High school was anything but a highlight for Kevin Costner. The actor, who’s portrayed handsome, stalwart men from all spans of human history over his 4-decade career, was a long way from his 6-foot, confident self at the time.
Speaking slow & loose with a healthy dose of honesty to Rolling Stone in 2019, Costner went deep into his dislike for those typically coveted teenage years. According to the trade, the Yellowstone lead was “a 5′-2” nugget even unto his senior year in high school and tortured by it.”
In Costner‘s own words?
“I didn’t date,” he bites to the trade. “I went to the backward dance, that Sadie Hawkins thing where the girl asks you. But you inevitably don’t go with who you want to go with. The girl you’re kind of ogling at, she picked somebody else. It wasn’t a moment for me to shine. That’s not what you’d call a score,” he laments.
“And when I got my driver’s license, after about the fourth girl told me, ‘Oh, that’s so cute,’ I thought to myself, ‘I’m never showing this thing to anybody again,” Costner continues. Ouch.
The sting of it all is short-lived, however, when considering Costner’s incredible success later in life. Even this, though, would not come easy for the now-A-lister. The actor meandered Hollywood for a solid decade – even acting in one of Apple’s first big McIntosh commercials – before landing it big.
From High School Nugget to Hollywood Heartthrob and ‘Yellowstone’ Patriarch
Yet he still credits his “shortcomings” for shaping much of who he is today. Costner was “always the new kid in school,” he professed to Rolling Stone at the time. Having to brave one high school is bad enough, but four? Such was a young Kevin’s fate. Perpetually trying to fit in would take its toll on him – but it never led him to act out.
“I was a rascal, because I was adventurous,” he continues, “but I didn’t have a rebellious nature. I grew up in a conservative household. Those different schools, my parents were like, ‘Toughen up,’ and my mom said, ‘Look, we do what’s right for your father.’ I had a brother in Vietnam in the Sixties, so the last thing I wanted to do was cause them problems.”
As for the problems life caused him, however, Costner says that he “never quite got over” a few. Particularly the driver’s license fiasco. In a way, it was crippling for the actor – until he finally had enough.
“Along the way, I kind of lost what my own real identity was. Like, ‘Well, who am I? Just some guy who goes to a new school and, God, wants to just have a couple of friends?’ And then college wasn’t actually a place for me,” he recalls.
“I’m interested in storytelling…”
“As I approached my senior year [attending Cal State, Fullerton, studying business]… I had a real talk with myself about what I wanted to do and whether I just wanted to please other people. And it was at that moment that I actually said to myself, ‘I’m interested in storytelling.’”
The world’s a better place for it, too, Mr. Costner.
And there’s plenty more revelations where that came from in this fantastically nonchalant interview. The Yellowstone titan delves directly into what makes Kevin Costner, well, Kevin Costner within – and it’s a doozy. For one, the actor does love this F-word just as much as his ranching patriarch John Dutton, and uses it frequently. Secondly? The man smoked a lot – and we mean a lot – of pot. For 40 years.