people and our college people don’t like westerns. Well, that’s because there aren’t good ones. They’re not dumb people. They go, ‘What, it has no value for us.’ But the truth is if you create an architecture, an emotional architecture, where they see themselves. And you create a finale that’s quite exciting, then you’re able to say, ‘See what I told you? That’s what I’ve been talking about.’ The reason why I try to do this is it’s an art form, it’s hard to do it.”

Kevin Costner Said It’s The Balance Between Entertainment And Realism That Makes A Great Western

However, there are some westerns that Kevin Costner is a fan of, including the ones he starred in. During the same interview, Costner said that it’s the balance between fiction and what would be believable in real life that makes a western great. He said that balance especially applies when a character is trying to survive.

“I think what you try to do with behavior in a western or when someone is fighting for their life, you try to think, ‘What would I do to win?’ We don’t have to have it be really elegant,” said Costner. “It could be really clumsy and ultimately and it can be very entertaining because you go, ‘Yes, yes, yes,’ as all these things are happening ‘That’s how I would survive.'”

During the interview, he references his movie Open Range. During the movie, Costner plays a cowhand tasked with finding justice for his friend who is killed by a group of angry townspeople. The fight scenes in the movie are riveting enough to be entertaining yet real-to-life enough to be believable. It’s that perfect balance Kevin Costner was talking about!

Kevin Costner in Open Range
Outsider.com