While acknowledging the privileges his career has granted him, ‘Yellowstone’ titan Kevin Costner reflects on brushing off “the people who are willing to cut my head off and watch it roll down the street.”
What a statement. If you’ve read enough interviews with Kevin Costner, you know as well as this author that the swagger his most famous characters’ sport is well-earned. The actor fought hard to break into the film industry. Then fought again – and again – when said industry didn’t feel “on his side.”
Reflecting on this to Rolling Stone in 2019, Costner divulges (with no small bit of self-awareness and sarcasm) how he see’s the act of “going my own way.”
“I’m a six-foot white guy who fucking makes cowboy movies and baseball movies and gets to play the hero, and no one mistakes me for anything but America,” Costner reflects for the trade. “I’m in a really good category, if you will. But I’m also going to make ‘Mr. Brooks’ and I’m going to direct and I’m going to make music if I want to,” he continues, down-to-earth bravado blazing.
Costner feels ‘Mr. Brooks’ worth mentioning as it was a stark contrast to his typical portrayal. The 2007 film saw him ditch big-budget films to play a “family-man serial killer.”
Unlike many of his peers, the A-lister is as deeply aware of his privilege as he is the power it grants him to swing so wide in his career. And for those looking to knock him down a few pegs -as many have tried – he had a blunt response:
“I’m not going to worry about the people who are willing to cut my head off and watch it roll down the street.”
Like ‘Yellowstone’s John Dutton, Kevin Costner Always Seems to Come Out on Top
It’s not that Kevin Costner himself has ever given anyone a reason to lop his noggin’. Rather, it comes with the territory in mega-success. And Rolling Stone points to a poignant, wholly surreal example of this.
Straight up, the trade recalls an encounter between Costner and fellow household name Madonna, oddly enough. Fully documented in her 1991 documentary ‘Truth or Dare,’ RS recounts of the two stars’ on-camera, though completely candid meeting.
Within, Costner meets Madonna backstage after one of her concerts. “Thanks for coming,” the singer says to Costner.
“I thought it was neat,” he replies, RS feeling it necessary to note his reply as “earnest” as he adjusted his glasses. In seeming defiance of this, he blows Madonna a kiss, before swaggering off ‘Yellowstone’ style into the abyss.
As it is put to film, Madonna then swivels around to “make a gagging gesture, finger in mouth, tongue stuck out.”
“Neat?” the pop icon says. “Anybody who says my show is neat has to go.”
If there ever was a year for head-loppers, it was 1991 – the year Madonna let the world know how she felt about Costner. He would take home the Oscars for both Best Picture and Best Director for ‘Dances With Wolves’ within, and Hollywood – nor Costner – has been the same since.