“Kevin Costner’s fascination with the Civil War extends beyond the screen” says the Yellowstone star‘s travel app company, HearHere. Posting to their Instagram Friday, the app reveals how Costner is “haunted” by the historic war and the impact it holds over America as a whole.
“The Civil War… I don’t know if the country has ever recovered from that,” begins the Hollywood icon in his latest HearHere sitdown. “You know, the population around then was about 30 million. You figure half was fighting the other half – and we’re 300 million now [in the U.S.]. So, everybody was touched by that war.”
Audiences today know Kevin Costner as Yellowstone patriarch John Dutton, but the prolific actor, director, producer, writer, and even musician holds a strong cinematic history with the deeply troubling past of America.
Dances With Wolves, still his most awarded and acclaimed film to this day, dealt directly with the impact the Civil War had on the American West and its indigenous peoples. Within, Costner’s Lieutenant John Dunbar is assigned to a remote western Civil War outpost.
There, he befriends wolves and Native Americans, making him an “intolerable aberration in the military,” IMDb cites of the film. Costner famously spearheaded the entire film, which won him two Oscars: Best Director and Best Picture.
A staunch, self-professed “history buff,” the Yellowstone lead didn’t stumble onto this subject matter by chance, either. As he details for HearHere, Costner finds himself “drawn” directly to the Civil War sites that “haunt” him.
“In Vietnam, we lost 56,000 people. In the Civil War, we lost over half a million,” he continues. “And I’m haunted by that. The reason for the war… The evolution of and involvement of the United States… So I’m drawn to the battles.”
‘Yellowstone’s Kevin Costner often Visits Civil War Battlefields Across US
Costner doesn’t sleep on this calling, either. “I’ll go to Bull Run and Antietam. I’ll go to Chattanooga,” he reveals passionately
“I have to. I have to know that – men who didn’t even know each other – were never going to return home to their homes! And the war still haunts me to this day.
Speaking further on his fascination, the Hollywood legend mentions “the black and white photos” of the Civil war as a particular point of interest. An avid driver as well, Costner will drive from one historic battle site to the other in order to hunt these photos down and view them in person.
It’s a fascinating interview from the Yellowstone star, one that lends further credence to his role as Hollywood’s “American history keeper.” Watch the rest of HearHere‘s sit down with Kevin Costner above for more from the man himself.